Kulbhushan Jadhav's confessions are 'highly credible', Pakistan claims at ICJ

The four-day hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case opened on Monday at the ICJ headquarters in The Hague.

Kulbhushan Jadhav's confessions are 'highly credible', Pakistan claims at ICJ
Image Courtesy: Reuters

The Hague: Pakistan on Tuesday began submitting its arguments before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court.

According to news Agency ANI, Pakistan's Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan started the proceedings on Tuesday by submitting his arguments in Kulbhushan Jadhav case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Khan also alleged that India was behind 2014 Peshawar school attack during the Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing at the ICJ court.

Islamabad had on Monday claimed that India did not provide answers to the key questions it raised at the ICJ regarding Jadhav, who has been accused of spying by the Pakistani authorities.   

After Khan, Pakistan's lawyer Khawar Qureshi started submitting his arguments before the ICJ. Qureshi accused Jadhav of collaborating with several locals and non-state actors to carry out suicide bombings inside Pakistan in order to create unrest and hamper the progress of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is bringing development to Pakistan. He added that Jadhav did all this on India's behest.

“Since 1947 India has consistently pursued the policy to destroy Pakistan. India has blocked the water of Indus river which is in clear violation of the Indus water treaty. On humanitarian grounds we allowed the family of Jadhav to meet his family. I ask India to present one example as to when they have given such access to a person arrested in espionage,” Qureshi told the ICJ.

Qureshi tried to argue against India's submission that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, saying that India's claim is ridiculous. He said that India's demand of release and return for Jadhav is a 'modest' claim''. "I have had the honour and privilege to represent India in the past, but the incarnation of the country before this court is not one I recognise," Qureshi says. He claimed that India has lodged the proceedings in Jadhav's case for political gains and the ICJ should dismiss the case.

Qureshi noted that claim for Jadhav's immediate release is outlandish. "Developments in customary international law not consistent with India's position on Article 36 of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. There is a confession by Jadhav before a judicial magistrate. He was also convicted under Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act for terrorist activities in 2014. India has glossed over these matters," he said.

The Pakistani lawyer then raised some questions. "When did Jadhav retire and at what age? What evidence is there that Jadhav retired from the Armed Forces? Why was he is possession of an authentic Indian passport with a cover name?"

Qureshi told the ICJ that in his admission before Pakistani security agencies, Jadhav has admitted that he was a serving officer due to retire in 2022. He said that it is a pity that India attempts to block the truth every time.

Invoking one of the old statements of Indian NSA Ajit Doval, Qureshi outlined Doval's quotes where he spoke about "how to tackle Pakistan". During a 2014 speech, Doval has said, "Pakistan's vulnerability is many times higher than that of India. Once they know that India has shifted its gear from the defensive mode to defensive offence, they will find that it is unaffordable for them. You can do one Mumbai, you may lose Balochistan. There is no nuclear war involved and there is no troops engagement. If you know the tricks, we know the tricks better than you."

The Pakistan lawyer said that India has so far "failed to provide an explanation for how Kulbhushan Jadhav was able to travel in and out of India with a passport with a false name."

Claiming that Jadhav's confession are 'highly credible', Qureshi said, "We have to thank India for wanting to help clarify law as to consequences of illegal conduct. But allegations of espionage are rare. Confession is highly credible. The position of India is disavow language. And the passport, we mustn't forget. What is India's explanation for his passport?"

"India came to this court demanding provision of measures without a hearing. India hoped that Pakistan wouldn't appear, but it did. Why didn't India notify Pakistan of a dispute?" Qureshi remarked.

While making his concluding arguments, Qureshi said that the evidence before the ICJ manifests abuse of rights, lack of good faith, illegality, lack of clean hands and misrepresentation.

The hearing will resume again on Wednesday and India will again put forth its statements in defence of Jadhav.

The four-day hearing in the Jadhav case opened on Monday at the ICJ headquarters in The Hague amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group that killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers.

On the first day of the hearing, India urged the ICJ to annul Jadhav's death sentence and order his immediate release, saying the verdict by a Pakistani military court based on a "farcical case" hopelessly fails to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process.

(with ANI inputs)