HAGUE – A delegation led by Attorney General Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf met International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Ronny Abraham on Thursday and sought early hearing of RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
A press release issued from the Attorney General Office said the ICJ registrar and other court officials were also present in the meeting.
“This was not a hearing and no discussion on the substance or merits of the case was held,” it said.
The purpose of the meeting was only to discuss procedural matters, including the timelines for submission of written memorials and to enable a hearing to be listed.
The Pakistani delegation included Dr Mohammad Faisal, Director General for South Asia in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmad Irfan Aslam, Head of International Disputes Unit in the Office of the Attorney General and Khawar Qureshi QC, counsel for Pakistan.
The ICJ president sought the views of the parties as to time required for the submission of their written pleadings and supporting evidence called memorials.
The attorney general urged the court to adopt an expedited timetable with a view for an early substantive hearing. However the court will announce the timetable shortly.
The attorney general informed the International Court of Justice about Pakistan’s intent to appoint an adhoc judge, who will sit on the bench of the court for all proceedings in the case, including the substantive hearing.
The Indian application seeks at least release or acquittal of Commander Jadhav. However, it was made clear by Pakistan’s counsel, Khawar Qureshi QC, on May 15 that India could never obtain this from the ICJ.
The UN’s judicial organ on May 18 made a procedural order to enable a full hearing to take place. It did not make any finding on jurisdiction or merits. Pakistan’s arguments on jurisdiction and merits will be considered by the Court at the full hearing.
Indian delegation also called on ICJ president, the same day and conveyed its viewpoint regarding the case that has become a bone of contention between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
ICJ’s Ruling in Kulbhushan’s Case
The international court of justice in its May 18th verdict stayed the execution of RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav and directed Pakistan to provide consular access to him.
“Pakistan shall take necessary measures to ensure that Jadhav is not executed until the final decision in these proceedings and shall inform the court all the measures taken in implementation of the court’s order,” the order stated.
“India has the right to seek consular access for Jadhav,” it added.
The order was pronounced by Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court who noted that the case of Jadhav came under its jurisdiction over Vienna Convention thus refuting Pakistan’s request, challenging its domain.
Pakistan’s Request to Accelerate Proceedings
Pakistan requested the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to accelerate the hearing of the RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs dispatched a letter to the ICJ’s registrar, expressing Pakistan’s desire for a quick hearing, preferably over the next few weeks.
Sources privy to the developments said that the request for early hearing was made citing the upcoming elections for ICJ judges, scheduled to be held in November.
A senior official of law ministry on the condition of anonymity opined that the ICJ might resume the hearing of the case in October.
“The government (however) wants the hearing (to be held in the) next six weeks,” he said, last month.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan last year on March 3. The Pakistan Military Court sentenced him to death, alleging that he was working as a spy for intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).
Following Kulbhushan’s death sentence, Pakistan also nabbed a few of his accomplices in a bid to unearth the terror network wrecking havoc in the country.