The fate of Kulbhushan Jadhav — former Indian Navy officer who is on the death row in Pakistan — is scheduled to be decided as the hearing in the case will be held at the International Court of Justice at The Hague between February 18 and 21.
In wake of the worst terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday, which has strained ties between India and Pakistan, tension is expected to escalate next week during the proceeding. The terror attack could also cast a shadow on the meeting next month between officials of the two countries on the Kartarpur corridor.
Attorney General Anwar Mansoor would lead the Pakistani delegation whereas Director General South Asia Dr Mohammad Faisal would lead the Foreign Office side, according to the Dawn. Harish Salve will represent India.
Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. Acting strongly against the verdict, India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May the same year. On May 18, 2017, a 10-member bench of the ICJ had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar declined to go into the details of it. “The oral proceedings on the International Court of Justice are commencing on February 18. India will present its case before the court. Since the matter is sub judice, it is not appropriate for me to state our position in public. Whatever we have to do, we will do at the court,” he said in response to a question.
The International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will hold public hearings in the Jadhav case from February 18 (Monday) 18 to February 21 (Thursday), 2019, according to the ICJ website.
Meanwhile, Pakistan said it will implement the decision by the ICJ says. “Pakistan is committed to implementing the decision of the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case,” a senior Pakistani official said. “We are fully prepared with our strongest evidence being the valid Indian passport recovered from Commander Jadhav with a Muslim name,” Dawn quoted the official as saying.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.
However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India. India had approached the ICJ for “egregious” violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by Pakistan in Jadhav’s case.