The government has appointed former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Jilani as an ad-hoc judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to defend Pakistan’s side in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
Sources said the decision to appoint the former chief justice was taken after consultation with all the stakeholders.
The prime minister has endorsed the decision by signing the summary sent by the law ministry with regards to Jilani’s appointment as the ad-hoc judge to represent Pakistan.
Under Article 13 of the International Court of Justice, Pakistan can send an ad-hoc judge. The team of lawyers to defend Pakistan’s side was previously led by renowned lawyer Khawar Qureshi.
Justice Jillani is the cousin of former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani. He was nominated to the Lahore High Court bench by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in the 1990s.
He also authored the Supreme Court’s judicial anthem and was among the Supreme Court judges who had refused to take oath under the provisional constitutional order on November 3, 2007.
He became as the chief justice of the Supreme Court in December 2013 and retired in July 2014.
Earlier this month, a high-level meeting was held, headed by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, to discuss Pakistan’s strategy and responses to India’s 22-page report submitted before the ICJ.
In the meeting, representatives of the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Law and Justice, as well as other stakeholders, were present.
Jadhav, a 46-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was captured in Balochistan in March 2016 by Pakistan security forces and tried in a military court which sentenced him to death for espionage and subversive activities.
India approached the ICJ on May 18 against Jadhav’s sentence and the international court restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
The ICJ had asked Pakistan to submit its written response or ‘memorial’ by December 13 before the court could start further proceedings.