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India flexes diplomatic muscle, gets an ICJ stay on hanging of Kulbhushan Jadhav

India wants Kulbhushan Jadhav back, and its leaving no stone unturned to stop Pakistan from hanging the alleged Indian ‘spy’. In what seems a major diplomatic win for the nation, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has stayed the death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav, given by a Pakistani military court. Jadhav has been charged of spying on Pakistan. 

India wants Kulbhushan Jadhav

 ICJ, based in Hague, was approached by India on Tuesday, and the court stayed the death sentence handed down to Jadhav on Wednesday. Since the arrest, India had demanded consular access to Jadhav for 16 times, but each time, it was denied by Pakistan. In a letter to Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, ICJ asked to stay the death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian navy man. He was arrested by Pakistan on March 3, 2016 on charges of spying. His death sentence was announced on April 10 this year. Kulbhushan’s mother, Avanti Jadhav, filed an appeal at a higher court in Pakistan in April, pleading to stay her son’s death sentence.

India had appealed to ICJ, accusing Pakistan of “egregious” violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. According to India, Jadhav had retired from the Indian Navy, and was carrying out businesses in Iran. But Pakistan falsely arrested him, and claimed he was found in Balochistan.

Senior advocate Harish Salve represented India before the ICJ, and contended that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights. Also, Pakistan was denying India any consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, thus violating the Vienna Convention.

“Referring to ‘the extreme gravity and immediacy of the threat that authorities in Pakistan will execute an Indian citizen in violation of obligations Pakistan owes to India‘, India urges the Court to deliver an order indicating provisional measures immediately, ‘without waiting for an oral hearing’,” India’s appeal said.

Talking about the recent development, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stated, “I have spoken to the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav and told her about the order of President, ICJ under Art 74 Paragraph 4 of Rules of Court.” 

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