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FO categorically denies any chance to allow Queen’s counsel in Jadhav’s case

Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudri. — APP/Files 

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday categorically denied there was any chance Islamabad would allow a Queen’s Counsel to represent Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav — currently on death row in Pakistan.

A Queen’s Counsel is a barrister or advocate, appointed as counsel to the United Kingdom’s Crown on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor.

“Allowing a Queen’s Counsel for Jadhav is out of the question as only a lawyer with a license to practice in Pakistan can appear before the court,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudri said at a press briefing here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

India has recently called for the appointment of a Queen’s Counsel or an Indian lawyer in the case of serving navy Commander Jadhav pending with the Islamabad High Court for review and reconsideration following the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The FO spokesperson said India was consistently making efforts to evade the Jadhav case.

Pakistan had already given “uninterrupted and unimpeded” consular access to Jadhav and was ready to extend the same in the future as well, he said.

Moreover, Chaudri confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan would virtually address the United Nations General Assembly on September 25 with the issue of Jammu and Kashmir on the agenda.

He said due to the restrictions imposed by the local government in New York, there would be no in-person high-level participation from outside.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also participate virtually in the high-level meeting of the UNGA to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, he said.

To a question on the addition of five French-made Rafale fighter jets to the Indian Air Force, the FO Spokesperson termed the development ‘disturbing’ as India continued to amass military capabilities beyond its genuine security requirement.

Chaudri stressed that Rafale jets had dual-capable systems that could be modified as nuclear weapon delivery platforms, and also warned of its adverse effect on strategic stability in South Asia.

Even before tensions with China, he said, India had been expanding and modernizing its nuclear arsenal both in terms of type and number of delivery systems.

Responding to whether Pakistan was considering to make Gilgit-Baltistan its fifth province, he said political, economic, and administrative reforms for GB was an ongoing process, which would continue as per the longstanding demand of its people.

He rejected the notion that Pakistan would take such a step and said that it would equate India’s change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The difference between the two situations is that India’s act is an illegal occupation with persistent violations of human rights, however, Pakistan will always comply with the UN resolutions and aspirations of the people,” he said.

On the Jodhpur Incident in which 11 Pakistani Hindus, including children, were found dead under mysterious circumstances on August 9, he called upon India for a comprehensive investigation of the matter and share copies of the First Information Report (FIR).

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