Public hearings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case are set to begin from February 18 in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The hearings will have India and Pakistan put forward their arguments in front of the United Nations (UN) court in The Hague, Netherlands.
The hearing will be streamed live on the ICJ website and the web television of the UN. ICJ will hear the case for four days from February 18-February 21 with alternate days being assigned to the two countries to present their arguments. The case would be led by senior lawyer Harish Salve from the Indian side on 18 February 2019. Post this, representing Pakistan, Khawar Qureshi, who holds the title ‘English Queen’s Counsel’ will file his response on February 19. On the third day, Salve will submit his response while on the last day, ICJ will hear Islamabad’s version again.
Tensions between India and Pakistan are rising after the Pulwama terror attack which claimed lives of 40 CRPF jawans on February 14. According to officials, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based terror group has taken the responsibility of this attack. JeM chief Masood Azhar is said to be in hiding in Pakistan.
India moved to ICJ in the year 2017 when a Pakistani military court charged Jadhav with espionage and terrorism and sentenced him to death in April 2017. In May 2017, a 10-member bench had refrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar refrained from declaring India’s strategy, saying that the matter is sub judice. “Whatever we have to do, we will do at the court,” he said.
India has maintained the position that the trial done by the military court in Pakistan was ‘farcical.’
The verdict is expected to come around the summer of 2019.