Pakistan rebuts, says ICJ has no jurisdiction over national security matters

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday ordered Pakistan to stay execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian man arrested and sentenced to death over espionage charges.

Sartaj Aziz, the foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was quoted by The Nation as saying that Islamabad will appoint a new team of lawyers to defend Pakistan's position at the The Hague, Netherlands-based International Court of Justice.

Pakistan says ICJ has no jurisdiction to hear the case of Yadav as it pertains with the national security of the country.

"The court also decides that until it has given its final decision, it shall remain seized of the matters which form the subject matter of this order", said the court which consists of 10 judges, including Justice Dalveer Bhandari of India, besides President Abraham.

A statement issued by Pakistan's attorney general in response to the ICJ's order said the status of Jadhav's case had not changed "in any manner".

Mr Jadhav, 47, was arrested in March 2016 and Pakistani officials claimed he had confessed to spying for Indian intelligence services.

"After India stood exposed in state sponsored terrorism and financing terrorism, it tried to divert attention from presenting the Kulbushan Jadhav case with a humanitarian angle", he said. The next day, the global court gave Jadhav a lease of life and stayed the death sentence as a provisional measure.

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The Pakistan government is facing flak over the handling of the case at the ICJ where it suffered a massive blow after the court stayed Jadhav's death sentence and allowed him counselor access.

He was arrested past year and sentenced to death by Pakistan's military court of espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.

The ICJ asserted its jurisdiction over the case of Jadhav.

The minister said the "Indian spy" was convicted after fulfilling all necessary legal procedures and any decision on the matter will be taken keeping in view national security.

A former Indian navy officer-turned-businessman, Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran previous year and arrested by Pakistan on espionage charges on March 3, 2016.

Aziz, however, maintained that Qureshi had "courageously" presented Pakistan's case in the court, the Nation reported.

Before the ICJ, India would also argue that there has been violation of human rights and hence Jadhav must be set free immediately.

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