THE HAGUE (Monitoring Desk): The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday ordered Pakistan to stay the hanging of self-confessed Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav until it makes a final judgement in the case.
“The ICJ indicated to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that it must ‘take all measures at its disposal’ to ensure that Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, of Indian nationality, is not executed pending a final judgment,” the press statement issued by the international court said.
The Court, the statement added, also stated that the Government of Pakistan shall inform it of all measures taken in implementation of the Order.
India had moved the UN court urging it to suspend Jadhav’s sentence and declare that it was arrived at “in brazen defiance of Vienna Convention rights”.
India’s representative at the ICJ hearing, Deepak Mittal, described the charges against Jadhav as ‘concocted’ and his trial as ‘farcical’. Pakistan defended its position by terming New Delhi’s story a far-fetched one as criminal cases did not fall within the purview of the Vienna Convention.
In its statement on the ICJ’s order, the attorney general’s office said the court’s decision did not change the status of the Indian spy in any manner. “In our submissions on May 15, we had assured the court unambiguously that Commander Jadhav would be provided every opportunity and remedy available under the law to defend his case,” the statement read.
Claiming that Jadhav still has ‘ample’ time to petition for clemency, the AG office said Pakistan proposed to the court that a final hearing be held on the merits and maintainability of the case as early as possible. “We are determined to pursue this case to its logical end.”
Jadhav is a former officer in the Indian navy who was arrested in March 2016 in Balochistan. He confessed to being tasked by India’s intelligence service with planning, coordinating and organising espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan “aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan”.
Last month, a court martial sentenced him to death. No date was set for the execution. Pakistan believes that India is using covert means to foment violence in the country with an aim to undermine the multibillion dollar ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative of China.
Security officials claim RAW was using certain militant outfits operating out of Afghanistan to carryout terrorist attacks in the country.
The current Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is considered to be the architect of this policy called ‘offensive defensive’ that advocates a policy of supporting proxies to create trouble inside Pakistan.
The ICJ was set up in 1945 to rule on disputes between nations in accordance with international law. The last time India and Pakistan took a dispute to the ICJ was in 1999 when Islamabad protested against the downing of a Pakistani navy plane that killed 16 people.
In that case, the tribunal decided it was not competent to rule in the dispute and closed the case. India and Pakistan routinely accuse one another of sending spies into their countries, and it is not uncommon for either nation to expel diplomats accused of espionage, particularly at times of high tension. But death sentences have rarely been issued in recent years.