Pak HC fixes hearing on appointment of defence council for Kulbhushan Jadhav on Oct 6

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has fixed the hearing of the case related to the appointment of defence counsel for Kulbhushan Jadhav on October 6, ARY News reported.

The hearing will be held by a larger bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Amir Farooq, and Justice Mian Gull Hassan Aurangzeb.

This comes after Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson had earlier rejected India’s demand for an Indian lawyer or a Queen’s counsel.

In September, the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan had directed the federal government to give India another chance to appoint a lawyer to represent Jadhav and adjourned hearing for a month.

Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said that Pakistan has not been able to fulfil its obligations on implementation of ICJ judgment in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and has not yet addressed core issues including provision of all documents and unimpeded access.

He said that Pakistan has also not addressed the appointment of an Indian lawyer or a Queen’s counsel to ensure a free and fair trial for Jadhav.

“The Government of Pakistan has not been able to fulfil its obligations on implementation of the ICJ judgment in letter and spirit. It has not yet addressed the core issues, which includes the provision of all documents related to the case, providing unconditional and unimpeded consular access to Kulbhusan Jadhav and appointment of an Indian lawyer or a Queen’s counsel to ensure a free and fair trial,” Srivastava had said at a press briefing.

India said Pakistan should provide for an unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional consular access and that the meeting of Indian officials with Jadhav should take place in an atmosphere free from fear of retribution.

India also said that any conversation between Jadhav and High Commission officials must necessarily take place in privacy and without the presence of any Pakistani official or recording by Pakistan.

Pakistan claims that Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan in 2016 on charges of espionage. India has rejected Pakistan’s allegations and said he was kidnapped from the Iranian port of Chabahar. In early 2017, a Pakistani military court sentenced him to death.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) had upheld India’s claim that Pakistan has committed an egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations on several counts.

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