ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan People’s Party on Thursday said that the government was ill-prepared to defend its position in the Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav’s case in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Addressing a news conference here along with Nadeem Afzal Chan, Salim Mandviwalla, Mustfa Nawaz Khokhar and Nazeer Dhoki, PPP’s senior leader Senator Sherry Rehman said that the government seemed too busy with the Panama leaks case and Qatari letters leading to the embarrassment in the ICJ.

The PPP lawmaker said the government did not even raise the Jhadav issue at the international forums. “Pakistan did not even send a good team for defence despite having a good case.  India deputed a top official for the ICJ and they were able to get the benefit,” she said.

Earlier in the day, the ICJ asked Pakistan to stay Jhadav’s execution. “Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings,” the ICJ ruled. Jhadav had been sentenced to death by a military court last month for his role in terrorism.

Rehman said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif must appoint a full-time foreign minister to handle international issues.

“We have a genuine case against Jhadav and still are not able to handle it. The government must check what led to this. We should not let our nation down,” she said. She demanded of National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq to convene a meeting of the national security and the govt should brief the parliament about the case.

The lawmaker said that she would not level allegations against the PM but as an elected representative he must tell the nation about his meeting with Indian business tycoon Sajjan Jindal. Rehman said that Pakistan did not utilize the option available to it under Article 31 of Statute which allowed a party to nominate an individual as a judge. She said that the case was mishandled. She said that lawyer Pakistan chose to contest the case lacked international experience.

Rehman and other PPP leaders earlier met PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari to discuss the Jhadav case. Meanwhile, PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik said that the govt needed to pitch the Jhadav’s case in a professional manner for success. Talking to journalists, he said the issue should have been highlighted in the media before the ICJ hearing. Malik said the government’s case was weak as inexperienced people were sent for defence in the ICJ.

The senator said if Jindal had come with a message of friendship then why India went to the ICJ on Jhadav’s case.

“If we have raised the issue in the UN, India would not have been able to take the case to the ICJ,” he said.