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'Our Lawyers Were Inexperienced', 'Our Case Weak': Pak Newspapers on ICJ Verdict

Tushar Dhara |

Updated: May 19, 2017, 1:13 PM IST
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'Our Lawyers Were Inexperienced', 'Our Case Weak': Pak Newspapers on ICJ Verdict
Pakistan has denied as many as 13 requests for consular access to Jadhav that were made since his arrest (Image: NEWS18 Creatives)

New Delhi: A day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) asked Pakistan to hold off executing Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Pakistani commentators were critical of the lawyers and their legal strategy in representing the country’s case at the World Court. Here is a roundup of opinion from the top Pakistani newspapers.

‘Our Lawyers were inexperienced’
Former Attorney General Irfan Qadir told Dawn News that he was shocked by the decision. “The lawyers handling these matters had no experience. The arguments had no weight. They should have been presented in a rational manner,” he said. “We need a dedicated team for Pakistan, loyal to the country. Pakistan’s jurisprudence has been ruined because of this,” he said, adding that the country needed to be better prepared with an experienced legal team.

‘Our case was inherently weak despite our counsel’s brave attempts’
Lahore-based lawyer and author Yasser Latif Hamdani wrote in The Daily Times that Pakistan’s case rested on the question of whether or not the ICJ had jurisdiction, which, in turn, was based on the proposition that the India-Pakistan bilateral agreement on consular access trumps the Vienna convention. “A bilateral treaty cannot override or curtail a multilateral international convention to which a state is party,” Hamdani writes.

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However, one silver lining for Pakistan is India’s decision to invoke the jurisdiction of a multilateral body. “It ends the policy of bilateralism that has been the cornerstone of India’s Pakistan policy,” Hamdani writes.

‘Nawaz Sharif should explain the outcome of the ICJ proceedings’
Pakistan-tehreek-e-insaaf leader Shafqat Mehmood demanded, in The News International that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should come clean on the ICJ proceedings.

The paper quoted him as asking why the government selected a lawyer, who didn’t have a single international law case reported from the UK Supreme Court and what was the reason to engage London Queen’s Counsel who was based in Qatar? He further pressed the PM to explain why his government assigned the task to a lawyer who has never argued a case independently before the ICJ and what compelled his government to send a first year associate from Attorney General’s Office instead of AG himself to the ICJ.

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