UPA hired Pak's ICJ lawyer to represent India in 2004: BJP

NEW DELHI
20 May 2017

The Pakistani-origin lawyer who represented Pakistan in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had been hired by the UPA government in 2004 to argue an arbitration case, the BJP said today. Accusing the Congress of being Pakistan's voice on a host of issues, BJP spokesperson G V L Narsimha Rao said the the party must explain why its government hired Khawar Qureshi in the "very sensitive" Enron case. The Congress-led UPA government had changed the legal team representing India in the arbitration case against the US firm over the controversial Dabhol power project, he said. This was a question linked to "patriotism", Rao told reporters. "What was the compulsion that the UPA government hired Qureshi?... Over the last few years we have seen several incidents of the Congress speaking in support of Pakistan. It was speaking in Pakistan's voice on the surgical strikes as well," Rao told reporters. Citing the example of Harish Salve, who was the lead counsel for India at the ICJ this week, he said it was surprising that the UPA government could not find an Indian lawyer to represent the country in such a sensitive case. Rao named Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and Mani Shankar Aiyar as instances of Congress leaders allegedly speaking in support of Pakistan. The ICJ this week stayed the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested by Pakistan on charges of espionage and subversive activities. While Pakistan claims he was nabbed from Balochistan, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.(PTI)