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Pakistan turns down India’s plea for appointing Queen’s Counsel in Jadhav case

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: On Friday Pakistan has rejected Indian Foreign Office plea for appointing “Queens Counsel” by India to represent its spy Kulbushan Jadhav, Foreign Office of Pakistan reported.

Pakistan Foreign Office has said to appoint a lawyer of their own instead of asking for help from Queens Council.

A Queen’s Counsel is a barrister or advocate, appointed as Counsel to the United Kingdom’s Crown on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor that Pakistan has rejected in Kulbhushan espionage and terrorism Case.

Pakistan has claimed that Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav is a serving Indian Navy officer, who was arrested in Baluchistan in March 2016 after crossing over from Iran. He was captured by Pakistan’s armed forces. He was charged with espionage and terrorism, causing unrest in Baluchistan and later was sentenced to death by a military court in April 2017. 

Though Pakistan has extended the time limit of the ordinance, which gives India time to file a case against the death sentence, it is yet to allow Indian lawyers to represent Mr Jadhav, which is one of the key issues. To overcome Pakistan’s objection, India now wants to appoint a Queen’s Counsel and eminent Indian lawyer Harish Salve fits the bill.  

Zahid Hafeez Foreign Office Spokesperson gave remarks saying that, “Allowing a Queen’s Counsel for Jadhav is out of question as only a lawyer with license to practice in Pakistan can appear before the court.”

On the other hand the Indian authorities have pleaded to Pakistan while that, Queen Counsels are recognized in all courts of the world and Mr. Salve has been representing India’s position on consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav in the ICJ.

The FO Spokesperson said India was consistently making efforts to dodge the Jadhav case.

Pakistan had already given “uninterrupted and unimpeded” consular access to Jadhav and was ready to extend the same in future as well, he said.Pakistan has been a target of India’s propaganda based on funding terrorism in the region, fueling cross-border terrorism. Pakistan has decided to raise this issue along with the inhuman atrocities being conducted by Indian armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir on UNSC annual meeting that is scheduled on 25th September, 2020. The FO spokesperson has revealed that the meeting will be attended by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Pakistan had earlier this week extended for 4 months the validity of an ordinance which allows Jadhav to file a review petition. India though looks at the ordinance as a red herring meant to create a “mirage of compliance” with the ICJ judgment.

The FO Spokeperson also addressed the inclusion of five French-made Rafale fighter jets into India Air Force. He termed the development “disturbing” where India continued to accumulate military capabilities beyond its genuine security requirement. He added by saying that this is an attempt to disturb the balance of power in the region as the Rafale jets can be modified and used for nuclear weapon delivery platforms. He also expressed Pakistan’s grave concern over the unchecked military build-up being aided and abetted through a policy of exemptions, waivers and supply of advanced equipment, technology and weapons for narrow commercial interests. The local media asked the FO spokesperson either the government is considering the inclusion of Gilgit-Baltistan as an official 5th province of Pakistan. On which he assured that GB is an ongoing process and this will continue as per the demands of its people.

He also discarded the belief that Pakistan’s such step, if taken, would equal India’s illegal and inhuman change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir that have taken away the basic right of self determination and freedom from the Kashmiris. “The Indian actions are in clear violation of the UN Security Council resolutions and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention,” he said.

He also clarifies the official status of both states as per international laws. He said that Jammu and Kashmir is under illegal occupation where human rights violations and conditions to survive are cruel.

The FO Spokesperson said this year, India had committed 2280 ceasefire violations to date, resulting in martyrdom of 18 and serious injuries to 183 innocent civilians. He assured that Pakistan will always comply with the UN resolutions and the respect the will of people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

He further explained the stance of Pakistan on the wave of “recognizing Israel as a state” that is currently at hype in the Middle East. He said that “There is no change in Pakistan’s principled position on Palestine”

“We have an abiding commitment to the full realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination,” he said. FO Spokesperson also highlighted Pakistan’s grace concern over the increasing violence against Pakistani either Muslims or Hindus in India. He said that, it was emphasized that since the victims of “Jodhpur Incident” were Pakistan nationals, it was incumbent upon the Government of Pakistan to be fully aware of the circumstances under which its nationals died in India.

The statement revealed by MOFA ordered the Indian authorities, it states that, “it was underscored that in the interest of justice to the bereaved family and also to ensure the safety and security of other Pakistani nationals in India, it was of utmost importance for the Government of India to be fully transparent about this unfortunate incident.”

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