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Intl court stays Jadhav's execution till final verdict

19 Mai 2017

Welcoming the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to stay the execution of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Congress on Thursday said that Pakistan must respect the verdict of the ICJ.

But India has maintained he is not a spy, and has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access, as well as breaking worldwide human rights law.

Pakistan sought to play down the significance of the order, saying in a written statement that, "the court's decision today has not changed the status of Commander Jadhav's case in any manner".

He was arrested past year and sentenced to death by Pakistan's military court of espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.

"Until the ICJ gives its verdict, the case will go on in Pakistan", he said, adding that Jadhav can not be executed as long as the stay order is there. "The mere fact that Mr Jadhav is under a death sentence and might therefore be executed is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of a risk of irreparable prejudice to the rights claimed by India".

"Pakistan had indicated that any execution of Jadhav would probably not take place before the month of August 2017".

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"The ICJ has stated that by way of provisional measures, the status quo be maintained in the case of Jadhav". It was he who had pointed out that any order passed by the ICJ, like a stay on the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, would be binding on Pakistan, leaving authorities there fuming. "India did nominate one but Pakistan did not", Khokhar said, adding that Pakistan's counsel did not argue for the full allotted time either. The decision of the 11-judge bench was unanimous, ICJ President Ronny Abraham said while reading out the verdict.

At a strategic level, the Pakistan foreign office has hit back by claiming India is "hiding its real face" by approaching the ICJ.

If Pakistan does challenge ICJ's jurisdiction, said Kumar, the worldwide court in the Hague will possibly consider the possibility of holding separate hearings for jurisdiction and India's petition.

He further asked as to why the government had appoined the task to a lawyer who had never argued a case independently before the International Court of Justice and what compelled the government to send a first year associate from Attorney General's Office instead of AG himself to the ICJ. I don't think we presented the case quite well.

The UN charter entails that "each member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice" and 'if any party to a case fails to perform the obligations, the other party may have recourse to the U.N. Security Council'.

Intl court stays Jadhav's execution till final verdict