The International Court of Justice on Tuesday heard the case of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case in The Hague. Pakistan presented its arguments and claimed India was seeking relief for a terrorist, and urged the court to dismiss the case.
On Day 1 of the hearings on Monday, India had sought Jadhav’s release from a Pakistani prison.
Jadhav is on death row in Pakistan after being charged with spying for India in 2016. India had moved the international court against the death sentence in May 2017, after which his execution was stayed.
Arguing for India on Monday, Harish Salve said Islamabad’s conduct does not inspire confidence that Jadhav will get justice in Pakistan. The hearings will continue on February 20 and 21 as well, when both countries will make a second round of arguments.
Here are the day’s updates:
5.30 pm: The second day of hearing concludes. The next round of oral arguments will continue on Wednesday, when India will present its final submissions.
5.28 pm: “This case is not about consular access,” says Qureshi. “It is about political theatre, grandstanding. It is an impermissible use of the court.” He concludes his arguments and asks the court to dismiss the case.
5.20 pm: Based on the evidence, India’s application should be “declared inadmissible”, says Qureshi. These are his concluding arguments.
5.17 pm: Qureshi says India’s claims that “Pakistan does not have an appellate procedure by which a trained independent judge dispassionately review the findings of a military court” is offensive and patronising. The High Court of Peshawar has set aside over 70 convictions and sentences handed down by military courts, he says.
5.04 pm: India’s claim for “at least” acquittal, release and return is outlandish, says Qureshi.
5.01 pm: Qureshi asks why India did not raise a dispute back in 2016 and why it went to the International Court of Justice for provisional measures. Qureshi claims it is proven that Jadhav is a spy. “Why choose someone sitting nine hours away from Pakistan in Chhabahar and kidnap him and force him to give a confession,” Qureshi asks.
“Allegations of espionage are extremely rare,” says Qureshi. “His [Jadhav’s] confession is highly credible and he was equipped with a state-sponsored campaign of violence and terror in Pakistan, namely the passport.”
4.49 pm: Qureshi criticises India’s pleadings and the language used. “There’s a lot of flowery language in India’s pleadings, but not much by way of substance,” the Pakistani counsel says.
4.47 pm: India has furnished no evidence that Jadhav is an Indian national despite repeated requests, says Qureshi. “No general practice accepted as law by states to provide consular access in cases of espionage,” he says.
4.43 pm: Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi defends the Pakistani military court that convicted Kulbhushan Jadhav. “Their operation is not considered to be manifestly unfair,” he tells the court. He points out examples from the US and USSR, where consular access was not provided in espionage cases under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
4.32 pm: The hearing resumes. The hearings are being held under the presidency of Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.
4.15 pm: The court is adjourned for a short break.
4.10 pm: Referring to claims that Jadhav did not look well when his family met him, Qureshi says: “I do wish Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh well for his future as a fantasy fiction writer.” India had described Jadhav’s face as “puffy” and claimed his behaviour was “hyperactive”, as if he was not in his senses and “under the influence of something”.
3.54 pm: Qureshi points to “distortions” in India’s filings. “We tried to give India every opportunity to correct these distortions,” he says. “You can’t dismiss the truth.” Qureshi says India dismissed arrogantly every opportunity to clarify or correct claims.
3.50 pm: Qureshi the burden of proof to prove or disprove the authenticity of Jadhav’s passport has shifted to India.
Qureshi says NSA Ajit Doval was the “guiding hand” behind Jadhav. He says Jadhav was an “instrument of India’s official policy of terror.”
3.47 pm: Qureshi says Jadhav has left behind a trail of destruction in Pakistan. He has admitted that he was a serving officer due for retirement in 2022, Qureshi says.
3.43 pm: An expert, David Westgate, authenticated Jadhav’s passport and said it was not a counterfeit, says Qureshi. Pakistan had asked India to explain how the passport could be described a forgery after the expert’s report.
3.40 pm: Qureshi says India has failed to provide an explanation on how Jadhav was able to travel frequently “to and from India using an authentic Indian passport bearing a false identity in a Muslim name”.
3.38 pm: India violated a fundamental obligation by failing to engage with the Mutual Legal Assistance request dated January 23, 2017, says Qureshi.
3.36 pm: Qureshi says India needs to explain how Jadhav is an Indian national and provide evidence of the same by submitting a copy of Jadhav’s actual passport.
