Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan to change lawyers after ICJ stays execution

The UN court ordered Pakistan not to execute Jadhav.

Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that Islamabad will form a new team of lawyers to present Pakistan's stance vigorously in the Kulbushan Jadhav case that is before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Former Attorney General Irfan Qadir said he was shocked. He said, "It is Pakistan's mistake to have appeared there".

Although Pakistani analysts were confident that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to stay Jadhav's execution, the Dawn quoted unnamed observers as now saying that the jurisdiction argument was "weak" and "damaging".

Pakistan Peoples Party leader Sherry Rehman told Dawn: "We based our case on jurisdiction and it proved weak".

A statement from the attorney general's office said the ICJ wanted "the status quo (to) be maintained" in Jadhav's case and the provisional measures were "without prejudice to the final determination" of the case. "More arguments should have been made regarding espionage". "India did nominate one but Pakistan did not", Khokhar said, adding that Pakistan's counsel did not argue for the full allotted time either.

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The handling of Kulbhsuhan Jadhav case by Pakistani lawyers in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has invited heavy criticism from experts as well as media in the country.

However, India has denied that Jadhav was a spy, and accused Pakistan of "egregious violations of the Vienna convention" by denying him consular access and refusing to reveal the charge sheet against him. "They have shot themselves in the foot".

London-based senior lawyer Rashid Aslam said Pakistan was ill-prepared and did not utilise the 90 minutes it had to make its argument. "Pakistan had 90 minutes of argument time but we wasted 40 minutes. I think Khawar Qureshi didn't consume all the time that was afforded to him", Aslam reportedly said. He said the ICJ decision was an outcome of the Sharif-Jindal talks.

India said Thursday, there was no ambiguity in ICJ's judgment, which it said created a legally binding global obligation on Pakistan.

He added, "Until the ICJ gives it verdict, the case will go on in Pakistan". "We lost important cases at the global forum in the last couple of years".

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