Pakistan's argument in the case pertaining to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav is "very strong", Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal claimed during a weekly press briefing on Thursday.

Dr Faisal said that India had failed to explain why Jadhav had a passport under the name of Hussein Mubarak and how he was able to travel with it 17 times if it was fake. He also demanded that if Jadhav was indeed a retired naval officer, his retirement details should be shared by India.

"Kulbhushan was arrested from our soil and his confessional statement is on record as well," Dr Faisal said.

Jadhav, an official of India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was arrested in Pakistan on March 3, 2016, during an operation by security forces in Balochistan's Mashkel area. He was suspected of involvement in espionage and sabotage in Pakistan. India, however, maintains that Jadhav is a retired naval officer.

Jadhav was sentenced to death in 2017 by a military tribunal for his involvement in espionage. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and a mercy petition is pending before Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa.

India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for allegedly violating Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by denying consular access to Jadhav immediately after his capture. Pakistan in Dec 2017 hosted Jadhav’s meeting with his wife and mother as a humanitarian gesture.

The court had, soon after accepting the Indian petition, held a single round of oral hearings following which the Pakistan government was restrained from executing Jadhav until its final verdict in the case. Two rounds of written submissions by both parties followed.

Pakistan submitted its second reply to the court on July 17, addressing all questions raised by India. The first response was submitted in Dec 2017.

Dr Faisal today also addressed the matter of a United Nations (UN) report on human rights abuses in Kashmir, describing it as a "victory of Pakistan's foreign policy". The FO spokesperson added that 23 people had been killed by the Indian army in India-held Kashmir last week.

Democracy to prevail in Pakistan

Condemning recent bombings in Peshawar and Mastung, Dr Faisal said that nation would not be deterred by such attacks and the democratic process would continue.

He thanked the nations that offered condolences to Pakistan over the deadly attacks.

Last week, Awami National Party leader Haroon Bilour was killed in a suicide attack, along with 19 others.

Three days later, on July 13, another bomb blast struck a political gathering in Mastung claiming the life of Balochistan Awami Party leader Siraj Raisani and over 149 other people.

It was the deadliest terrorist attack since the 2014 carnage at Peshawar's Army Public School that had killed at least 144 people.

Afghan peace only possible through talks

Dr Faisal reiterated Pakistan's stance that peace in Afghanistan was only possible through talks, saying that military intervention had failed to curb militancy in the country.

"We have to look for a solution to Afghanistan's crisis through talks and diplomacy," he said, adding that the matter of the United States' exit from the region was on the agenda of US peace talks with Afghanistan.

However, he refused to comment on the Afghan Taliban's statement on the recent Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference. The Taliban had criticised the conference that took place earlier this month, saying that the OIC would side with the "invaders" (the US).



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