ISLAMABAD - Pakistan said yesterday that ICJ cannot annul Kulbhushan Jadhav’s sentence and the case provides the country an opportunity to expose India’s evil face to the world.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Saturday said Pakistan had a strong case even against the very jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to hear the case.

Talking to editors and senior anchor persons along with foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua, he also pointed to the brighter side of it, saying when the hearing starts Pakistan would have a chance to highlight and prove the Indian involvement in terrorism and spy activities in Pakistan.

Indicating another possible consequence of Jadhav case, the adviser said that even a former judge of India’s Supreme Court had admitted that New Delhi had made a mistake by taking up the case of Jadhav at the ICJ as it would pave a way for Pakistan to highlight the Kashmir issue at that forum.

He said India claimed that Kulbhushan Jadhav was a common man, but he himself had confessed that he was an Indian naval officer and spy, used a fake passport to enter Pakistan, and was involved in numerous subversive activities in Pakistan.

India would not succeed in its nefarious designs as it could not conceal the subversive acts carried out by Jadhav in Pakistan, he held.

Aziz said there would be no compromise on the issue as it was a matter of Pakistan’s national interests and security. “We will try for early hearing of the case and present our stance courageously and vigorously at the ICJ ,” he resolved.

‘No victory’ for India

Chiding the Pakistan media for presenting a “wrong impression of the case”, the adviser said India’s perceived victory was “like air in a bubble”. “It is wrong to say Pakistan lost at ICJ; the court stayed execution but didn’t order consular access to Jadhav ,” he said.

He said the ICJ had not issued any order with regard to India’s consular access to Kulbuhushan. “There was no operative order on consular access,” he said.

Aziz said the spy-terrorist had been convicted as per law of the land and therefore “our stance against him is based on truth and reality”.

Execution issue

In response to a question, Tehmina Janjua said Pakistan had received an appeal from Jadhav’s mother against his death sentence and was examining it.

The Indian spy had been sentenced to death last month after being convicted of spying by a military court. The review petition was filed on April 26 - a copy of which was delivered to Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary by India’s High Commissioner.

On Thursday, the ICJ had asked Pakistan to stay the execution of Mr Jadhav until its final verdict in the case.

The 46-year-old Indian national was sentenced to death last month by a Pakistani military court on charges of “spying” and “terrorism”. The former Navy officer was arrested by Pakistan last year.

Adviser Aziz noted the ICJ is sensitive about the right to life and death sentences and had a tradition of ruling against the death penalty. But he contended Pakistani laws would prevail in Jadhav’s case.

“They cannot override a country’s laws allowing the death penalty. If according to our laws, someone gets the death penalty, they can’t nullify it,” he said.

‘Poor’ presentation at ICJ

Aziz said Pakistan had little time to prepare its case before the hearing at the ICJ on May 15.

“We were given only five days to nominate an ad hoc judge, which was not possible,” he said, adding the lawyer selected to represent Pakistan – London-based Khawar Qureshi – was the consensus choice of all stakeholders.

Following widespread criticism of Pakistan’s legal team after the ICJ stayed Jadhav’s execution on Thursday, attorney general Ashtar Ausaf Ali said he would represent the country in future hearings at The Hague-based court.

Kashmir

To another question, Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan wanted an amicable solution of the Kashmir issue as per the United Nations resolutions. Islamabad, he said, would continue political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for right to self-determination.