BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday said India has heaved a sigh of relief following the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision to stay the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav and hailed the Modi government’s quick and effective measures in the case.
Shah, who issued a brief statement, praised External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, her team and senior lawyer Harish Salve who was India’s attorney at The Hague. “Under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, India is committed to the safety and security of every citizen,” he said.
On the other hand, the Congress, which had earlier questioned the government’s decision to take the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue to the ICJ said that New Delhi had been left with no option but to approach the ICJ. The main Opposition party had earlier questioned whether moving the ICJ had given Pakistan an opportunity to internationalise disputes with India.
On Thursday, hours after the ICJ stayed the execution of Jadhav, the Congress congratulated the team that represented India at the Hague, though it shied away from commenting on whether it was a diplomatic victory for the Narendra Modi government.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad asked the government not to leave any stone unturned to ensure justice for Jadhav and his return to the country.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said Pakistan must respect the ICJ’s orders. “Pakistan’s argument before the International Court of Justice and its refusal to accept its jurisdiction betrays a mindset of disrespect to the Vienna Convention, which Pakistan has brazenly violated,” he said, adding that the international community must now put pressure on Pakistan government and its army and the UN has to take serious note of the issue.
“We hope the Government of India will continue to mount pressure because it is the first stage. We have to ensure that Jadhav’s life is saved and only when he returns home, we will celebrate. Right now, it is a big relief, the first step, and we hope Pakistan respects that order,” he said.
There was no mention of the party’s earlier criticism of the government. The Congress had earlier asked the government whether it had “thought through all the ramifications” of its decision to take the matter to the ICJ, arguing that “we never tried any international platform for resolving issues in the past. Because the possibilities of others interfering increases. So whether we have helped Pakistan on this, only time will tell.”
Asked about this on Thursday, Sharma said, “I am sure the government would have weighed all options and the pros and cons. India was left with no option, given Pakistan’s disrespect to human rights and violations of the Vienna Convention.”