The Telegraph
Friday , May 19 , 2017

Pakistan to change legal team at ICJ

Islamabad, May 19 (PTI): Pakistan will form a new team of lawyers to present its case against Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav at the world court, Sartaj Aziz, the Prime Minister's advisor on foreign affairs, said on Friday as the government faced flak over its handling of the case.

The announcement by Aziz came amid criticism by experts and opposition leaders over the government's handling of the case at the International Court of Justice.

On Thursday, the Hague-based court had stayed the execution of Jadhav, 46, who had been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying.

The United Nations's highest judicial body also asked Pakistan to ensure that Jadhav was not executed till the court had delivered its final verdict on the issue.

The ruling triggered criticism of the Pakistan Foreign Office for handling the case poorly, and also for its choice of UK-based Khawar Qureshi, who represented Pakistan’s case before the ICJ.

Aziz, however, maintained that Qureshi had courageously presented Pakistan's case in the court, The Nation reported.

He said the ICJ had given its point of view on Jadhav's case to get consular access.

”Pakistan’s security is so important and we have to maintain our fundamental sovereign right,” Aziz was quoted as saying by the daily.

Pakistan, which announced the sentence on Jadhav on April 10, claims its security forces arrested him from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was abducted from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. 

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