The article originally appeared on India Today on October 11.

Pakistan has appointed Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, its former chief justice, as ad-hoc judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to represent Pakistan in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case .

A report in The News International said the decision by Pakistan’s law ministry in this regard had been signed by Pakistan PM Shahid Abbasi. Tassaduq Jilani, who retired from the Supreme Court of Pakistan in July 2014, will now defend Pakistan’s side in the case which was previously being handled by Khawar Qureshi.

Qureshi, a Pakistani-origin practicing lawyer and judge in Britain, once represented India against Enron in an international arbitration case on Dabhol power plant closure. India ultimately lost that case.

The ICJ statute allows appointment of judges on its tribunal from the countries that are directly engaged in a dispute. Since India and Pakistan are involved in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, Pakistan was allowed to carry this appointment.

The 12-member ICJ tribunal hearing the Kulbhushan Jadhav case has an Indian, former Supreme Court Justice Dalveer Bhandari, in the panel of judges that passed the order on May 18 putting a stay of Jadhav’s execution till final orders by the ICJ.

The government of Pakistan was criticised back home for not exercising the option to put a Pakistan judge on the panel to defend the Pakistani side.

Forced by the criticism and loss of face when India won the round one of the case, the government of Pakistan then began to seriously look for someone who could represent it at the ICJ. Kulbhushan Jadhav is an innocent Indian whom the Pakistani propaganda has declared a spy and has sentenced to death. Pakistan claims Jadhav was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and arrested Jadhav on March 3, 2016. Pakistan’s military court country sentenced him to death on April 10, 017.

India has submitted its 22-page written response in the ICJ while Pakistan will submit its reply by December 13.


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