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Jadhav confessed hes Indian spy, Pakistan tells ICJ

16 May, 2017

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THE HAGUE: Pakistan on Monday told the International Court of Justice (ICJ) it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case brought up by India pertaining to sentencing of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Jadhav was handed death sentence by a Pakistani Field General Court Martial (FGCM) last month.

Ambassador Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Dr Faisal and Syed Faraz Hussain were present at the Peace Palace as members of Pakistan’s legal team. Supreme Court lawyers Khawar Qureshi, Asad Raheem Khan and Joseph Decky also attended the proceedings in The Hague. The arguments for Pakistan were presented by Dr Faisal.

Dr Faisal said told the court that according to the Vienna Convention, the court had no jurisdiction to hear such a case, Radio Pakistan reported. He further said the Indian spy was sentenced to death after fulfilling all necessary legal procedures and that he was also given legal counsel to defend the allegations against him.

Khawar Qureshi, also representing Pakistan, had earlier argued, “The ICJ is not a criminal court and cannot decide cases relating to national security.” He further appealed the court to dismiss the Indian application. He also pointed out that India was unwilling to explain Jadhav’s passport, which bears a Muslim name.

The counsel for Pakistan said that the provisions of the Vienna Convention do not apply to a ‘spy involved in terror activities’. “India’s allegation regarding the kidnapping of its spy is not true and he [Jadhav] was arrested by Pakistani forces from Balochistan,” he maintained.

Pakistani representatives told the court Jadhav ‘has confessed to having been sent by India to wage terror on the innocent civilians and infrastructure of Pakistan’. Dr Faisal said the tribunal had been shown a video of the confession which was available on-line ‘for viewers to decide for themselves whether commander Jadhav is confessing voluntarily’. He also showed the court a picture of a passport which he said was found in Jadhav’s possession bearing a completely different and Muslim name.

“India has been unable, or perhaps unwilling, to provide an explanation for this passport which is the most obvious indication of covert and illegal activity,” added Faisal.

India has denied however he was a spy, and last week lodged a rare protest at the ICJ accusing Pakistan of ‘egregious violations of the Vienna convention’.

The case has highlighted the recent sharp uptick in tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals, with the two sides outlining starkly different accounts.

“India believes that the farcical nature of the proceedings and unjust trial by a Pakistan military court... has led to a serious miscarriage of justice,” said Mittal.

India is seeking the immediate suspension of the death sentence against Jadhav who it claims was kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring.

But lawyer Khawar Qureshi, appearing for Pakistan, shot back that Jadhav is a ‘terrorist’ and New Delhi’s story was ‘far-fetched at best’.

“India invoked the jurisdiction of this court improperly,” he said. “This court exists to ensure that states engage in peaceful resolution of disputes. This court does not exist for time-wasting and political grandstanding.”

The court’s president Ronny Abraham said the tribunal would publicly deliver its decision on whether to grant an emergency stay of execution ‘as soon as possible’.

Earlier, the UN’s judicial body had heard India’s arguments in the first phase of the proceedings. As the proceedings began, India had appealed to the UN’s top court to order Pakistan to suspend its planned execution of Jadhav, saying his rights had been violated by Islamabad.

Harish Salve, leading the Indian legal team, had focused his arguments on Pakistan’s denial of consular access to Jadhav as he presented India’s case before the judicial body.

“The situation in which we find ourselves is grave and it is urgent,” Salve said. “India has made innumerable requests since March 2016 for consular access.”

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