United Nations court stays Pakistan's execution of Indian spy

The ICJ on Thursday allowed India's petition that Pakistan be directed not to execute Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was handed a death sentence by a Pakistani military court in April this year (See: ICJ stays Pak decision to execute Kulbhushan Jadhav).

"Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision...", ICJ Judge Ronny Abraham said.

The ruling triggered criticism of the Pakistan Foreign Office for handling the case poorly, and also for its choice of UK-based Khawar Qureshi, who represented Pakistan's case before the ICJ.

Meanwhile, Pakistan said that International Court of Justice had no jurisdiction to hear case of Kulbushan Jadhav as it pertained to the security of Pakistan.

Jadhav, a former Navy officer, was arrested in March 2016 from Balochistan, Pakistan claimed.

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Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj tweeted, "The ICJ order has come as a great relief to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav and people of India".

Pakistan today was in shock as it was confident that the ICJ will throw out the case on the grounds of jurisdiction. "Jadhav has openly admitted to being a Research and Analysis Wing agent and to being involved in sabotaging peace in Pakistan".

It also noted the urgency of the case since Pakistan had given "no assurance that Mr Jadhav will not be executed before the court has rendered its final decision".

Mr. Salve also said, India's fight for Jadhav rested on the argument of restitution which basically meant that the verdict of the Pakistani military court which found Jadhav guilty needed to be annulled and the trial started afresh.

Hamdani told DunyaNews that the ICJ took up India's matter on an urgent basis because Pakistan hadn't assured it that it wouldn't "hang Jadhav before the hearing is over".

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Pakistan, on the other hand, wanted the ICJ to acknowledge its argument that the bilateral agreement on consular access takes precedence over the VCCR.

Hailing the verdict, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said it is a victory for India's stand. Pakistan was also accused of denying Jadhav a fair trial in violation of global human rights laws.

"In our submissions on 15 May, we had assured the court unambiguously that Commander Jadhav would be provided every opportunity and remedy available under the law to defend his case", a statement said.

India, meanwhile, asserted the ruling is binding on Pakistan, calling it "unanimous" and "unambiguous".

He pointed out that there exists a bilateral pact on consular access between Pakistan and India since 2008 and added that article 6 of the pact exclusively relates to consular access being determined on the merit of the case. But death sentences have rarely been issued in recent years.

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