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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Pakistan says ICJ won’t free Kulbushan Jadhav, not answerable on death sentence

Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of involvement in espionage and terrorist activities. The ICJ stayed his execution on May 18.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2017 23:52 IST

Press Trust of India, Islamabad
(PTI File Photo)

Pakistan is not answerable to anyone about the death sentence given to Indian national Kulbushan Jadhav and the ICJ will not release or acquit him, members of the legal team representing Islamabad at the world court said on Monday.

Attorney general Ashtar Ausaf Ali described the former naval officer as an “Indian agent” and said Pakistan has “important information” against him that will be presented to the International Court of Justice.

Khawar Qureshi, the London-based lawyer who is part of Pakistan’s legal team, said the ICJ will not free or acquit Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a military court for alleged involvement in spying and subversive activities.

“Let me make it very clear…Commander Jadhav is not going anywhere. He is not going to be released or acquitted. The ICJ will never release him or acquit him,” Qureshi told the media after a meeting with the attorney general.

He said India had “wrongly claimed victory” after the Hague-based court “temporarily” stayed Jadhav’s execution. “You are making something out of nothing,” he told reporters.

The attorney general told the media that Pakistan was satisfied with the handling of Jadhav’s arrest and punishment. Pakistan, he said, was “not answerable in front of anyone” about the death sentence given to Jadhav.

Ali also said Pakistan’s stance had not been rejected by the ICJ and the interim verdict was not a “defeat or victory of any country”.

Qureshi, who had been widely criticised by Pakistan’s opposition parties for his handling of the case, said the media should “behave responsibly” and “give Pakistani officials the respect they deserve”.

“The problem seems to be that this case is more about political point-scoring than about the law,” he said. The Foreign Office will issue a detailed statement about Jadhav’s case, he added.

Following the criticism of Qureshi, the attorney general said he personally represent Pakistan at future hearings in the ICJ. Qureshi was also criticised for being paid £50,000 whereas Harish Salve, the lead counsel for India, had taken up Jadhav’s case for a token payment of one rupee.

Jadhav, 46, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of involvement in espionage and terrorist activities. The ICJ stayed his execution on May 18.

India has dismissed the charges against Jadhav and said he was kidnapped from Chabahar port in Iran, where he was engaged in business.

Several Pakistani ministers, including interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, have said Jadhav’s case will be taken to its “logical conclusion” according to the country’s laws and Constitution.

While replying to a query, the attorney general said Pakistan’s courts had provided justice to Indian woman Uzma Ahmed, who was forced to marry a Pakistani man at gun point. She was allowed by Islamabad High Court to return to India.

First Published: May 29, 2017 17:57 IST