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Islamabad, June 11: The Pakistani government has passed a bill in the National Assembly amid opposition and boycott of granting the right of appeal to Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Yadav, who was convicted by the opposition. The lower house of parliament on Thursday passed the International Court of Justice (Review and Review) Bill, 2020. The purpose of the bill is to provide consular access to the accused Indian spy Yadav following the announcement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict. In April 2011, a Pakistani military court sentenced a retired Indian Navy officer to death on charges of espionage and terrorism. India took Yadav to the ICJ against Pakistan for denying consular access and challenging the death sentence.
The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July 2016 that Pakistan should have “effectively reviewed and reconsidered” the decision to convict and convict Jadhav, and that India should be given consular access to Jadhav without delay. In its 2019 ruling, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) asked Pakistan to provide a suitable forum for appealing against the sentence. The National Assembly on Thursday evening passed 21 more bills, including one, in response to demands from opposition lawmakers for an adequate study of the bills. The government has suspended business rules in the bill for passing 21 bills in one meeting. Read more: Copa America 2021: Brazil and Argentina are tough contenders for the Copa America title
After the bill was passed, Law Minister Farooq Nasim said that if he had not passed the bill, India would have gone to the UN Security Council and started insulting Pakistan in the ISJ. Nasim said the bill was passed in the wake of the ICJ’s decision. He said that by passing the bill he had proved to the world that Pakistan is a “responsible nation”. The National Assembly has also passed 20 bills including the Election (Reform) Bill. Opposition members have stated they will not run in the by-elections, but will address the issue three times. Opposition members chanted slogans in front of the speaker.
Criticizing the government’s move, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MP Ehsan Iqbal said the bill was included in the session of the heavy-handed legislature to provide relief to Jodhpur. Iqbal said it was a person-specific bill and Yadav’s name was included in the statement of purpose and reasons of the provision. He said that while the land law gives the high court the power to review judgments given by military courts, what was the need to bring this bill. In May last year, the government had already implemented the law by issuing an ordinance following the ICJ’s decision in the Yadav case. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, president of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), asked the speaker to give members some time to study the bill. He criticized the government for first bringing the bill through an ordinance and then passing the bill to give relief to Yadav. Read more: Pakistan: A man threw acid on a girl after she rejected a marriage proposal in Pakistan
Law Minister Naseem said he was shocked by the behavior of the opposition and it seems the opposition did not read the ICJ verdict. From a technical or legal point of view, the passage of the bill would not be considered as the government had already brought a special ordinance in May 2020 to implement the ISJ decision. The passage of the bill in the National Assembly is a step towards finalizing the law. It will now be presented to the Senate, and if passed by the upper house without amendment, it will be sent to the President for approval. If passed by the Senate amendment, it will be returned to the National Assembly for passage with changes. If there is no con agreement between the two houses, the bill will be passed with a simple majority in the joint meeting.