Islamabad [Pakistan], October 12: Pakistan has appointed former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani as ad-hoc judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to represent Pakistan in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
Justice Jilani, who served as Chief Justice of Pakistan from December 11, 2013, to July 5, 2014, is the cousin of former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani.
The procedures of the ICJ allow a party to nominate a judge as ad-hoc in circumstances where there is no judge of the court that has the party’s nationality.
Under Article 13 of the ICJ, Pakistan can send an ad-hoc judge. The team of lawyers to defend Pakistan’s side was previously led by renowned lawyer Khawar Qureshi, local media reported.
The government of Pakistan was criticised back home for not exercising the option to put a Pakistani judge on the panel to defend their side.
Currently, there is no judge of the court that has Pakistani nationality; whereas Judge Bhandari from India sits as a judge of the court.
The ICJ will now notify India that former Chief Justice Jilani has been nominated by Pakistan to sit as a judge ad hoc of the court in the Jadhav case.
The ICJ has given Pakistan the deadline of December 13 to submit its counter-plea or counter-memorial, after which the final proceedings on the issue will commence. The hearing of the case is expected to be fixed at the start of next year or end of this year.
Indian has accused Islamabad of violating the Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access and for being in breach of international human rights law.
The ICJ on May 18 halted the execution of Jadhav. On April 10, Jadhav was given the death sentence by a military court in Pakistan for alleged “espionage and subversive activities”.
New Delhi has appealed to the court to impose emergency measures for Jadhav’s execution to be suspended until the legal battle in Hague concludes.
Pakistan claims it arrested Jadhav in March last year from its restive Balochistan province, where the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor culminates.
India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.