Pakistan’s delegation will be leaving from Islamabad to contest the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague on February 18.
As Pakistan looks at defending its contention at the ICJ, reliable sources have revealed that they will be raising questions over the credibility of the passport of Kulbhushan Jadhav, in which his identity was changed to ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’.
Sources say Pakistan will be attacking India on these six main arguments to defend itself in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case:
1. India has maintained that Commander Jadhav is an innocent Indian national who was kidnapped from Iran to make him confess to being an Indian RAW agent. India has failed to prove its allegations despite repeated requests to prove the kidnapping charge against Pakistan.
2. India has said Commander Jadhav retired from the Indian Navy but has failed to explain when and why he retired (he was not 47-year-old when arrested).
3. India also refuses to explain how Kulbhushan Jadhav was in possession of an authentic Indian passport issued in the fake cover name of ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’, which he has used at least 17 times to enter/exit India. India has been asked this question many times but has simply said that this is ‘irrelevant’ or ‘mischievous propaganda’. India eventually said the passport was ‘clearly a forgery’ but refused to further explain the statement, or why a highly credible independent UK expert is wrong when he says it is an authentic Indian passport issued by the Indian authorities.
4. India demands that the ICJ orders Pakistan to send Kulbhushan Jadhav back to India. However, the ICJ has repeatedly stated it is not a criminal court of appeal. It has always been made clear in all its decisions that even if consular access was denied by Pakistan, the order will be subject to effective review and reconsideration by local courts. Kulbhushan Jadhav and his family could have used this provision any time since April 10, 2017 in accordance with Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan. Instead, India moved the ICJ 14 months after Jadhav was arrested and a month after he was convicted to seek a stay order without a hearing.
Also, why is India asking for an order for Jadhav’s ‘return’ in the face of the ICJ’s decision and independent expert evidence confirming Pakistan has effective review and reconsideration before high court and Supreme Court.
5. India has failed to explain why the Agreement on Consular Access between India and Pakistan dated May 21, 2008 (which India drafted) and which provides (at Article 6) for either state to be entitled to consider a request for consular access “on its merits” where it involves a person implicated in national security matters, does not apply in this case.
6. India also fails to explain why the highly respected UK-based military law experts are wrong when they say that Pakistan’s High Commission and Supreme Court provide as effective review and reconsideration of the military court process.
The Hearing at ICJ:
The public hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case has been scheduled at the ICJ starting February 18 till February 21.
India will go first with its arguments on the February 18 while Pakistan will make its submissions the next day on February 19.
India will make its counter argument in its reply on the February 20 while Pakistan will make its closing submissions on February 21.
English Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi QC, who also drafted the written pleading, will present Pakistan’s case while Harish Salve will present the Indian side of the case.
Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan will lead Pakistan’s delegation.
The Kulbashan Yadhav case:
The Kulbashan Jadhav row started in 2016 after Pakistan claimed to have arrested Jadhav on March 3, 2016 from the Balochistan province. He was accused of illegally entering Pakistan from the Iranian territory.
On March 25, Pakistan released a purported confessional statement of Jadhav, in which he allegedly accepts being a serving officer of the Indian Navy, who was working for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
He also apparently confessed to being involved in crimes of espionage and terrorism directed toward the infrastructure and people of Pakistan, including the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Gawadar port.
On April 10, 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death after being tried and convicted by a military court in Pakistan.
India moved the ICJ, seeking immediate intervention to halt the forced death sentence. ICJ took up the case and barred Pakistan from going ahead with its military court’s verdict until ICJ does not give its final verdict on the matter.