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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC), Tuesday, granted India more time to assist the court about the Pakistan government's plea seeking the appointment of a legal representative for Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav for filing his review petition against his death sentence.

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

During the hearing, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan and the court's amicus curiae Advocate Hamid Khan appeared before the court. The AGP said that the court had passed an order on May 5 regarding making one more effort for the appointment of a counsel.

The attorney general informed the bench that India was conveyed the message as per the court's order but there has been no response in this regard so far. He also said that India wanted consular access to Jadhav in a separate room, but that cannot be granted by any country.

He maintained that the authorities could not leave Kulbhushan alone with Indian representatives because they can cause harm to him even by just shaking hands with him. The AGP said the Pakistani government wanted complete implementation on the decision of review and reconsideration of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), but India intentionally did not want it.

He said that it was in this situation that the federal government had requested for the appointment of a counsel. Khan continued that India wants to appoint a counsel from outside but our law does not allow this. At this juncture, the chief justice said that Pakistan wanted to implement the ICJ decision, but India did not have an interest in it.

He added would it not be better to give them another opportunity, so they could put forth their reservations before the court. The bench asked the AGP to convey the court's message to the Indian government and the spy. It further said send another reminder to Kulbhushan and the Indian government.

If India has any reservations, it may convey them here, or someone from the Indian embassy in Pakistan may convey them. That might bring forth a solution. Later, the court deferred the hearing of the case for an indefinite period.

The federal government has filed the petition regarding the death sentence of convicted Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, to implement the 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, an 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 Defence as respondents.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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