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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday granted another opportunity to India regarding appointment of legal representative for Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav for filing his review petition against his death sentence.

A special larger bench comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq, and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the government’s plea seeking appointment of a legal representative for Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav for filing his review petition against his death sentence.

The IHC chief justice noted that the counsel of Indian High Commission had filed a miscellaneous application which reflected that the neighbouring country had some misunderstandings regarding the court proceeding.

He added that apparently, it seemed that India was not willing to cooperate with Pakistan for implementation of the ICJ decision.

Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed appeared before the court and told the bench that India had rejected the suggestion of Pakistan to appoint a counsel for his spy.

The AGP further said that India had adopted the stance that appearing before Pakistani courts would be an act against its sovereignty.

Javed added that but at the same time the neighboring country had approached a Pakistani court for release of its four citizens.

He said that if India had objection over appearing before Pakistani courts in Jadhav case then why it had approached the IHC in matter of its other citizens.

Justice Minallah observed that at least, India should appoint a representative and informed the court through him that what it wanted.

He continued that the bench had no doubt on the sovereignty of India but at least it should cooperate with this court to get a way for implementation of the ICJ judgment.

He also said that there was no question of sovereignty of India before the court.

The AGP said that all orders of this court had been shared with Indian spy Jadhav but he was still not willing to approach this court.

Then amicus curiae Hamid Khan stated that there was no need to file petition by the Law Ministry for provision of lawyer to Kulbhushan Jadhav, instead the military court’s judgment could be challenged.

The chief justice remarked that the bench appreciated the step of Pakistan for giving an opportunity to the Indian government and its citizen to get legal advantage.

The AGP opposed the stance of Hamid Khan, and said that there could be a contempt proceeding underway in the ICJ Hague, if the government would have not filed this petition.

He continued that the government had no sympathy for a murderer of Pakistanis and India had been waiting the conclusion of this case before the IHC to approach the ICJ.

Justice Minallah observed that this court had only one interest as a human life was involved in it.

He added that India should send a representative before this bench and inform that how the implementation of the ICJ’s decision could be ensured.

The AGP said that a presidential ordinance was also issued in Pakistan for implementation of the ICJ verdict.

He said that India again wanted a proceeding at international forum on January 1, 2021 pertaining to the matter but it could not do it due to pendency of the case before the IHC.

Javed requested the court to appoint a lawyer to contest appeal of Jadhav, if India did not cooperate in this case.

The court, however, granted one more opportunity to India, and adjourned the hearing.

The court sought a reply from the Indian High Commission till the next date of hearing and deferred the proceedings till June 15th.

The federal government filed the petition regarding the death sentence of convicted Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, to implement the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s decision to meet the requirements of a fair trial.

The Ministry of Law and Justice requested the court for appointment of legal representative for Kulbhushan Jadhav an Indian spy and agent of Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), so that he can file a review petition against his death sentence.

The government took the decision as the Indian spy has refused to file a review appeal against his death sentence.

The Indian government has also refused to take advantage of Pakistan’s review appeal facility.

The petition stated that the IHC should appoint a counsel to review and reconsider the verdict of the military court in accordance with the decision of the ICJ.

The ministry cited Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch of General Headquarters (GHQ) and the Ministry of Defense as respondents.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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