Islamabad, May 19: A day after the International Court of Justice ruled in India’s favour, Pakistan moved to The Hague, seeking rehearing of the case against Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav. Pakistan, in its petition, appealed the international court to revisit the matter within next six weeks, reported Pakistani media.
According to Dunya News, the international court is bound to accept Islamabad’s plea seeking a rehearing in the matter. The channel claims that Pakistan would again be represented by advocate Khawar Qureshi, who drew immense flak within the nation after the ICJ’s preliminary order went in Kulbhushan’s favour.
In the verdict released on Thursday, the 15-judge bench headed by ICJ president Ronny Abraham instructed Pakistan to stay the hanging of Kulbhushan till the matter remains under its jurisdiction. “Pakistan shall ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed till the final verdict is out,” the statement released by ICJ said. The court also observed that Pakistan has so far made “no assurance” that it would stay the death penalty of Kulbhushan even after the expiry of clemency period.
However, Islamabad’s stand remained unchanged following the ICJ order. Pakistan’s Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali said the verdict issued by the international court is “not binding upon anyone”. The claim was refuted by India’s Ministry of External Affairs. “Pakistan should read the verdict carefully. It is legally binding upon all parties involved,” said MEA spokesperson Gopal Bagley.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry accused India of misleading the ICJ bench by presenting the case of Kulbhushan “from a humanitarian angle”. Their spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said the ICJ should had considered Kulbhushan a “terrorist” before granting him provisional relief. “Kulbhushan is responsible for the death of scores of civilians in Pakistan,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Indian establishment welcomed the momentary relief granted to Kulbhushan by international court. “This is a major victory for Indian diplomacy. Pakistan’s lies have been exposed before the world,” said Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, expressing hope that final order in the case would also be in Kulbhushan’s favour.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated the efforts taken by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her colleagues. In a telephonic conversation with her, PM Modi acknowledged the efforts taken by senior Supreme Court advocate Harish Salve, who is representing Kulbhushan at The Hague.
According to Salve, the preliminary verdict by ICJ is a major setback to Pakistan, and sets the stage for India to escalate efforts for bringing back Kulbhushan. “If it is in his destiny, then Kulbhushan would definitely come back home to India,” Salve said, while speaking to NDTV.
Kulbhushan was held by Pakistan’s security forces in March last year. He was reportedly arrested from the restive region of Balochistan. However, India has contested the claim, alleging Kulbhushan was arrested by Pakistan’s ISI from Chabahar port of Iran. On April 10, a Pakistani military court sentenced Kulbhushan to death for espionage, terrorism and subversive activities.
Kulbhushan could apply before the appellate court by tomorrow. Within 60 days of the appellate court’s order, he could file a mercy petition before the Pakistan Army chief. If the Army chief rejects his mercy petition, Kulbhushan would be provided additional 90 days to file a plea before the Pakistani President.