ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is optimistic to win the Kulbhushan Jadhav case – regarding a convicted Indian spy-terrorist - in the International Court of Justice as the ICJ verdict draws nearer.

The ICJ, in a statement, said a public sitting will take place at 3pm (7.00pm PST) on July 17 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, the President of the Court, will read out the verdict.

In February, a Pakistani team had represented the country’s case regarding the convicted Indian spy in the ICJ.

The ICJ heard Jadhav’s case on February 18. The Indian team presented its arguments first, while the Pakistani team responded on February 20. The Pakistani lawyers then submitted their statement on February 21.

Attorney General Anwar Mansoor had led the Pakistani delegation while Director General South Asia Dr Mohammed Faisal headed the Foreign Office team. Ministry of Law officials also attended the hearing. Former chief justice Tasadduq Jillani was the ad-hoc judge.

On February 22, the ICJ had reserved verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case following conclusion of arguments from Pakistan and India.

Officials who had been engaged in the case told The Nation that Pakistan’s case was ‘very strong’ and Islamabad hoped for a favourable decision. “We are sure to win. We presented a very strong case. India had no arguments but claims,” said one official.

Another official said India had failed to prove that Kulbhushan Jadhav was not their spy. “They (India) were just trying to make a case out of nothing,” he said recalling the ICJ hearing.

On April 11, 2017 Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa had confirmed death sentence of Jadhav who was tried through Field General Court Martial under Pakistan Army Act. He was tried under Section 59 of Pakistan Army Act 1952 and Section III of official Secret Act of 1923.

The FGCM found Kulbushan Jadhav guilty of all the charges. He confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by the Research and Analysis Wing to plan, coordinate and organize espionage and sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.

Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 through a Counter Intelligence Operation from Mashkel, Balochistan. In March last year, authorities released a video in which the Indian spy confessed to New Delhi’s alleged involvement in terrorist activities in Balochistan. He revealed that he had been directing various activities in Karachi and Balochistan at the behest of RAW and that he was still serving in the Indian Navy.

Pakistan had also released a fact sheet regarding the hearing of case of Jadhav at the ICJ. Pakistan presented evidence obtained from Jadhav after his arrest and during the criminal process.

The fact sheet reads: “India argues that Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav is an innocent businessman who was kidnapped from Iran, brought to Pakistan, and tortured to confess that he was a Commander in the Indian Navy working with India's Research & Analysis Wing (RAW). India argues that it was entitled to obtain consular access to Commander Jadhav as soon as his detention was made public by Pakistan on March 25, 2016. India argues that the trial and conviction of Commander Jadhav for espionage and terrorism offences by a Military Court on 10 April 2017 was "a farce". India contends that the denial of consular access requires the ICJ to "at least" order the acquittal, release and return to India of Commander Jadhav.”

“Rejecting all of India's assertions”, it added, “Pakistan points to evidence obtained from Commander Jadhav after his arrest, and during the criminal process leading to his conviction as amply demonstrating his activities in fomenting terrorism and engaging in espionage within Pakistan. Pakistan maintains that it would be incompatible with international law for someone sent as a spy/terrorist by a State to be afforded access to officials of that State, as India asserts. Pakistan also points to an express Agreement on Consular Access dated May 21, 2008 between India and Pakistan, which allows each State to consider a request for consular access "on its merits" in a case involving national security. Furthermore, Pakistan points to the uncontradicted evidence that Commander Jadhav was provided with an authentic Indian passport in a 'cover' Muslim name by the Indian authorities, as a clear and obvious link between his conduct and the Government of India. Such conduct being a blatant violation of international law should bar any claim for relief from a court. India refuses to reply on this issue and (unconvincingly) describes it as ‘mischievous propaganda’.” The fact sheet also gave “six key points which India needs to answer”.