October 12 , 2017

Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Justice Jillani appointed as ICJ ad hoc judge

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday informed the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that it had decided to designate Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, former Chief Justice of Pakistan, to be its ad hoc judge in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

Wednesday also saw, for the first time, India being invited to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) contact group meeting on Afghanistan “to discuss the war-torn country’s security situation, economic potential and development”.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer, arrested from Balochistan, is presently on the death row after a military court tried him for terrorist activities inside Pakistan.

Earlier in May, India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) where it accused Pakistan of denying it consular access to its official which, it said, was a violation of the Vienna Convention.

At the time, spokesman at the Foreign Office had commented that India was trying to highlight the "humanitarian" aspect of Kulbhushan Jadhav case in the ICJ to cover up its alleged "subversive activities" in the country.

India submitted its memorial on the Jadhav case in the ICJ on Tuesday while Pakistan would submit its counter memorial by December 13. The court will now notify India that former Chief Justice Jillani had been nominated by Pakistan to sit as an ad hoc judge of the court in the Jadhav case.

"Justice Jillani served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan from July 31, 2004 to December 11, 2013 and subsequently as the 21st Chief Justice of Pakistan from December 11, 2013 until July 5, 2014”, spokesman at the Foreign Office said in a statement.

The procedures of the ICJ allow a party to nominate an ad hoc judge in circumstances where there is no judge of the court that has that party’s nationality. “Currently, there is no judge of the court that has Pakistani nationality; whereas Judge Bhandari from India sits as a judge of the court. Those appointed as ad hoc judge are treated as having the same authority on the court as any of the sitting judges," explained the spokesman.

Meanwhile, in unrelated news, Pakistan on Wednesday shared the table with India when Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua participated in the meeting of the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan held at the Deputy Foreign Minister level in Moscow.

Attending for the first time, analysts pointed to the growing role of India in Afghanistan, a move that is being pushed by Washington. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov chaired the meeting while deputy foreign ministers of Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, India and the representatives of SCO and its relevant bodies attended the meeting.

“The foreign secretary underlined the challenges being faced by Afghanistan, including the deteriorating security situation marked by increasing ungoverned spaces being used to provide sanctuary to terrorist groups like Daesh, al-Qaeda, TTP and JuA and increasing drug production which threatened Afghanistan’s neighbours," the spokesman at the Foreign Office said.

She stressed the need for making serious efforts for a negotiated settlement between the Afghan government and Taliban for achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan. The foreign secretary also emphasised the importance of early return of Afghan refugees and combating drug production and trafficking, which continued to affect the stability of Afghanistan and the region.

The members of the SCO Contact Group exchanged views on ways and means to support peace and stability in Afghanistan through facilitating the Afghan-led peace process, assisting the Afghan government in dealing with security and counter-terrorism challenges and promoting regional economic integration and connectivity. They unanimously supported measures for strengthening interaction between Afghanistan and the SCO countries.



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