Amid Tensions Between India And Pak, Kulbhushan Jadhav's Case At UN Court

Amid Tensions Between India And Pak, Kulbhushan Jadhav

Amid Tensions Between India And Pak, Kulbhushan Jadhav's Case At UN Court 

New Delhi: On Monday, the United Nation's Top Court will be asked by India to order Pakistan to take Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, accused of espionage, off death row. Kulbhushan Jadhav, who according to India,  was kidnapped from Iran, has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court.

The 46 year old Kulbhushan Jadhav was charged by the Pakistani military court charged of alleged "espionage" and sentenced him to death in April 2017, following which India moved to the Hague-based ICJ or International Court of Justice. In May 2017, a 10-member bench of the ICJ had restrained Pakistan from executing Mr Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

It has been claimed by Pakistan that its security forces arrested Mr Jadhav from Balochistan on March 3, 2016 after he allegedly "entered from Iran". However, India has mantained that Mr Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

The lawyers of India will present their arguments on Monday to the top UN court, which was set up after World War II to resolve international disputes. This will be followed by Pakistan's lawyers presenting their case on Tuesday.

In court documents, India is asking that the ICJ to order Islamabad to annul the death sentence given by what India describes as a "kangaroo court" in Pakistan.

India has also highlighted how Islamabad has repeatedly violated the Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access, as well as breaking the international human rights law.

If Pakistan is unable to quash Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence, Islamabad should be found in violation of international law and treaties, and be told to "release the convicted Indian national forthwith", India has said.

'RELEASE INDIAN NATIONAL KULBHUSHAN JADHAV'

In 2017, India had slammed Pakistan of harassing and mistreating Kulbhushan Jadhav's family during a visit by his mother and wife on "compassionate" grounds.  Pakistan's actions were condemned by India saying that the meeting was held in an "atmosphere of coercion".

Islamabad reacted to the ICJ's urgent order to stay Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution at the time, but said it "has not changed the status" of Kulbhushan Jadhav's case "in any manner".

The top UN court's decision will likely come months after this week's hearings.

The case comes amid the ongoing controversy going on between India and Pakistan took a further plunge following the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed or JeM.

PM Modi, had warned that Pakistan would have to pay a "heavy price" after the Masood Azhar-led terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the terror attack.

Around 40 CRPF Jawan were martyred as explosives (RDX) packed in car ripped through a convoy bringing 2,500 soldiers back from leave. The terror attack happened less than 25 kilometres from Srinagar.

The public hearing of Kulbhushan Jadhav will commence from Monday, confirmed the Ministry of External Affairs. However, Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson of the MEA had 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 in the court," he said in response to a question.

(With inputs from AFP)

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