In a big setback to Pakistan and a huge moral victory diplomatically for India at the International fora, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday told Pakistan to put on hold the execution of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jhadav and take all measures to ensure his safety till the case is being heard in the court.
In a boost to India’s case in the UN judicial body, which India had moved against Pakistan, the 11-judge bench of the ICJ unanimously passed an interim order instructing Pakistan to take all “necessary measures at its disposal” to ensure that Jadhav was not executed pending a final decision by it.
The ICJ said that India should have been granted consular access to its national as per the Vienna Convention to which both countries have been signatories since 1977. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities on 10 April 2017 after his arrest a year ago in March 2016.
The ICJ also asserted its jurisdiction over the case of the 46-year-old former Indian Navy officer while noting that the circumstances of his arrest remain disputed.
Various ministers and personalities came in support of the ICJ order, which came three days after India and Pakistan gave their submissions in the case.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed satisfaction at the order of the ICJ. According to official sources, he spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to thank her and appreciated the efforts of advocate Harish Salve who represented India in the case, PTI said.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who was all praise for Salve, said the interim order was a blow to the bogus stand put forth by Pakistan and vindicated the position taken by India.
“The stand of the Indian government is vindicated and it is a big step towards the final decision. India’s stand was based on truth and justice and respect for human rights. It is a pat on the back for India, ” Rohatgi told reporters in New Delhi. said.
He was also hopeful on the future of the case. “I hope Pakistan sees sense, comes back on track, behaves like responsible nation and gives consular access. Not just that but also the family should be given access to meet Jadhav,” he said.