Pakistan presents ordinance in the National Assembly, “review and reconsider” Kulbhushan Yadhav’s sentence

The Pakistan government on Monday presented an ordinance in the National Assembly to “review and reconsider” Kulbhushan Jadhav’s sentence.

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The Pakistan government, on Monday, presented an ordinance in the National Assembly considering the ruling by the International Court of Justice on the Kulbhushan Yadav case. The ordinance allows Kulbhushan Yadav, who has been pronounced with the death sentence on the charges of espionage, to file a review petition against this sentence.

The ‘International Court of Justice Review and Reconsideration Ordinance 2020’ was enacted on May 20. According to this ordinance, a petition to review a decision made by the military court can be filed to the Islamabad High Court through an application within 60 days of its promulgation.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by the the Pakistan military court on the charges of espionage and terrorism in the year 2017. After which, India approached the International Court, ICJ, accusing Pakistan for denial of consular access and challenging the decision by the military court.

Considering the argument made by India, the international court pronounced that Pakistan should conduct a “effective review and reconsideration” of Jadhav’s sentence and also provide effective consular access to India.

The ordinance was presented by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisor Babar Awan. This ordinance was refuted by the opposition and the government, to their defence, stated that they have no other choice but to follow the decision of the ICJ.

As reported by Hindustan Times, the opposition found similarities between the ICJ ordinance and the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). The NRO was issues by the former Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf in 2007 to provide amnesty to politicians and bureaucrats who are facing any sort of charges. The NRO was declared “unconstitutional” by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the year 2009.

In July 2019, the International Court of Justice accused Pakistan of violating Jadhav’s right to Consular access under Vienna Conventions on Consular Relations. On July 16 this year, a team of Indian officials again accused Pakistan of restricting Jadhav’s consular access. They stated that they were not given “unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional” access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.

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