Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali announced on Saturday that he would represent Pakistan in Kulbushan Jadhav case at International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Mr Ausaf said that Pakistan’s defence approach was prepared by the government in consultation with all the stakeholders.
Speaking to a private news agency, the attorney general had said that Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi had represented Pakistan in international arbitrations in the past and was cleared by the army and intelligence agencies to fight the case.
Referring to the Government of Pakistan’s March 2017 declaration in relation to the jurisdiction of the ICJ, Mr Ausaf said that the ongoing propaganda on the issue was misplaced and not factual.
“The correct position is that Pakistan had signed off to an unconditional declaration to agree to the jurisdiction of the ICJ way back in September 1960. In March 2017, we made a declaration of exceptions reservations, and conditions,” the attorney general said.
He added that the original 1960-declaration was without reservations and exceptions. However, the March 2017 declaration made exceptions and reservations. “In plain words, we had made no exceptions or reservations before,” he explained.
Mr Ausaf said that the impression given off that Pakistan agreed to the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ in March 2017 with a sinister motive. “This is not true,” he said, adding, “we had become a signatory to a declaration of submission to jurisdiction without any exceptions in September 1960.”
“They are looking at the Vienna Convention and the optional protocol to the convention. India and Pakistan both are signatories to this. The optional protocol invests the ICJ with powers and jurisdiction to decide disputes between member states.”