Pakistan says it does not accept ICJ's jurisdiction in national security matters

Cheryl Sanders
May 19, 2017

The ICJ at the Hague stayed the execution of 46-year-old Indian Navy officer Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities. "It also unanimously decides that the court must be told of the measures Pakistan takes to implement this order", ICJ President Ronny Abraham said in the operative portion of the order which he read out in the open court for almost 30 minutes.

"After India stood exposed in state sponsored terrorism and financing terrorism, it tried to divert attention from presenting the Kulbushan Jadhav case with a humanitarian angle", he said.

"We will be pursuing consular access for him. I'm sure final order too will go in our favour (sic)", Naidu tweeted.

The circumstances of Jadhav's arrest remain disputed, Judge Abraham said while reading out the world court's verdict. India took the bold decision of going to the ICJ after weighing the pros and cons - disregarding concerns that Pakistan could reciprocate in kind by internationalising every dispute between the two countries.

"It is just a continuation of its earlier understanding", Yechury observed.

"Pakistan shall take necessary measures to ensure that Jadhav is not executed until the final decision in these proceedings and shall inform the court all the measures taken in implementation of the court's order", the president added.

India argued in a preliminary hearing at the United Nations court that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by denying the condemned man access to legal and other assistance from India.

But Pakistani representatives accused New Delhi of "political grandstanding" and told the court Jadhav "has confessed to having been sent by India to wage terror on the innocent civilians and infrastructure of Pakistan".

"We will accept the decision of ICJ on Kulbhushan", Sanaullah told media persons at the Punjab Assembly.

The External Affairs Ministry also noted that the ICJ's verdict has been "unanimous", "clear" and "unambiguous". Pakistan responded that the court should decline jurisdiction in the case.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said that India will seek consular access to Jadhav again.

He further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserves entire country's congratulations for taking a bold step and winning this case at the worldwide level. "We based our case on jurisdiction and it proved weak".

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