Pakistan Army on Wednesday said that it will respond to any query by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) with regards to the death sentence given to former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who was convicted by Pakistan’s military court on espionage charges.
Addressing media person, Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Jadhav’s sentencing by a military court was done after “due process of law”. “If the ICJ requests Pakistan anything about Jadhav, then the government of Pakistan will respond to it at an appropriate level,” Ghafoor said.
He added that “the process is continuing within the army” over the decision by the court against Jadhav. He, however, did not explain regarding the “process”.
Earlier, in the day, Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed the stay order on the execution of Jadhav.
With regards to the stay on execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had earlier said that the government was “analysing the Hague-based ICJ’s authority”. He added that the Pakistan government would issue a statement on the same in the coming days.
Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif in a tweet accused India of using Jadhav’s death conviction to “divert” attention from “state-sponsored” terrorism in the Pakistan. “Indian letter to ICJ attempt to divert attention from state sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. Kulbhushan convicted of offences against national security,” Asif tweeted.
India had approached the ICJ against the death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial in April. ICJ’s order suspending the death sentence came a day after.
In its appeal to the ICJ, India accused Pakistan of “egregious” violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. India argued that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities. But Pakistan asserted that he was arrested from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.
Warning Pakistan of the consequences, India said that if the death sentence of Jadhav was executed it would be a “pre-meditated murder” and that it would damage bilateral ties. In its application to ICJ, India mentioned that it learnt about Jadhav’s death sentence from a press release.
While India has acknowledged that Jadhav served with the Navy, it has denied that he had any connection with the government. Meanwhile, India has also reportedly handed over an appeal by Jadhav’s mother to Pakistan in order to get his conviction overturned.