The Hague [Netherlands]: Pakistan was snubbed on Tuesday at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) here when it sought replacement of an ad-hoc Pakistani judge in the court during the hearing of the case related to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan said his country’s ad-hoc judge to the ICJ, Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, suffered cardiac arrest on Monday during the first day of hearings of the case and requested that his replacement be sworn-in before he could make his argument.
However, the ICJ President, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, overlooked the plea and told the Pakistani advocate, “I would like to ask you to read your statement if your statement is ready. We are ready to hear you and hear your side,”
Khan then went on to make his argument, a day after the Indian side told the world court that Jadhav had been sentenced to death by a military court during an “opaque” hearing and that he should be released forthwith.
In his representation, the Pakistani advocate said the Indian claim to relief must be dismissed.
Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism on April 11, 2017, following which India moved the ICJ, challenging the verdict.
Subsequently, on May 18, 2017, a 10-member bench of ICJ restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.
During the hearing yesterday, India’s advocate Harish Salve raised questions over how a military court could hold a trial for a civilian without giving him a due and transparent right to defend.
Khan, in his counter, said, “All laws are made by Parliament in accordance with the Constitution after proper debate and discussions. Local laws are within the domain of Parliament and the independent courts of Pakistan. Similarly, the creation of military courts was through this Parliamentary process.”
India had yesterday highlighted that Jadhav was being used as a pawn by Pakistan to build a narrative against New Delhi – a claim which was strengthened by Pakistan’s statements at The Hague today.
The Pakistani advocate made all kinds of bizarre allegations against Jadhav, accusing him of being responsible for subversive activities in Pakistan.
India has maintained that Jadhav, a former Naval officer-turned-businessman, was innocent and he had been kidnapped by Pakistani intelligence agencies from Iran.
Salve told the court yesterday that Jadhav had been suffering for last three years and even 13 requests by India for consular access had not been accepted by Pakistan, violating the Vienna Convention.
Khan, in his argument, claimed that “Pakistan has treated Commander Jadhav in a manner that is due to every human being. On humanitarian grounds, Pakistan has allowed Commander Jadhav’s mother and wife to visit him.”