Islamabad, May 20: The appeal of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother against the execution of his son is being considered by Pakistan, claims Sartaj Aziz, the special advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. While addressing the media on Saturday, Aziz said the appellate court would hear the plea filed by Jadhav’s mother challenging the conviction of her son by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial.
Following Jadhav’s conviction last month, Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad, Gautam Bambawale, handed over two applications on behalf of Jadhav’s mother to Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua. The first appeal challenged the conviction of her son and another asked for the release of Jadhav from Pakistan’s custody.
Saturday was the last day for Jadhav to challenge his conviction before the appellate court. Following his conviction by the military court, Jadhav was provided a clemency period of 40 days to challenge the verdict. If the appellate court rules against him, then the Indian national would be provided another 60 days to file a review petition before the Pakistan Army chief.
According to Aziz, the preliminary order of ICJ would cause no impact on the proceedings against Jadhav in Pakistan. “The ruling of ICJ should not be considered as a defeat. A stay is granted on executions even if one files a plea in our courts. It is a routine step,” he claimed. However, Aziz also conceded the fact that the Pakistani counsel led by advocate Khawar Qureshi argued in an insufficient manner which compelled the ICJ to validate India’s application.
The verdict released by ICJ on Thursday instructed Pakistan to “ensure” Kulbhushan is not executed till the court releases the final verdict on the matter.
However, Pakistan remained unmoved, saying the orders of ICJ is “not binding upon anyone”. The claim was countered by Indian Ministry of External Affairs. “Pakistan should read the order carefully. It is legally binding on all parties involved,” MEA spokesperson Gopal Bagley said.
The clemency period of Jadhav will conclude in August. Pakistan is yet to assure that it would not execute Jadhav following the expiry of clemency period, said MEA.
The Pakistani establishment has indicated that it could defy the ICJ ruling, reiterating that the world court could have no jurisdiction over the matter. “Jadhav was indulging in terrorist activities. He is responsible for death of innocents. His execution is as per the law of the land,” Aziz said.