In a diplomatic triumph and victory of justice over duplicity, the International Court of Justice has stayed the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer accused of espionage by Pakistan, and upheld India’s right to consular access to him. The judge’s verdict was unambiguous: “Pakistan should not executive Jadhav till proceedings are on in this court.”
The ICJ’s verdict triggered rejoicing in India, with the external affairs ministry’s spokesperson Gopal Bagley underlining that the provisional relief provided by the ICJ is the first step in ensuring justice to Jadhav. “We hope it will help remedy egregious violations of Jadhav’s rights & violations of international convention by Pakistan,” said Mr Bagley.
“We hope concerned authorities in Pakistan have heard, ICJ said that this order creates legally binding international obligation,” he said.
The verdict came as a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government had made it clear that it will do everything possible to save Mr Jadhav from the gallows and deceitful snare of Pakistan. “I assure the nation that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi we will leave no stone unturned to save Kulbhushan Jadhav,” said External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Ms Swaraj stressed that the order comes as “a great relief to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav and people of India.”
“International Court of Justice staying execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav has exposed Pakistan. I’m sure final order too will go in our favour,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu.
Ace lawyer Harish Salve, who had argued India’s case before the ICJ, requested the United Nation’s top court to order Pakistan to suspend Mr Jadhav’s execution. He emphasised that India feared that Pakistan may execute Mr Jadhav even before the court decided on its appeal, accusing Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna convention” by denying him access to legal counsel and consular access, and refusing to reveal the charges or evidence against him.
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