ICJ stays execution of Jadhav who is in Pak’s custody.
In a major diplomatic victory for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) barred Pakistan on Thursday from executing former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, convicted by a Pakistani military court on espionage charges, till the court pronounces its final decision in the case.
The Hague court rejected Pakistan’s claims that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case, ruled that India should have been granted consular access, and accepted the contention that there was a real danger to Jadhav’s life.
India heaved a collective sigh of relief with political leaders hailing the order, and the former naval officer’s friends in Mumbai erupting in joy and bursting firecrackers. The ICJ will now call for a more comprehensive filing from India before it decides the case, a process that could take years. Pakistan risks international condemnation if it violates the ICJ order now and hangs Jadhav.
A shocked Pakistan tried to wriggle out of accepting the verdict as its foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said, “We do not accept the jurisdiction of the ICJ in matters related to the national security of the country.” Though India got a breather for Jadhav, his well-being still remains a matter of concern as Pakistan has provided no information about his location or health condition.
Asked if the government has information on Jadhav’s location in Pakistan, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said, “As of today (Friday), the Pakistan government has not provided any information about Jadhav's condition or where he has been kept there.”
Stunned at the setback, the Nawaz Sharif government facing enormous pressure over the fiasco, Pakistan will constitute a new team of lawyers to “vigorously” present its case.
Meanwhile, Harish Salve, who successfully argued India’s case at the ICJ, told a TV channel that India had a Plan A and a Plan B. He said the Plan A would involve efforts to secure an outright release of Jadhav and if this was not possible, the Plan B would be to press for an annulment of the death sentence and to get Jadhav proper legal representation so that he can be “tried in a manner acceptable to civilised society”.