ICJ stays Pak decision to execute Kulbhushan Jadhav


A United Nations court on Thursday ordered Pakistan not to execute an accused Indian spy pending its final verdict in a case that has gripped the rival countries.

Kulbhushan Sudir Jadhav, a former officer in the Indian navy, was arrested in March 2016 in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

The ICJ, accepting India's plea, said Pakistan must not hang Jadhav until the court hears the matter in full and that Islamabad must inform the World Court of the steps it has taken to ensure that the Indian national is not executed.

According to an worldwide lawyer and former law clerk at ICJ Shashank Kumar, who had predicted that ICJ was not going to be influenced by Pakistan's arguments about jurisdiction and lack of urgency in the matter, it is far from clear whether or not the court can grant such a request by India.

He was convicted in April by a military court and sentenced to death. He said the court considers that it has prima facie jurisdiction in the matter as there is a dispute between the parties.

"The court also decides that until it has given its final decision, it shall remain seized of the matters which form the subject matter of this order", said the court which consists of 10 judges, including Justice Dalveer Bhandari of India, besides President Abraham.

The ICJ, which has acknowledged Pakistan's violation of Vienna Convention, may simply ask Islamabad to review and reconsider the Jadhav case, possibly through a domestic process.

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"Pakistan should not execute Jadhav pending final proceedings". The International Court of Justice granted these measures after a public hearing was conducted on May 15. But while giving its preliminary verdict today, the court said it has "no limitation" to consider the case. "Pakistan is completely blown by this decision.The decision is certainly binding for both states", the Attorney General said.

However, India, after being denied consular access for 16th time, dragged Pakistan to the ICJ on May 8 for violating the Vienna Convention.

Pakistani representative Mohammad Faisal on Monday showed judges a copy of an Indian passport he said Jadhav was carrying at the time of his detention.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi following court's verdict expressed satisfaction at the judgement of ICJ in Kulbhushan Jadhav case. He was sentenced to death last month.

Pakistan, which announced the sentence on Jadhav on April 10, claims its security forces arrested him from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 previous year after he reportedly entered from Iran.

Jadhav reportedly joined India's prestigious National Defence Academy in 1987 and was commissioned as an engineer in the Indian Navy in 1991.

Earlier, Zakaria said at the weekly press briefing said India was trying to portray Jadhavs case “as a humanitarian issue to divert the worlds attention from his role in fomenting terrorism” inside Pakistan.