has launched a “review and reconsideration process” in the case of an alleged
Indian spy, Commander Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, following a verdict by the
International Court of Justice in July 2019 that asked the country to
reevaluate the entire process of the trial and give India consular access to
the prisoner, said Foreign Office Spokesman Dr. Muhammad Faisal.
Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 from the volatile Baluchistan province during a counter-intelligence operation. According to Pakistani authorities, Jadhav confessed to his involvement in subversive activities and espionage against the country and admitted that he was working for Research and Analysis Wing which was outright denied by India and said that he was a retired Navy officer.
Tried by a Field General Court Martial in
Islamabad, Jadhav was found guilty and sentenced to death a little more than a
year after his arrest in April 2017. However, New Delhi approached the ICJ
within a month of his sentence and the world court asked Pakistan to stay his
execution pending a final decision.
On Thursday, FO spokesperson Dr. Faisal said that Pakistan had begun its internal “review and reconsideration process” regarding the death penalty handed down by the military court, though he declined to give details of the legal procedure.
Talking to Arab News in August this year, a leading international law expert, Ahmer Bilal Soofi, said “the review could be done by the appellant court or the high court in exercise of writ petition or it could also be a special bench.”
He added that Jadhav’s “lawyer should be a Pakistani national because under the Pakistan Bar Council’s rules no foreign lawyer can appear before the Pakistani court.”
His assertion was also substantiated by another lawyer, Yasser Hamdani, who noted that “the ICJ verdict makes it very clear that a civilian court will be a necessity in the matter.”
However, he maintained it was not clear how the review process would work since a decision of the military court could not be taken up by the superior civilian judiciary under the Army Act. “Ultimately, Pakistan will have to constitute a special tribunal by making another law,” Hamdani said.