On Tuesday, Islamabad High Court (IHC) heard the government’s petition seeking the court’s intervention to appoint a lawyer to represent the Indian spy, convicted of espionage in Pakistan, Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav. The representative of the Indian High Commission told the court that while India was deliberating on the matter, it was more interested in securing the release of other prisoners.
The three-member bench of the Islamabad High Court, comprising of Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb, heard the petition.
The lawyer of the Indian High Commission, Barrister Shah Nawaz Noon – who also represents them in another similar case – was asked if he has consulted with his client on whether he (Barrister Noon) can represent Kulbushan Yadav as well.
In response Barrister Noon said that he has communicated the question to the Indian Charge D’ affaires (CdA). He further said that Indian diplomats are holding meetings in Delhi regarding the appointment of a lawyer to Kulbushan Jadhav’s case, but they are more interested in the release of other prisoners.
He assured the court that the Indian CdA is ready to come to court and assist the court in the next hearing in the appointment of lawyer to the Indian spy. He reiterated that Pakistan has still not provided relevant case documents to the Indian High Commission.
Pakistani officials maintain that they can only provide the case documents to the lawyer representing Kulbushan Yadav, and will do so once one has been appointed.
Appearing before the bench, Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP), Khalid Javed Khan said that the AG office is waiting for instructions from the Ministry of Defence pertaining to the release of other prisoners.
The AGP further said that that they (India) are yet to respond on the matter of consular access; if they want to communicate or make any submissions regarding the matter then it has to be through a learned counsel.
CJ IHC Justice Athar Minallah, while giving his remarks on the hearing, said that it is their obligation to fulfil the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) judgement and since the matter is in now in court, it (IHC) will ensure a fair trial.
After hearing all the parties Justice Minallah gave India three weeks to deliberate on the matter and adjourned the case till January 14.