Islamabad, 18 November: A sigh of relief has come amidst the inhuman treatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is lodged in Pakistan’s jail. Following a rebuke from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a law was passed in the joint session of the Pakistan Parliament on Wednesday, giving the jailed Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav the right to appeal against the sentence.
Jadhav, a 51-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April 2017 on charges of espionage and terrorism.
After Pakistan refused to provide consular facility to Jadhav, India approached the ICJ.
After hearing both the sides, the ICJ at The Hague (ICJ HQ Netherlands capital) in July 2019 ordered Pakistan to provide consular facilities to Jadhav and ensure review of the sentence.
In the joint session of the Senate and the National Assembly, Pakistan’s Law Minister F. Naseem introduced the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconciliation) Bill-2021 to ensure compliance with the mandate of international law. This bill was passed by the House by voice vote.
This was the only way for Pakistan to comply with the order of the International Court of Justice to review the sentence awarded to Jadhav.
The joint session of Parliament was convened at a time when the tension between the Senate and the National Assembly has increased significantly. The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party and its allies have a majority in the National Assembly, but they are in a minority in the Senate.
The International Court of Justice (Review and Reconciliation) Bill-2021 was among 21 bills that were passed by the National Assembly in June, but were blocked by the Senate. The government had tried to ensure compliance with the order of the International Court of Justice through a special ordinance in the year 2019. When the government issued an ordinance asking Jadhav to file a review petition, he refused.