While the Indian government had to spend only Re 1 as legal fees to save the life of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Pakistan government has already spent 200 million Pakistani rupee (close to Rs 11.5 crore) to make sure that Jadhav is proven a spy, as the neighbouring country claims. The Indian government paid Re 1 to lawyer Harish Salve for putting across India’s arguments at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Hague.

As per the latest budget documents submitted by the Pakistan government in National Assembly, it has till now provided Rs 200 million to lawyer Khawar Qureshi, who is arguing for Pakistan at the ICJ in Hague. This figure, when read in the context of Pakistan’s budgetary allocation to other heads, gives an indication of how much Pakistan is desperate to execute Kulbhushan. In the 2016 federal budget, the money that it had allocated to “fire protection” was Rs 183 million, Rs 38 million for prison administration, and Rs 31 million on research and development related to public order and safety. Qureshi, who is a 1990 law graduate from Cambridge University, has the distinction of being the youngest advocate to appear before the ICJ and has been the standing counsel for the British government. The fact that Salve, former Solicitor General of India, was charging only Re 1 for the Kulbhushan case was disclosed by Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, on Twitter in May last year.

The Pakistan government is facing a lot of public criticism for expenditure overruns and last week it sought Rs 600 billion supplementary grants for expenditure overruns and re-appropriations which include the fees that were paid for Kulbhushan Jadhav, an unexplained expenditure of Rs 4.3 billion for the ISI to “accomplish a special assignment” and Rs 21 million for public diplomacy initiative in Washington. The hearing on the Kulbhushan case is likely to begin in the ICJ in January next year.

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