Pakistan responds over Indian demand of Queen’s Council access to RAW agent Kulbhushan Jhadav

Pakistan responds over Indian demand of Queen’s Council access to RAW agent Kulbhushan Jhadav

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Friday categorically rejected any possibility to allow a Queen’s Counsel by India to represent its spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, currently on a death-row in Pakistan.

“Allowing a Queen’s Counsel for Jadhav is out of question as only a lawyer with license to practice in Pakistan can appear before the court,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudri said at a press briefing here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

India has recently called for appointment of a Queen’s Counsel or an Indian lawyer in the case of serving navy Commander Jadhav pending with the Islamabad High Court for review and reconsideration following the verdict of International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan in 2016 and was handed over death sentence by a military court after his confession of involvement in terrorist activities. In Jadhav’s case in ICJ - the top judicial organ of United Nations – the Queen’s Counsel, Khawar Qureshi and Harish Salve, represented Pakistan and India, respectively.

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A Queen’s Counsel is a barrister or advocate, appointed as Counsel to the United Kingdom’s Crown on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor.

The FO Spokesperson said India was consistently making efforts to evade the Jadhav case. Pakistan had already given “uninterrupted and unimpeded” consular access to Jadhav and was ready to extend the same in future as well, he said.

Zahid Chaudri confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan would virtually address the United Nations General Assembly on September 25 with the issue of Jammu and Kashmir high on the agenda.

He said due to the restrictions imposed by the local government in New York, there would be no in-person high-level participation from outside. He said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would also participate virtually in the high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.

To a question on induction of five French-made Rafale fighter jets into India Air Force, the FO Spokesperson termed the development “disturbing” where India continued to amass military capabilities beyond its genuine security requirement.