PM Abbasi okays appointment of former CJP Tassaduq Hussain Jillani as ICJ ad-hoc judge for Kulbhushan’s case

  • Makhdoom Ali Khan's name was dropped for ad-hoc judge despite experience of international arbitration
  • The hearing of Kulbhushan's case is expected to be fixed at the start of next year or end of this year

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has endorsed a summary requesting the appointment of former Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani as an ad-hoc judge to deal with international arbitration including the Kulbhushan Jadhav case currently being heard by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

According to highly placed sources, the decision was made after the government held consultations with all stakeholders, including the military as two names were on the table for the top slot including senior lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan.

Bearing the sobriquet ‘the gentleman judge’ for his conduct, Jillani retired as Chief Justice of Pakistan on July 5, 2014. He was the successor to Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who retired on December 11, 2013.

He also authored the Supreme Court’s judicial anthem and was among the Supreme Court judges who had refused to take oath under the provisional constitutional order on November 3, 2007.

According to well-placed sources, a senior lawyer, who has been associated with the Sharif family’s legal team, played a key role in Justice Jilani’s appointment and the ICJ would be informed about the appointment later this month.

Moreover, Jillani is also a cousin of former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani.

Earlier, a senior official said Pakistan had requested that the matter of filing of written replies ought to be completed before the end of the year, adding that Pakistan is expected to give its memorial in December.

On the other hand, India submitted its 22 pages memorial to the ICJ on September 13.

The hearing of the case is expected to be fixed at the start of next year or end of this year.

The UN’s judicial army halted the execution of Kulbushan Jadhav on May 18th. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan on April 10 after being convicted on charges of terrorism and espionage.

Jadhav confessed before a magistrate and court that he was tasked by Indian spy agency Research and Analysis wing to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities seeking to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan through impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for the restoration of peace in Balochistan and Karachi, the ISPR said.

India had termed the death sentence awarded to Jadhav “an act of premeditated murder,” while maintaining that Jadhav was a retired officer of the Indian Navy.

India has further claimed that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in a business undertaking.