ISLAMABAD          -     The PTI government on Friday in the National Assembly sitting dispelled the impression of providing any relief to Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadev through an ordinance, which is related to granting foreign citizens, who have been convicted in Pakistan, the opportunity to file a review appeal.

 “This ordinance is neither an appeal nor NRO. It is not person specific at all. The only purpose is to prove as a responsible state by promulgating an ordinance,” federal minister Faroogh Naseem stated. who has taken oath as Minister on Friday.

The opposition the other day [Thursday] in the house strongly criticized the government for allegedly providing relief [NRO] to Indian through an ordinance.

Minister, quoting the judgment of ICJ), clarified that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had asked Pakistan for effective review and reconsideration of the sentence of Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav announced by the Military Court of Pakistan on charges of espionage.

“It is obligatory for Pakistan to comply with the ICJ judgment as otherwise India can move to the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against our country,” said the minister, assuring the house that the ordinance would not affect the sentence against Indian spy. He said India would make an attempt to prove Pakistan as a ‘rogue’ state.

 “If there was any relief through an ordinance I would have preferred to stage a protest with opposition,” he said, giving argument in the favour of passing the ordinance. He said, “According to the paragraphs 144-148 of the judgment,   ICJ placed the obligation on the country to enact a law for effective review and reconsideration,”. Minister further argued that they would be able to cut the hands of India by approving this ordinance.

Sharing the history of the case, he said the previous government [PML-N government] had decided that consular access would not be given to Indian Spy because he was guilty of espionage. “The previous government had taken this decision when Kulbushan Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016,” he said.  He said India had filed a case in the ICJ on May8, 2017. “When they filed the case, it was a cut off date. After that, Pakistan could not come out of ICJ’s jurisdiction,” he argued.

About the reservations of opposition for not taking them into confidence, he mentioned that the opposition parties in their government era had also not taken opposition into confidence. “If Parliament is not in session, the ordinance could be promulgated by the governor or president,” he said, mentioning that it was not necessary to take opposition into confidence first before the promulgation of ordinance.

 The opposition parties were interested to give response to the minister but the chair adjourned the proceedings due to Jumma prayer. The government would try to approve ordinance through the national assembly on Monday with a majority of votes.

The ICJ (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance 2020, which was promulgated on May 20, gives foreign citizens convicted in Pakistan the chance to file a review appeal in the country’s courts.  The ordinance was promulgated after ICJ, in its verdict last year, ruled that Pakistan must grant consular access to Kulbushan Jadhav, an Indian spy convicted and sentenced to death by a military court, and allow him to file a review appeal.

Earlier, Minister for Communication and Postal Services Murad Saeed told the house that

50, 000 new Utility Stores will be set up across the country to provide essential food items to the people.

“Present government is taking all necessary measures to control unnecessary increase in the prices of edible and common use items,” he said, mentioning that youth can also apply for loan to set up Utility Stores under Kamyab Jawan Programme.

APP adds: Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem Friday urged the opposition to let the government pass the ICJ review and reconsideration ordinance, 2020 aimed at giving consular access to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav because it was made obligatory by  International Court of Justice (ICJ) in its judgment.