Published: Fri, July 19, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

PM Imran appreciates ICJ verdict to not 'aquit, release' Indian spy

PM Imran appreciates ICJ verdict to not 'aquit, release' Indian spy

ICJ rulings are binding, though occasionally flouted; in 1999, for example, U.S. authorities ignored a court injunction and executed a German national.

While India has argued that the sentence be annulled as it is against Vienna Convention and demanded Jadhav's immediate release, Pakistan has denied all claims and asserted that their military court is non-partisan and will do justice to the case.

Jadhav self-confessed to fomenting terrorism and engaging in espionage within Pakistan, while he was also a serving commander of the Indian Navy. It also declared that a continued stay of execution constituted an indispensable condition for the effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav's conviction. "Having heard the judgment, Pakistan will now proceed as per law", Pakistan's foreign office said in a statement on Wednesday.

He was referring to Pakistan's downing of an IAF fighter jet and capturing its pilot on February 27 after India bombed a terror training camp of JeM in Balakot the previous day.

New Delhi frequently says there can be no improvement in relations until its neighbour takes action to rein in militant attacks in India. At the United Nations court, India's legal team focused its arguments on Pakistan denying Jadhav access to legal counsel and consular access, and refusing to reveal the charges or evidence against him.

It's not entirely clear what will happen next.

Nowhere in the world are military courts - the kind that convicted Jadhav for terror and espionage - regarded as legally sacrosanct.

In an interesting turn of events, the Chinese judge on the ICJ panel also supported the Indian claim. But with 49-year-old Kulbhushan Jadhav still held in secret, his case risked setting off new tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Pakistan said it had detained him in the restive province of Balochistan, home to a separatist insurgency that it accuses India of backing.

"I have a degree of personal satisfaction that a lot of adjectives were used by Pakistan, even in replying at court I characterise them as unfortunate".

India has always questioned the alleged confession, saying that it was extracted under duress. In April 2007, he was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism.

In February, India's lawyers told the court the case was "farcical" and based on "malicious propaganda".

The panel comprising 16 judges agreed with India's argument that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav and ordered a stay of the execution.

Islamabad will have to allow consular access to Jadhav under the judgement, Salve said.

India has contended that it had not been informed of Jadhav's detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan had failed to inform the accused of his rights.

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