India seeks 3-month time to file another memorial in Jhadav case

ISLAMABAD: New Delhi has sought three-month time to file an additional memorial at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which is hearing case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a convicted Indian spy, sources have revealed to The Express Tribune.

Legal experts are, however, wondering why India is trying to drag the matter unnecessarily. A senior lawyer, who has expertise in international law, believes that under the ICJ rules, another round of submitting additional memorial can be started by both the parties.

“If the ICJ gives three-month time to India then Pakistan may also avail similar period to file a counter memorial in the case. Generally, there are two rounds of filing memorial. After submission of memorial, the ICJ will give schedule of hearing,” he added.

While submitting 1,700 pages counter memorial in the ICJ on December 13, Pakistan rejected Indian objection to not giving consular access to Jadhav, saying the provision of such an access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors and not spies.

Pakistan may submit details of Jadhav’s meeting with family to ICJ

Pakistan said since India did not deny Jadhav was travelling with an assumed Muslim name, they have no case to plead. India has sought consular access to Jadhav repeatedly but Pakistan has turned down its requests, citing bilateral accord that does not permit such an access to spies. However, on December 25 Islamabad allowed Jadhav’s mother and wife to meet with him on purely humanitarian grounds.

It is learnt that the Foreign Office, attorney general for Pakistan (AGP), and military establishment gave their input to finalise the counter memorial. The government also sought assistance from two top lawyers of the country. However, the memorial was drafted by Pakistan’s top attorney Khawar Quraishi.

According to sources, Pakistan stated in the memorial that the Indians have not denied that Jadhav was travelling on a passport with an assumed Muslim name.

It said India did not explain how a serving naval commander, operating under Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was travelling under an assumed name. This leads to only one conclusion that India seeks consular access to the information he [Jadhav] had gathered, it added.

It said since Jadhav was on active duty, it is obvious that he was a spy sent on a special mission. “Only a state which adheres to legitimate actions can request the court to intervene in a matter between two states. A state which does not come with clean hands cannot get any relief,” Pakistan contended.

At ICJ, Pakistan dismisses India’s plea for consular access to Jhadav

Pakistan further said sending Jadhav for espionage and funding terrorist activities were some of the reasons that disentitle India from invoking jurisdiction of the ICJ.

Sources said Pakistan also highlighted constant violations of human rights by India in occupied-Kashmir. It said India is a habitual violator of human rights and has not honoured the UN resolutions on Kashmir.

“Giving of false identity to Kulbhushan,  sending him for espionage and funding of terrorists activities are all some of the reasons which disentitle India from invoking jurisdiction of the ICJ,” said counter memorial according to a source.  The ICJ will decide the schedule of hearing within 15 days.

India on September 13 submitted a 22-page memorandum wherein it objected to Jadhav being tried by a military court in Pakistan.  The sources said India contended that Jadhav’s trial should have been conducted by a civilian court and that Pakistan was bound to give him consular access.

The federal government has already appointed former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani as an ad-hoc judge for the case at The Hague. Legal experts are urging all the stakeholders to increase coordination in devising the final draft of the memorandum.

The ICJ on May 18 halted the execution of Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a military court on April 10 after being convicted on charges of terrorism and espionage.

Jadhav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel, a serving Indian Navy officer working for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was apprehended on March 3, 2016, after he illegally crossed into Pakistan via Iran border.

Says provision of such access under Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors, not for spies

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