Islamabad, Apr 19: Pakistani media has reported that Islamabad may file its counter rejoinder on or before July 17 in the ICJ relating to the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April last year on charges of espionage and terrorism.
Pakistan's rejoinder will be in response to a fresh set of pleadings filed by India in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on April 17 relating to the case. The office of Pakistan's attorney general, which is overseeing the case, is expected to receive the copy of the Indian rejoinder in a day or two, Dawn reported.
Khawar Qureshi, who pleaded Pakistan’s case at the initial stage, is expected to plead the case, the report said. India had moved the Hague-based ICJ in May last after Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism. A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
In its written pleadings, India had accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by not giving consular access to Jadhav arguing that the convention did not say that such access would not be available to an individual arrested on espionage charges. In response, Pakistan through its counter memorial told the ICJ that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 applied only to legitimate visitors and did not cover clandestine operations. India has been maintaining that the trial of Jadhav by a military court in Pakistan was "farcical". Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.
However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav's sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India. India had approached the ICJ for "egregious" violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by Pakistan in Jadhav's case. Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the grounds that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.