Bill for review of Jadhav’s conviction approved




A Pakistani parliamentary panel has approved a government bill that seeks a review of the conviction of death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav, complying with the directives of the International Court of Justice, according to a media report on Thursday.

The draft bill titled “the International Court of Justice (Review and Reconsideration) Ordinance” was discussed and approved by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Wednesday despite stiff resistance from the Opposition.

Taking part in the debate, Federal Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem said the bill has been introduced in compliance with directives of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

He warned that in case the bill was not adopted by Parliament, Pakistan could face sanctions for not complying with the ICJ’s verdict.

Fifty-year-old retired Indian Navy officer Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in
April 2017.

In 2017, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence handed to him by a military court.

The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July 2019 that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.

However, the committee’s members from the Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) requested its chairman Riaz Fatyana to reject the bill, the Dawn reported.

However, Fatyana, who belongs to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), decided to settle the matter through voting. He also tried to stop two PTI members from leaving the hall before voting.

Eight members voted in favour of the bill, while five opposed it, the report said.

The Opposition members termed the bill as NRO for Jadhav.