Govt told to contact India for appointment of Jadhav lawyer

Published January 15, 2021
Jadhav — a serving commander of the Indian Navy associated with Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan on allegations of espionage and terrorism. — INP/File
Jadhav — a serving commander of the Indian Navy associated with Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan on allegations of espionage and terrorism. — INP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday asked the federal government to contact the Indian government to know whether it is willing to appoint a lawyer for the detained Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav or otherwise.

The IHC bench, comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, was hearing a petition of the law ministry seeking appointment of a defence counsel for Jadhav.

Deputy Attorney General Syed Mohammad Tayyab informed the court that Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan was busy in the Supreme Court in connection with the hearing of a presidential reference on Senate elections and he was unable to argue the Jadhav case in the IHC.

The court then adjourned the hearing of the case till Feb 3.

IHC hears case of another Indian spy

Commander Jadhav was a spy of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) who was arrested in Balochistan in March, 2016. A Field General Court Martial awarded him death sentence on April 10, 2017 for fomenting terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi.

India later moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the verdict and the ICJ on May 18, 2017, stayed the execution of Jadhav pending the final judgement in the case. On July 17, 2019, the ICJ rejected India’s appeal for Jadhav’s release, but also ordered Pakistan to suspend the execution.

It also ruled that Pakistan would have to review the entire process of trial and conviction and provide India with consular access to the spy. This year, Pakistan also promulgated the ICJ (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance, 2020, to comply with the ICJ verdict.

The IHC bench also heard the case of another Indian prisoner spy Ismail on Thursday.

The deputy attorney general informed the court that the interior ministry had given no objection certificate (NoC) to him and he was likely to be released on Jan 22 through the Wagah border.

The court had inquired about the detention of spy Ismail even after completion of his sentence awarded by the Field General Court Martial.

Mr Tayyab informed the court that the interior ministry had written a letter to the Home Department of Sindh for release of the Indian prisoner.

As per the letter, he said, spy Ismail would be released through the Wagah border on Jan 22.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2021

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