Millennium Post

Kulbhushan case: Pak asks ICJ to dismiss India's plea

The Hague: Pakistan on Tuesday urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to dismiss India's plea in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, as it accused New Delhi of using the top UN court for "political theatre".

Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India.

India moved the ICJ in May the same year for the "egregious violation" of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to the 48-year-old Indian national. The four-day hearing in the Jadhav case opened Monday at the ICJ headquarters in The Hague amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.

Opening the arguments on the second day, Pakistan's Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan claimed that Jadhav was a serving Indian Navy officer and spy who entered Pakistan on an authentic Indian passport carrying a Muslim name when arrested in March 2016. He accused India of interfering in Pakistan by training and arming anti-Pakistan militias to create trouble in Balochistan and Sindh and other places in the country.

"Jadhav, a serving officer of Indian Navy working with RAW, entered Pakistan with a predetermined aim on the instructions of the Government of India to assist, plan and cause terrorism in Balochistan and Sindh and other places in the country," he claimed. Khan said that Jadhav had admitted it before a judicial magistrate.

Making submissions on Pakistan's behalf, counsel Khawar Qureshi said, "India's application should be declared inadmissible by reason of India's conduct in this context manifesting abuse of rights, lack of good faith, illegality, lack of clean hands and misrepresentation."

"These are proceedings launched for political theatre, making a claim for relief that is unsustainable and that

should be dismissed," he told judges.

His arguments came a day after India on Monday urged the ICJ to annul Jadhav's death sentence by the Pakistani military court and order his immediate release.

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