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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Pakistan objects India’s plea against death sentence, tells ICJ it’s unnecessary and misconceived

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 5/15/2017 8:36:00 PM

Raising the issue of Jadhav's passport, Qureshi said India has been unable to provide an explanation for Jadhav's passport which bears a Muslim name.

Opposing India’s plea demanding suspension of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence, Pakistan on Monday told the International Court of Justice that India’s application is “unnecessary and misconceived”. Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi told the ICJ that India is using the court as “the scene of political theatre”.
Raising the issue of Jadhav’s passport, Qureshi said India has been unable to provide an explanation for Jadhav’s
passport which bears a Muslim name. Reacting to India’s allegations of Pakistan denying consular access to Jadhav, Qureshi said the former naval officer has no right to consular access. He also asserted that India did not respond to Pakistan’s letters regarding Jadhav.Rebutting India’s case before the ICJ, Qureshi asserted that this forum is not a criminal court of appeal nor does it exercise criminal jurisdiction. “India’s plea for invoking provisions of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention is not relevant in this case. The Vienna Convention was adopted for better communication between friendly countries. But it cannot apply in this case of a spy set up by a state.
“It is clear from the Vienna Convention that the provision being sought under Article 36 by India cannot be entertained by this court,” Qureshi said in his 45-minute reply to arguments put forth by Indian counsel Harish Salve earlier.
At the end of the Pakistani argument, ICJ President Ronny Abraham announced that the court would give its verdict in the case “as soon as possible”. The date will be delivered at a public sitting, Abraham said.
Earlier in the day, India demanded immediate suspension of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the ICJ was over. India’s forceful submission was made as the ICJ began hearing the case of the 46-year-old former Navy officer who was arrested on March 3 last year and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities.
Battling Pakistan in the UN’s highest judicial body, India said the situation was grave and urgent, prompting it to approach the court “at such short notice”. “Jadhav has not got the right to get proper legal assistance and the right to consular access. There is an immediate threat to him to be executed even before a decision is passed,” joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Deepak Mittal told the court in opening remarks.
Eighteen years after the two neighbours last faced off at the ICJ — when Islamabad sought its intervention over the shooting down of its naval aircraft — India took up the issue of consular rights to its national and accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna convention and conducting a “farcical trial” without a “shred of evidence”.
“The execution of the death sentence cannot be done while this court is hearing the appeal. Else, it will be a violation of the Vienna Convention,” lead attorney Harish Salve said.
(With inputs from PTI)


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