Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict: Pakistan to get new team of lawyers to defend case at ICJ

Updated On : 19 May , 2017 , 05:11 PM
A file photo of Sartaj Aziz, Nawaz Sharif's advisor on foreign affairs.
A file photo of Sartaj Aziz, Nawaz Sharif's advisor on foreign affairs.
Islamabad:

A new team of lawyers will be formed by Pakistan to "vigorously" present its case against Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav at the International Court of Justice, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Friday. 

The Pakistan government is facing flak over the handling of the case at the ICJ where it suffered a massive blow after the court stayed Jadhav's death sentence and allowed him counselor access.

The announcement by Aziz came amid criticism by experts and opposition leaders over the government's handling of the case. The Hague-based court had on Thursday stayed the execution of Jadhav, 46, considered to be a spy by Pakistan.

Also Read | Kulbhushan Jadhav row: Pakistan does not accept ICJ's jurisdiction in national security matters, says Foreign Ministry spokesperson

The UN's highest judicial body also asked Pakistan to take "all measures" to ensure that Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged espionage, was not executed till the court had delivered its final verdict on the issue.

The ruling triggered criticism of the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) for its "poor handling" and also for its choice of UK-based Khawar Qureshi, who represented Pakistan's case before the ICJ.

Aziz, however, maintained that Qureshi had "courageously" presented Pakistan's case in the court, the Nation reported. He said the ICJ had given its point of view on Jadhav's case to get counselor access.

"Pakistan's security is so important and we have to maintain our fundamental sovereign right," Aziz was quoted as saying by the daily.

Also Read | ICJ order in Kulbhushan Jadhav case: 'Don't execute him, India should have been given consular access as per Vienna convention'

Pakistan, which announced the sentence on Jadhav on April 10, claims its security forces arrested him from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran.

However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav's case is the latest flash-point in the tensions between Pakistan and India. The two countries last faced off at the ICJ 18 years ago when Islamabad sought its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft.

First Published : Friday, May 19, 2017 04:43 PM
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