KULBHUSHAN JADHAV DEATH SENTENCE: PAKISTAN TO OVERRULE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE’S ORDER

The article originally appeared on India Today.

According to a Dunya News report, Pakistan is going to deny the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Kulbhushan Jadhav case, an Indian national whom Pakistan has sentenced to death alleging of espionage and sabotage in Pakistan. The Dunya News report said “Attorney General of Pakistan was reportedly briefed on Friday over Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s issue and according to the sources, Pakistan is to deny jurisdiction of International Court of Justice (ICJ) to over cases that have Pakistan’s national stability at stake.”

According to the report, the briefing states that “Pakistan does not accept international court’s jurisdiction to order the state in issue that involves its national stability.”

In another report of Daily Pakistan, “Pakistan revised its commitment to the ICJ and had withdrawn all domestic and national security related issues from the jurisdiction of the court on March 29, thus making it impossible for Modi led India to pin down Pakistan in this case.”

The Daily Pakistan report further states that Pakistan, before handing over death sentence to Jadhav, had informed the ICJ about changes it made though its UN envoy Maleeha Lodhi. “Disputes relating to or connected with any aspect of hostilities, armed conflicts, individual or collective self-defence or the discharge of any functions pursuant to any decision or recommendation of international bodies, the deployment of armed forces abroad, as well as action relating and ancillary thereto in which Pakistan is, has been or may in future be involved”, the declaration by Pakistan read.

India had approached the International Court of Justice on May 8 with its plea which requested the UN judicial body to stay Jadhav’s execution till it hears the matter and reaches to any conclusion. India in its plea had accused Pakistan of “egregious violations” of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). Both India and Pakistan are signatory to VCCR. India had requested for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav 16 times but Pakistan denied it every time. But according to the Daily Pakistan report, the Vienna Convention cannot help India as it applies to diplomats and not spies.

After India’s application, the ICJ, using its powers under the ‘Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations concerning the Compulsory Settlement of Disputes of 24 April 1963’ had stayed Jadhav’s execution and had issued notice to Pakistan. The public hearing in the case by the ICJ would be held on May 15.

THE KULBHUSHAN JADHAV DEATH SENTENCE

On April 10, the Pakistan Army chief confirmed Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence, which was handed down by a Pakistani military court that held Jadhav guilty of espionage. Pakistan claims Jadhav, who allegedly used the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel in Pakistan, was attached to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Pakistan arrested Jadhav in March 2016.

The Indian government has maintained that Kulbhushan Jadhav is a formal Indian Naval officer turned businessman who was on a routine business trip to Iran when he was abducted by Pakistani intelligence. Reports say he was captured by the Taliban and later sold to the Pakistan Army.

India has also said that Jadhav is innocent and there is no evidence against him and that Pakistsan carried out a sham, secret trial in a military court where no information on charges and evidence was given. India has warned Pakistan of ‘dire consequences’ equalling Jadhav’s death sentence with pre-meditated murder and has time and again asked for the consular access to him.

©SantoshChaubey

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