Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence: Pak says it will review ICJ’s jurisdiction

Pakistan has said it is reviewing the International Court of Justice’s jurisdiction in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case after India approached the Hague-based institution to stay the former navy officer’s death sentence.
Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav is on death row in Pakistan on charges of espionage.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT File Photo)
Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav is on death row in Pakistan on charges of espionage.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT File Photo)
Updated on May 10, 2017 09:01 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Islamabad | ByImtiaz Ahmad

Pakistan said on Wednesday it is reviewing the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, whose death sentence for alleged involvement in espionage has been stayed by the Hague-based institution.

Sartaj Aziz, adviser on foreign affairs to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told reporters in Islamabad the government is examining India’s move to approach the Hague-based ICJ regarding Jadhav’s case and an appropriate decision will be taken in the matter.

Pakistan is reviewing India’s application and the ICJ’s jurisdiction in the case, he said. The Foreign Office will issue a statement about any decision taken in the matter in the next few days, he added.

Earlier, defence minister Khawaja Asif contended India was using Jadhav’s death sentence to “divert” attention from “state-sponsored” terrorism in Pakistan.

Asif’s remarks came a day after the ICJ stayed the execution of 46-year-old Jadhav in response to an application from India.

“Indian letter to ICJ attempt to divert attention from state sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. Kulbhushan convicted of offences against national security,” Asif tweeted.

Pakistani media outlets rejected India’s stance regarding the ICJ’s order. Geo News channel said the ICJ had no jurisdiction over Pakistan as it can only take cognizance of matters with the consent of both parties.

The website of Dawn newspaper did not report on the ICJ’s stay order. The Express Tribune, in its report on the issue, did not mention the stay.

India, in its application to the ICJ, accused Pakistan of “egregious” violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and said Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. It added that it learnt about the death sentence from a press release.

Pakistan has said Jadhav was arrested from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016.

Jadhav’s conviction and sentencing during a secret trial by a military court evoked a sharp reaction from India, which said his execution would be tantamount to “pre-meditated murder” and could further damage bilateral ties.

India has initiated the process of formally appealing against Jadhav’s death sentence after more than a dozen requests for consular access were rejected by Pakistan. It has also asked Pakistan to issue visas to Jadhav’s parents so that they can visit him.

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