ICJ orders Pakistan to stay execution of Indian 'spy'

Pauline Gross
May 19, 2017

People celebrate as they hold placards and light fireworks after International Court of Justice's (ICJ) decision of temporarily staying the execution of Kulbhushan Yadav who Pakistan alleges of spying, in Ahmedabad, India, May 18, 2017.

According to Pakistan, Jadhav was seized by its security forces in the restive Balochistan province on March three previous year after he reportedly entered from Iran. He added that the ICJ verdict had shown that the military court trial by Pakistan was a "charade", and that the neighbour had been completely "blown away" by it. While not commenting specifically on the order to halt the execution, the office said in a statement that Jadhav "still has ample time to petition for clemency".

"Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings", said the court's president Ronny Abraham.

Meanwhile, former judge of the International Criminal Tribunal Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan also said that the decision was an interim order.

As soon as the order came in, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his satisfaction and spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who described the verdict as a "great relief".

Pakistan can not execute Indian national Jadhav until it makes a final decision in the proceedings of the case, the ICJ said.

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Earlier in the day, the ICJ had announced its verdict on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case and had dismissed Pakistan's claim that it did not have jurisdiction over the matter. "In those circumstances, the court is satisfied that there is urgency in the present case", it stated. It has also helped India overcome its diffidence over moving global fora when dealing with Pakistan for fear of internationalising Kashmir.

Hailing the order as a " major victory" for India, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said it has "exposed" Pakistan and exuded confidence that the final order too will be in India's favour.

Meanwhile, Pakistan said the ICJ's decision has not changed the status of Jadhav's case in any manner. It is in the interest of justice and same in accordance with law, ? Its rulings are binding. It added that it indeed has jurisdiction in the case, superceding a 2008 agreement between India and Pakistan. However, death sentences have rarely been issued in such cases.

Outside Jadhav's former home in Mumbai, a group of friends let off firecrackers in celebration. According to Supreme Court lawyers Sanjay Hegde and Pranjal Kishore cited by the Business Standard, Pakistan could still go ahead with Jadhav's hanging.

Jadhav's case is the latest flashpoint in the tensions between Pakistan and India.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court last month on charges of espionage. But the tribunal decided in 2000 that it was not competent to rule in the dispute and closed the case.

Other reports by GizPress

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