India and Pakistan found themselves poles apart in their arguments throughout the Kulbhushan Jadhav case hearing at the ICJ.
ICJ verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav: At 6.30 pm on Wednesday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its historic verdict in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case that Pakistan should review and reconsider the conviction and sentence given to Jadhav by the Pakistan military court. ICJ ruled by 15 votes to 1 that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 on several counts.
India and Pakistan found themselves poles apart in their arguments throughout the Kulbhushan Jadhav case hearing at the ICJ. Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the ICJ verdict in India’s favour and vowed to ensure Jadhav’s early release and return to India. On the other hand, Pakistan’s Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain claimed that the ICJ rejected India’s case “for acquittal, release and return” of Jadhav.
The ICJ verdict in Jadhav case has been considered as a major diplomatic victory for India as New Delhi case for early release of Jadhav has begun moving in the right direction.
Here’s how India demolished Pakistan’s arguments at the ICJ:
1) ICJ upheld that Pakistan violated Vienna Convention rules
Broadly, India argued that Jadhav’s death sentence violates international law and provisions of the Vienna Convention. India asked for immediate release of Jadhav and Pakistan should be directed to facilitate his safe passage to India. India argued that it had not been informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan had failed to inform him of his rights.
India’s argument was based on the fact that Pakistan did not grant them the consular access after Jadhav’s arrest. A retired Navy officer, Jadhav, 49, was arrested allegedly on March 3, 2016, and India was informed on March 25. He was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017 by a Pakistan military court.
2) ICJ stays Jadhav’s execution
Pakistan military court had sentenced Jadhav to death on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India won an injunction from the ICJ in May, 2017. ICJ had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till the adjudication of the case.
Jadhav was arrested in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, the region of a long-running conflict between security forces and separatists. He was convicted of espionage and sabotage by a Pakistan military court. The Indian government had said that there is no proof that Jadhav who owns a cargo business in Iran was arrested in Balochistan as claimed by Pakistan.
3) ICJ grants consular access to Jadhav
New Delhi had sought consular access to Jadhav from Islamabad for the first time in March, 2016. Over the next one year, India made 16 such requests and all of them were denied by Pakistan.
Noting that India has made a number of requests for the consular access, which was denied by Pakistan, the ICJ on Wednesday said that it was “undisputed” fact that Pakistan did not accede to India’s appeals.
4) Review Jadhav’s death sentence: ICJ tells Pakistan
At ICJ, while India had raised questions on the functioning of Pakistan’s notorious military courts, Pakistan had asked the World Court to “dismiss or declare inadmissible” India’s claim for relief to Jadhav.
In a major victory for India, the ICJ ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence for Kulbhushan Jadhav and provide him consular access.
ICJ did not comment on Pakistan’s claims that Jadhav is a spy. India has long argued that Jadhav was not associated with the Indian government and he owned a cargo business in Iran from where he was kidnapped.