Pakistan has nominated Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, its former chief justice, as ad-hoc judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to represent Pakistan in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and has written communicated the same to the ICJ, a Radio Pakistan report said quoting Pakistan's Foreign Office.
The official announcement came after Prime minister of Pakistan endorsed the decision by Pakistan's law ministry in this regard. Jilani, who retired from the Supreme Court of Pakistan in July 2014, will now defend Pakistan's side in the case which was previously being handled by Khawar Qureshi, a Pakistani-origin practicing lawyer and judge in Britain who once represented India against Enron in an international arbitration case on Dabhol power plant closure which India eventually lost.
The ICJ Statute allows appointment of judges on its tribunal from the countries that are directly engaged in a dispute, like here India and Pakistan are in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. According to a Dawn report, Jilani served as a Judge in the Supreme Court of Pakistan from July 31, 2004 to December 11, 2013 before being elevated as the country's 21st chief justice on December 11, 2013.
The 12-member ICJ tribunal hearing the Kulbhushan Jadhav case has an Indian, former Supreme Court of India Justice Dalveer Bhandari, in the panel of judges that passed the order on May 18 putting a stay of Jadhav's execution till final orders by the ICJ. The government of Pakistan was criticised back home for not exercising the option to put a Pakistani judge on the panel to defend the Pakistani side.
Forced by the criticism and loss of face when India won the round one of the case, the government of Pakistan then seriously began to look for someone who could represent it at the ICJ.
Kulbhushan Jadhav is an innocent Indian whom the Pakistani propaganda has declared a spy and has sentenced to death. Pakistan claims Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Pakistan shown Jadhav's arrest on March 3, 2016 from its restive Balochistan province though India maintains that Jadhav was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by Taliban and sold to Pakistani intelligence. A military court in Pakistan sentenced Jadhav to death on April 10, 2017.
After India's repeated requests to consular access to Jadhav was denied, it approached the ICJ on May 8, 2017. The ICJ heard the matter on May 15 and stayed Jadhav's execution by Pakistan till further notice in its May 18 order. India submitted to the ICJ its 22-page written plea on September 13 while Pakistan is expected to submit its written reply by December 13.