Pakistan’s parliamentary panel passes bill for review of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s conviction
Farogh Naseem, minister for law and justice, told committee members that the bill, titled “the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance”, was introduced in compliance with directives of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)Updated: Oct 22, 2020, 11:55 IST
Pakistan’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice passed a government bill on Wednesday evening that seeks to review the conviction of Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court for alleged involvement in spying.
Farogh Naseem, minister for law and justice, told committee members that the bill, titled “the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance”, was introduced in compliance with directives of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Naseem argued that in case the bill was not adopted by parliament, Pakistan was facing possible sanctions for not complying with the ICJ’s verdict.
Naseem said his ministry had sought to “preempt a possible Indian move” of filing a contempt petition against Pakistan in the ICJ by promulgating the ordinance, and clarified that neither India nor Jadhav had filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court to seek relief permissible under the ICJ verdict.
He said that his ministry had to file a petition for the appointment of a lawyer for Jadhav, which is pending adjudication.
Opposition parties criticised what they said was a move towards giving relief to Jadhav, calling it an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to persons charged with espionage.
It is said that the NRO was introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf to give relief to politicians against whom charges had been filed during a spell of military rule in Pakistan.
Aliya Kamran of JUI-F Party accused the Imran Khan administration of legislating on behalf of New Delhi. She demanded that the bill should be debated in public before it is passed.
In response to the criticism, Naseem argued before the committee that India had been looking for a way to file a contempt plea against Pakistan with the ICJ. In such a scenario, the country could face sanctions if the matter was referred to the United Nations Security Council, the minister said.
After further debate, the matter was settled through voting. Eight members voted in favour of the bill, while five opposed it, allowing it to be passed.