NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday hailed the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which almost unanimously directed Pakistan to review the death sentence awarded to former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav and grant him consular access.
Voting 15:1, a bench led by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence” by Pakistan’s military court.
Recalling that it had ordered a stay on his execution, the ICJ said its continuation was an “indispensable condition” for effective review of the sentence.
The court said Pakistan informed India about Jadhav’s arrest only after three weeks, which was a clear violation of the Vienna Convention.
Pakistan also deprived India of the right to communicate with and have access to Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation, the court pointed out.
While the ICJ rejected the request to annul the sentence and let Jadhav return home, India’s foreign office called it a landmark judgement, with spokesperson Raveesh Kumar hoping Pakistan would respect the order in its letter and spirit.
Jadhav was arrested by Pakistan for alleged espionage in 2016.
The verdict validated India’s position on the matter fully, Raveesh Kumar said, adding the country will continue to work vigorously for Jadhav’s early release from captivity in Pakistan.
Soon after the ICJ verdict, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to Jadhav’s family and applauded their courage.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the media that “Kulbhushan Jadhav will remain in Pakistan and shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan.”
Former High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan saw in the judgement a “vindication of India’s position that the so-called trial was fundamentally flawed since Pakistan had acted in clear violation of the Vienna Convention. The absence of consular access, which India had pressed for repeatedly, violated well-established procedures and rights.”
Pinak R Chakravarty, former MEA Secretary said, “The judgement vindicates our stand that there was mistrial in the Kubhushan Jadhav case… Their claims of espionage in Baluchistan are just that – claims. There was never any proof.”
Chinese judge on majority’s side
Chinese jurist and Vice President of the world court, Judge Xue Hanqin, supported the majority judgement.
Xue (64) served as a senior official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in various high-level positions ever since she joined it in 1980.
The President of the Court, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, too, was part of the 15 who went with the decision.
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Trump pats his own back.
Trump himself claims credit, tweeting: “Great pressure has been exerted over the last two years to find him!” As if he was invisible and Uncle Sam burnt the midnight oil to ferret him out.