UN Court Orders Pakistan Not to Execute Indian National Convicted of Spying

The court stayed the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, who is now imprisoned in a Pakistani jail and was convicted of spying and sentenced to death.

The verdict represents a diplomatic setback for Pakistan, which has insisted that Mr Jadhav's espionage activities put him beyond the purview of the ICJ's jurisdiction, and that the court can not interfere in matters of national security.

When India appealed to ICJ and initiated proceedings against Pakistan for allegedly violating Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Pakistan argued that the court doesn't have jurisdiction over this bilateral dispute.

However, reacting on ICJ's order, Pakistan while challengig the authority of ICJ said that it cannot be a party to Pakistan's national security.

Mr Jadhav, 47, was arrested in March 2016 and Pakistani officials claimed he had confessed to spying for Indian intelligence services.

Jadhav, who is married with two children, reportedly joined India's prestigious National Defence Academy in 1987 and was commissioned as an engineer in the Indian Navy in 1991.

Mehmood attacked the government for selecting a lawyer at the ICJ "who had not a single global law case reported from the UK Supreme Court".

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A statement issued by Pakistan's attorney general in response to the ICJ's order said the status of Jadhav's case had not changed "in any manner". "The decision to stay Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution pending ICJ hearing is unanimous", Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court, said.

Invoking the Optional Protocol of the Vienna Convention, India had contended that the International Court of Justice has the jurisdiction to take up the Jadhav death penalty case. "Pakistan will present solid evidence against Jadhav".

While this is an interim order, for India it marks a significant diplomatic victory.

He said courts sometimes grant such orders which do not have any bearing on long-term running of the case.

London-based Barrister Rashid Aslam said Pakistan was ill-prepared and did not utilise the 90 minutes it had to make its argument.

India said Thursday, there was no ambiguity in ICJ's judgment, which it said created a legally binding global obligation on Pakistan. Ruling in favour of India, the Court asked Pakistan to keep it informed about the measures, including on consular access, taken by it in this connection.

Pakistan's Dawn described the ICJ ruling as setback for the country. The next day, the global court gave Jadhav a lease of life and stayed the death sentence as a provisional measure.

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