Kulbhushan Jadhav case | BJP says UPA hired Pakistan's ICJ lawyer to represent India in 2004

20 May 2017, 06:49 PM
A file photo of UK-based Pakistani-origin lawyer Khawar Qureshi.
A file photo of UK-based Pakistani-origin lawyer Khawar Qureshi.

The BJP has alleged that the UK-based Pakistani-origin lawyer who represented the neighbouring country in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had been hired by the UPA government in 2004 to argue an arbitration case.

Accusing the Congress of being Pakistan's voice on a host of issues, BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said the the party must explain why its government hired Khawar Qureshi in the "very sensitive" Enron case. 

The Congress-led UPA government had changed the legal team representing India in the arbitration case against the US firm over the controversial Dabhol power project, he said. 

Read | Kulbhushan hearing at ICJ: Pak says Jadhav has neither consular access nor legal representation

This was a question linked to "patriotism", Rao told reporters. "What was the compulsion that the UPA government hired Qureshi?... Over the last few years we have seen several incidents of the Congress speaking in support of Pakistan. It was speaking in Pakistan's voice on the surgical strikes as well," Rao told reporters. 

Citing the example of Harish Salve, who was the lead counsel for India at the ICJ this week, he said it was surprising that the UPA government could not find an Indian lawyer to represent the country in such a sensitive case. 

Rao named Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and Mani Shankar Aiyar as instances of Congress leaders allegedly speaking in support of Pakistan. 

The ICJ this week stayed the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested by Pakistan on charges of espionage and subversive activities. While Pakistan claims  he was nabbed from Balochistan, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

Read | Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict: Defiant Pakistan says ICJ has given no order on 'consular access' 

First Published: Saturday, May 20, 2017 06:33 PM
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