Pakistan has received the written pleadings submitted before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by India in the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said on Friday.
Earlier this week, India’s foreign ministry had confirmed that the country has submitted its pleadings to the United Nations’ (UN) top court.
A team of lawyers and experts, headed by Attorney General Ashtar Ausuf, are considering India’s pleadings, the spokesperson said.
Zakaria added that Pakistan will submit its counter-memorial to the UN court soon, in which it will highlight the acts of espionage and terrorism committed by Jadhav in Pakistan.
In May 2017, India had moved the UN’s top court against Pakistan after Jadhav — accused of espionage and subversive activities in Pakistan — was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial.
India accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav and requested the ICJ to ensure that Jadhav’s death sentence is suspended. It also alleged that it was “not informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest,” and learned about his death sentence through the media.
During a hearing at the ICJ on May 15, the court had stayed Jadhav’s execution. “Pakistan should take all measures to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed till the final decision of this court,” the court had ruled.
The ICJ is yet to pass the final verdict in the case and had ordered India and Pakistan to file their pleas and counter-arguments by Sept 13 and Dec 13, respectively.
Jadhav’s arrest and confessions
Jadhav was reportedly arrested in Pakistan on March 3, 2016, during an operation in Balochistan’s Mashkel area, for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan. India, however, maintains that Jadhav is a retired naval officer.
In March 2016, shortly after his arrest, Jadhav’s confessional statement was aired on television by then head of Inter-Services Public Relations Lt Gen Asim Bajwa, in which the spy admitted his involvement in terror activities in Balochistan and Karachi.
Terming the Indian spy’s arrest a ‘big achievement’, Bajwa said at the time that Jadhav was directly handled by the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief, the Indian National Security Adviser and the RAW joint secretary.
“His goal was to disrupt the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with Gwadar port as a special target,” Bajwa had said, adding: “This is nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism… There can be no clearer evidence of Indian interference in Pakistan.”
“If an intelligence or an armed forces officer of this rank is arrested in another country, it is a big achievement,” Bajwa had said, before going on to play a video of Jadhav confessing to Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) involvement in Balochistan separatist activities in Pakistan.
In a second ‘confessional video’ released by ISPR this year, Jadhav detailed crimes he had sought absolution for.
Jadhav was tried by an FGCM under Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act and Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act of 1923.
Jadhav had ‘confessed’ before a magistrate and court that he was tasked by Indian spy agency RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities seeking to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for the restoration of peace in Balochistan and Karachi, according to the ISPR.