Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting of the country’s top civil and military officials to discuss Islamabad’s strategy to counter India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav spy case ahead of the next hearing at the International Court of Justice ICJ. The Express Tribune quoted sources privy to the meeting as saying that the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting discussed Pakistan’s options and preparation to defend its stance in the case, whose next hearing is scheduled on June 8. The meeting was attended by army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Hayat, naval chief Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, air chief Sohail Aman and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Adviser to Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and the National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. (redt) Nasser Khan Janjua participated in the meeting. The NSC meeting was held a day after Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali briefed the Parliamentary Committee on National Security that Pakistan will appoint its ad hoc judge at the ICJ and that he will himself lead Pakistan’s legal team at the United Nation’s court.
The paper said the participants also discussed names of former judges of the superior judiciary to select the ad hoc judge for the ICJ. However, no name was finalised. India last month moved the ICJ against the death sentence awarded to Jadhav by a military court for “fomenting terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi”. The UN court granted provisional suspension of the execution on May 18.