ICJ on Thursday stayed the Indian National Kulbhushan Jhadav’s execution until its final verdict. The UN court has in its unanimous decision has directed Pakistan to take all necessary measures to ensure that Mr. Jhadav is not hanged illegally until its final decision.
India on 8th may had approached the ICJ under the Vienna Convention on consular relations (VCCR) to plead against the death sentence imposed on Indian national kulbhushan Jhadav, a retired navy officer who was abducted from Iran. Vienna convention is an international treaty that defines consular relations between independent states.
The neighbouring country however accuses him of being an Indian spy and said he was arrested in Balochistan province last year. Since then India has made 16 formal requests to be granted access to Kulbhushan Jhadav under Article 36 of Vienna convention. Article 36 of the Vienna Convention states that foreign nationals who are arrested or detained be given notice without delay of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of that arrest. If the detained foreign national so requests, the police must fax that notice to the embassy or consulate, which can then check up on the person. Pakistan government accussed Mr. Jhadav of being an R&AW officer.
India in response conveyed the alleging country that Kulbhushan has had no links with the government since 2002, when he retired from Indian navy, he can’t be mistaken for R&AW agent. All the requests fell on deaf ears. FIR was filed against him on charges of terrorism and sabotage. Pakistan’s military court found him guilty. Kulbhushan Jhadav was awarded death sentence in a secret trial. India criticized the decision. The family members of the alleged spy were denied visa to Pakistan.
Breaching the treaty and awarding the death sentence illegally to it’s naval officer, India , always bearing the brunt decided to break silence this time. The move raised tensions between the two countries. India moved to the International Court of Justice to seek relief from this grim issue. There have been many prisoner of wars, innocent uneducated people who crossed the border unknowingly, and many more languishing in Pakistan’s prison without any trial or by falsified trial since years. This is the first time India has taken such a brutal step (which was necessary).The current government really is trying to put an end to the rising tensions and cross border terrorism, though this is just the beginning. That should have been nipped in the bud, but alas, we were a soft country then, situation is changing now.
An aggrieved sister of the nation, Daljit Kaur (Sarbjit’s sister) at India’s win at ICJ remembered her brother, who died in a Pakistani prison in 2013. She said “Had the UPA government followed the same channel and taken up my brother’s case with the ICJ, he would have been among us today.” Ministry of External Affairs has also said they would do anything in their power to make sure Kulbhushan Jhadav does not meet with the same fate. Harish Salve, the former solicitor-general who is known to charge a high fee for the cases,anything in between Rs. 6 Lacs to Rs. 15000 lac per appearance is doing a noble work by representing India in the International court of justice at a nominal fee, Re 1 to be precise. He voluntarily offered to charge such an amount in true national spirit and keeping in mind the entire nation’s interests.
India appealed to ICJ on the grounds that Pakistan has violated the treaty of Vienna convention and denied consular access to its’ national who was abducted from Iran, living his life peacefully after retiring from Indian Navy. Pakistan accuses him of being an Indian spy, and states in hearing at the UN court that he was arrested from Baloch in Pakistan and has also confessed in a video of his hineous crimes and is in possession of two passports. Khawar Qureshi, Indian representative counterpart also tried to dissuade the court to not proceed further as this case was not under their scope and the bilateral agreement between the two countries superceded it. The Pakistani representatives resorted to other measures to prove India wrong by requesting the court to play the confessional video of Mr. Jhadav. India refuted, he must have confessed under duress. ICJ denied Pakistan’s plea. India also epmhasised to forfeit the execution and expressed fears that he might be executed even while the hearing was on. After, hearing both sides, the UN court ruled in favour of India until its final verdict after ruling on the merits of the case. The 11-judge bench unanimously stayed the hanging of Indian national by Pakistani court until further notice.
The verdict takes a great dig at Pakistan’s judicial system. Pakistan does not accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction as it considers the case as a matter of its national security. Court considers it has prima facie jurisdiction in the case and its rulings will be binding. ICJ has specifically said that it considers the fact that Mr. Jhadav is under grave threat and told Pakistan to take appropriate safety measures to ensure Jhadav is not executed until final verdict. Pakistan is in a state of shock. Observers in Pakistan are saying their country’s argument was “weak and damaging, It’s pakistan’s mistakes to have appeared there.” Pak’s punjab province minister unhappy with the ruling, said will accept the ruling but there are strong evidences against him. Meanwhile Indian citizens, welcoming the decision are hopeful of bringing Kulbhushan Jhadav back safe to his brethren.