3.34 pm: Qureshi lists out “three abuses” India has made in the case. “India has demonstrated a lack of faith throughout these proceedings... good faith is part of international law,” he says.
3.31 pm: “The crux of the matter is the reason why India creates people like Commander Jadhav,” says Qureshi. “India has deployed this process for political theatre.”
3.30 pm: Qureshi cites a statement by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in 2014. Doval had outlined how he “wanted to tackle” Pakistan.
3.23 pm: Qureshi refers to Indian media coverage of Jadhav case, cites stories by journalists by Karan Thapar and Praveen Swami in The Indian Express and Frontline.
3.19 pm: Qureshi says India resists answering questions about when Jadhav retired from the Indian Navy. India also has not given evidence to prove Jadhav retired and has not answered why Jadhav was in possession of an authentic Indian passport with a cover name, Qureshi says.
3.16 pm: Qureshi says India’s claim for Jadhav’s immediate release is outlandish. “India’s proposition is absurd and nonsensical,” he says.
3.12 pm: Qureshi says India has continued to assert without a molecule of evidence that Jadhav had retired from the Indian Armed Forces. “I have had the honour and privilege to represent India in many cases before this Court,” he says. “This incarnation of India is one that I do not recognise.”
3.10 pm: Qureshi says there are blatant misrepresentations in India’s pleadings and evidence given before the International Court of Justice. India has failed to explain why Jadhav was allowed to travel for 17 times on a fake passport, he says.
3.07 pm: Qureshi says this case has exposed indecency. “India never established that Jadhav is an Indian national,” he says. “Developments in customary international law are not consistent with India’s position on Article 36 of Vienna Convention on consular relations.”
3.05 pm: Queen’s Counsel Khawar Qureshi says Jadhav has confessed before a judicial magistrate and was convicted under Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act for terrorist activities in 2014. “India has glossed over these matters,” he says, according to Bar and Bench.
3.03 pm: Pakistan wishes peace and peaceful neighbourhood but does not deter us to protect our motherland, says Khan.
3 pm: Khan challenges India to quote a similar example where person involved in espionage and terrorism has been granted access to family on humanitarian grounds as Pakistan has for Commander Jadhav
2.59 pm: “Commander Jadhav’s activities are an actual manifestation of Indian policy,” Khan says. “Since 1947, India has pursued a policy of destroying Pakistan. This has taken several forms and manifestations over the past few years... the Indian PM Narendra Modi is on record to have said using water as a weapon against Pakistan.”
India seeks relief for a terrorist in its petition to the ICJ, Khan says.
2.55 pm: Kulbhushan Jadhav carried out bombings, targetted operations, kidnapping and unlawful activities to create an anarchy in Pakistan and target the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, says Khan.
2.51 pm: The Indian state-sponsored terrorism has been the order of the day, says Khan. “India... continues to be training an anti-Pakistan militia and funded them to attack East Pakistan,” he says.
Watch the hearings LIVE here.
2.50 pm: Khan says Research and Analysis Wing entered Pakistan with a pre-determined aim to cause terrorism in Balochistan. Kulbhushan Jadhav has admitted this in a competent court, he says.
2.47 pm: Khan says Pakistan is committed to peaceful resolution to all outstanding disputes with India. Pakistan has suffered 74,000 casualties mainly due to interference from India.
2.45 pm: Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan says he will highlight the inconsistencies and contradictions in the case.
2.25 pm: Reports have claimed that former Pakistan Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani is unlikely to sit on the bench as he is unwell. Pakistan might seek an adjournment in the case.
2.22 pm: Arguing India’s case on Monday, counsel Harish Salve said Pakistan has no substantive defence in the matter and that the country has violated the Vienna Convention. He demanded that Jadhav’s continued custody without consular access be declared unlawful.
Salve claimed that Jadhav had not been given a lawyer and his purported confession appeared to be coaxed. He sought Jadhav’s release and the annulment of his conviction.
2.20 pm: One round of hearing, when India argued its case, took place on Monday. Pakistan will present its case on Tuesday from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm. On Wednesday, India will kick off the second round of oral arguments at 7.30 pm Indian time, and Pakistan will respond on Thursday from 9 pm.
2.15 pm: After Jadhav was sentenced to death, India moved the International Court of Justice against the verdict in May 2017. The court stayed his execution, but a final verdict is pending. In October last year, the International Court of Justice had said it will hold hearings from February 18 to February 21 in the Peace Palace at The Hague in the Netherlands, the seat of the court.