Pak National Assembly gives Kulbhushan right of appeal against his conviction, death sentence

1 week ago 21
google news Flipboard

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

ISLAMABAD: The Imran Khan-led Pakistan government has finally delivered on speculation that circulating in the country for many months that it would help India on the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue through legislation by providing him a right of appeal in a civilian court against a death sentence handed down to him by a military court.
Amid a ruckus by opposition lawmakers, the government bulldozed the Jadhav-related bill, along with 20 other bills, through the National Assembly on Thursday.
The opposition members staged a walkout and pointed out a lack of quorum three times, but each time the chair declared the house in order and continued business. This forced the opposition to resort to a noisy protest. They gathered in front of the speaker’s dais and started raising slogans like "Modi ka jo yaar hai gaddar hai, gaddar hai (Whoever is Modi’s friend is a traitor)" and "Kulbhushan ko phansi do (Hang Kulbhushan)".
A Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker, Ahsan Iqbal, claimed the government had included the bill in the heavy legislative agenda to provide relief to the alleged Indian spy.
The bill, "The International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Bill, 2020", was moved by law minister Farogh Naseem in the house.
In July 2019, the ICJ had observed in its judgment that Pakistan was under an obligation to provide an effective review and reconsideration opportunity to Jadhav against his conviction and sentence. In order to give full effect to the said judgment, the law minister said, it was necessary to provide a mechanism for review and reconsideration of Pakistan’s own choice. "This can be done by law only," Naseem said, adding that it was mandatory to bring legislation in order to provide fresh consular access to Jadhav under the ICJ decision.
Opposition members accused the government of giving an "NRO" to Kulbhushan, while the minister alleged that they were speaking the language of India and meeting its objectives. The NRO refers to the National Reconciliation Order under which Benazir Bhutto (and many others) were able to return to Pakistan from exile as cases against them were dropped. The term is now commonly used to describe an attempt to use an ordinance to allow someone to escape the legal process.
Naseem said he was shocked at the opposition’s behaviour and it seemed that the opposition had not read the ICJ verdict. "Had we not promulgated the ordinance and now not moved for passage of the legislation, India could have approached the UN Security Council and moved the ICJ to take action against Pakistan for contempt of court," the law minister said.
Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the opposition parties were speaking India’s language. "India wants us to not pass this legislation, while the opposition members are following the same agenda," he said.
The government had already enforced the law through promulgation of an ordinance in May last year, soon after the ICJ verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
Amid stiff resistance from opposition parties, the National Assembly’s standing committee on law and justice had approved on October 21 last year the bill seeking a review of Jadhav’s conviction.
Jadhav, according to Pakistan, was arrested on March 3, 2016 from Balochistan’s Mashkhel area. New Delhi, however, said he was a retired Indian Navy officer abducted from Iran.
A secret Pakistan military court had sentenced him to death in April 2017. His appeals against his conviction had been rejected by the military appellate court. On India’s appeal, the ICJ had stopped Pakistan from executing him.

FacebookTwitterLinkedinEMail

  1. Homepage
  2. India