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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

At UN court, Pakistan claims Kulbhushan Jadhav was given a ‘fair trial’

The four-day hearing in the Jadhav case opened Monday at the UN court headquarters in The Hague amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2019 16:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
The Hague
India had urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to annul Jadhav’s death sentence and order his immediate release.
India had urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to annul Jadhav’s death sentence and order his immediate release.(Reuters)
         

Pakistan argued its cause in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice on Tuesday. It insisted that Jadhav was an “Indian spy” who has given a “fair trial”.

Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

“We gave India every opportunity to clarify, reply and apologise. We gave India every opportunity to correct their stand, but they didn’t.Court was our last resort,” said Khawar Qureshi who was arguing the case for Pakistan.

The four-day hearing in the Jadhav case opened Monday at the UN court headquarters in The Hague amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group that killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers.

“India, I am sorry to say, has demonstrated a lack of faith throughout these proceedings... good faith is part of international law. India doesn’t know Pakistan, Pakistan is a state that has provided the largest contingent for peacekeeping, whose soldiers have lost lives in pursuing world security,” Qureshi said.

During its arguments on Monday, India, through its counsel Harish Salve, had urged the International Court of Justice to annul Jadhav’s death sentence and order his immediate release.

New Delhi said the verdict by a Pakistani military court based on a “farcical case” hopelessly fails to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process.Pakistan countered India’s demand for release of Kulbhushan Jadhav and termed it “outlandish”.

India moved the ICJ in May in 2017 against Jadhav’s conviction by the Pakistan military court . India has said that Pakistan committed “egregious violation” of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 by repeatedly denying it consular access to Jadhav.

A 10-member bench of the ICJ had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case. The international court has set a timetable for the public hearing in the high-profile case from Febraury 18 to 21 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands.

While India argued on Monday and Pakistan responded to India’s arguments on Tuesday. New Delhi will again reply on February 20 and Islamabad will make its closing submissions on February 21. The UN court is expected to come to a decision by the summer of 2019.

Both India and Pakistan have already submitted their detailed pleas and responses in the world court.

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.

Pakistan had rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its “spy”.

First Published: Feb 19, 2019 16:48 IST

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