The International Court of Justice, which has lingered the death sentence of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, will include public hearings in the case on Monday. “The discussions will be applied to the request for the indication of provisional measures presented by India,” the ICJ said in a release. Earlier, Upping the ante against India, Pakistan’s army ordered out consular admittance to Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been condemned to death by a military court, days after New Delhi made a convincing case for access to the declared spy on death row.
Pakistan told earlier on Wednesday it will make a decision within the “next few days” on India’s proposal before an international court to stay the execution of the Indian national accused of spying, even as New Delhi supported its move saying an innocent man’s life was under threat.
Islamabad’s response came after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed on Tuesday the performance of former Indian naval officer Jadhav, who was condemned of espionage and sabotage by a Pakistani military court on April 10. Some are seeing the ICJ’s intervention as a reprieve for Jadhav. But efforts by India to secure the 46-year-old man’s release will have to navigate increasingly tense ties with its arch-rival.
“Pakistan is evaluating the move by India and determination in this regard will be issued accordingly,” Sartaj Aziz, foreign operations adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told, scoring a statement will be released in the next few days. He also said the Pakistani government would review the ICJ’s jurisdiction in the case. But the Pakistani army appeared defiant.
Pakistani military spokesman Asif Ghafoor said it would react at an “appropriate level” to any query by the ICJ on Jadhav. His criticisms came shortly after their army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa met Sharif to discuss the court order. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also attacked India of using Jadhav’s death determination to divert attention from what he told was New Delhi’s “state-sponsored terrorism” in Pakistan.
Jadhav was allegedly captured in Balochistan in March 2016. Pakistan arrested Jadhav of spying for his country’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). India warned that if Jadhav were hanged, it would be deemed “premeditated murder.”
In New Delhi, the foreign ministry supported its decision to move the international court for the first time since 1971. “Kulbhushan Jadhav is in criminal detention in Pakistan, and his life is under threat,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Bagley said. “We made 16 applications for consular access to Jadhav, but there was no response from Pakistan on demand.”
India considers the ICJ can look into Jadhav’s case as the two countries are signatories to the optional protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). The contract tells any dispute arising out of the interpretation or application of VCCR shall lie within the jurisdiction of the ICJ. Indian lawyers appeared divided over India’s decision.
“I am not assured it is a wise move to go to the ICJ. Pakistan could cite precedence when India told the ICJ has no jurisdiction in a case in 1999 involving Pakistan,” told Narendra Singh, the secretary general of the Indian Society of International Law.
New Delhi recorded in 1974 subjects linked to India that the ICJ can adjudicate. India does not accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction in “disputes with the government of any state which is or has been a part of the Commonwealth of Nations.”
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In 1999, a Pakistani military aircraft was shot down in Indian airspace over the Rann of Kutch. When Pakistan proposed the ICJ, India said the international court didn’t have the authority to hear the case. The court accepted the argument.
Shashank Kumar, who earlier worked with the ICJ said, “As the bases for jurisdiction are distributed, a comparison with what appeared in the aerial conflict case, in my view, does not answer whether Pakistan may at instant comply or not.”
Senior lawyer Harish Salve will designate India when the ICJ hears the Jadhav case. India will seek ways to Pakistan to annual the execution order assigned in violation of international law. External circumstances minister Sushma Swaraj, told to be instrumental in moving the international court, tweeted that she converted to the Jadhav’s mother about the ICJ order.
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