Hearing for the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague will resume on Wednesday. Jadhav, a former officer of the Indian Navy, was abducted reportedly from Chabahar in Iran in March 2016 and arrested by Pakistani forces. He was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April, 2017 without allowing him consular access or legal representation.
Jadhav was charged with espionage and terrorism and accused of being an Indian spy. After news of his death sentence was announced by the Pakistani government, India challenged his sentencing at the International Court of Justice.
The BJP which is heading the government is hoping for an early return of Jadhav. “India will make every effort to see that Jadhav is released from Pakistan’s illegal detention. He has been sentenced to death by the court of Pakistan without even a hearing and without providing an opportunity to him to put forth his point of view. However, the Indian effort to secure his freedom has delayed the judicial process in Pakistan, and I am sure in the coming hearing the Indian government will succeed in bringing back Jadhav to India,” BJP leader S. Prakash told ANI.
Another BJP leader Rahul Sinha also hoped for justice for Jadhav. “The court will take its decision. We should not comment on it. The matter is in the court and we hope that we will get justice.”
ICJ is the chief judicial arm of the United Nations. India and Pakistan, both being members of the UN, are de facto members – India being a founding member. In cases where ICJ has jurisdiction, ICJ’s decision is binding. If any party fails to abide by the decision, the opposing party can approach the UN Security Council for it to force the erring party to conform to the ICJ’s directives. India’s case rests on Pakistan’s violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention. According to international law, ICJ has jurisdiction in all cases arising out of interpretation or application of the Vienna Convention.
India had informed the ICJ on May 15 that it feared Pakistan may execute Jadhav before the court gives its verdict.
On Tuesday, Pakistani interior minister Ahsan Iqbal hit out at India and alleged that Pakistan’s pursual of Jadhav’s case was proof of India’s intentions to sabotage the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, according to Pakistan’s The News International. “India was trying to sabotage the $50 billion corridor with terrorism,” PTI quoted Iqbal as saying in The News International.
Pakistan disputes India’s allegations and claims it arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province. The CPEC culminates at the deep-water port town of Gwadar which is located in Balochistan. India has maintained he was abducted from the nearby Chabahar which is Iranian territory and that he had business interests there post his retirement from the Indian Navy.
Meanwhile, India has not changed its opposing stance towards CPEC–a corridor which originates in China and culminates at Gwadar but passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
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