Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed the International Court of Justice at The Hague that Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf Ali will lead the team in the Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
A communication issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed the ICJ registrar at Peace Palace, The Hague, that Ausaf would be the agent for Pakistan in the case whereas Foreign Affairs Director General Dr Mohammad Faisal would continue to act as co-agent, the Dawn reported.
India has been asked to present its written arguments by 13 September to back its petition in the UN court to seek release of its national Kulbhushan Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. While Pakistan will get three months to rebut the Indian version in writing before the International Court of Justice on 13 December,2017
The ICJ had on May 18 stayed the execution of 46-year-old Jadhav, who was sentenced to death last month by a Pakistan military court that convicted him of alleged spying and subversive activities.
From Pakistan side, Ausaf Ali will open arguments or present a framework followed by the legal team in the ICJ. This also means that all future exchanges or information between Pakistan and the ICJ will be made through the AG office.
Earlier, Ausaf had informed the world court about Pakistan's intention to appoint an ad hoc judge to the ICJ bench for all proceedings, including the substantive hearing in the Jadhav case.
Pakistan raised the confession statement of Jadhav as a base of its argument and accused India of using the ICJ for its political theatrics. India termed that the confession of Jadhav was forcibly taken by the military while in captivity and he was tried by a military court in Pakistan.
India approached the ICJ citing that it had been repeatedly denied consular access to Jadhav in violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention.
Amjad Shoaib, an ex-ISI official and a retired Lieutenant General of the Pakistan Army, has acknowledged India's claim that Kulbhushan Jadhav was captured from Iran.
Pakistan claimed that Jadhav was captured in Balochistan in March last year, had confessed to his association with India's spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and his involvement in espionage and fomenting terrorism in Pakistan. The Field General Court Martial sentenced him to death which was confirmed by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on April 10 this year.
The military court of appeal has already rejected Jadhav's appeal against the death penalty. He later filed a mercy petition with the army chief which is under consideration, the Dawn reported.