21 Feb 2019 5:43 PM GMT
On the fourth day of hearing of Kulbhushan Jadhav's case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Pakistan submitted its closing arguments.Referring to arguments advanced for India by Harish Salve, Khawar Qureshi for Pakistan said that India did not make any substantive arguments, and failed to "respond to evidence"."India persists in contumelious conduct. India fails to...
On the fourth day of hearing of Kulbhushan Jadhav's case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Pakistan submitted its closing arguments.
Referring to arguments advanced for India by Harish Salve, Khawar Qureshi for Pakistan said that India did not make any substantive arguments, and failed to "respond to evidence".
"India persists in contumelious conduct. India fails to engage with the evidence that states made an exception to espionage prior to the VCCR being adopted — that state practice was unaffected by VCCR", Qureshi said sharply.
He said that espionage is a well accepted exception in customary law for the right of consular access. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations has not codified or crystallised the entire customary law on the subject. The 2008 bilateral treaty between India and Pakistan also provided for exclusion of consular access in cases of espionage and terrorism, he submitted.
There was overwhelming evidence to show that Jadhav was a spy, acting under the plan of National Security Advisor Ajith Doval. He called Ajit Doval "India's self-styled superspy" and said that if Doval were to come to London, there is a vacancy for an actor to play James Bond.
Pakistan has a robust judicial system, Qureshi asserted. It is wrong on India's part to disparage Pakistani military courts. Military courts follow the same rules of procedure and evidence as civilian courts. Jadhav's confession was recorded as per Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure by a Magistrate, who was called as a witness in the trial, said the Pakistani counsel.
Right to fair trial is an absolute right under Pakistani Constitution, he affirmed.
Apart from the convicted case, Jadhav is an accused in an FIR for terrorism, which is in the civilian domain, Qureshi submitted.
He said that Jadhav himself has not sought for any review. He was afforded right to fair trial, and was given legal assistance, Qureshi claimed.
"Pakistan has maintained dignity throughout these proceedings... and not allowed itself to be provoked," he said during the arguments.
"India's position is as devoid of legal merit now as it was on 8 May 2017(when ICJ stayed Jadhav's execution). India's claim of relief remains as far fetched now as it was then," Qureshi said while concluding.
Agent of Pakistan, Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan then made closing statement.
Attorney General of Pakistan
To paint India as a perpetrator of human rights violations, Qureshi cited 2002 Gujarat riots, Samjautha express blast case, alleged human rights violations by use of pellet guns in Kashmir, Kathua case and also alleged use of Armed Forces Special Powers Act to block investigation against excesses committed by armed forces.
He hit out at Salve for his remarks about lack of trained independent judges and proper review system in Pakistan. In this context, Qureshi brought up the case of Afzal Guru. He said that Guru was awarded death penalty by the Supreme Court to satisfy the collective conscience of the society. Is that a constitutional ground to hang anyone, he asked?
"When we talk of the unfortunate incident of Pulwama... India has become the judge and executioner and call themselves the victim without any evidence... Pakistan has the right to ask for proof", Khan said.
Before concluding, he prayed for rejection of relief to India.
ICJ President Abdulqaqi Ahmed Yusuf then declared the oral proceedings closed, bringing curtains to the eventful hearing held over four days.
Read here the report of Indian arguments on Day 1.
Read here the report of Pakistan arguments on Day 2.
Read here the report of Indian reply on Day 3.