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Deadline for Kulbhushan Jadhav to appeal against execution ends today

20 May 2017, 03:37 | Darnell Patrick

UN orders Pakistan not to execute Indian man accused of spying

India's battle at The International Court of Justice to stop Pakistan executing one of its nationals accused of spying has highlighted tensions between the nuclear armed rivals

While the Internationa Court of Justice's stay order on execution of Kulbhshan Jadhav was hailed as a big diplomatic win for India, Pakistan maintained that it will have no impact on trial against former Indian Navy officer.

The dispute revolves around the fate of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, a former officer in the Indian navy who was arrested in March 2016 in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan and sentenced to death last April.

The ruling triggered criticism of the Pakistan Foreign Office for handling the case poorly, and also for its choice of UK-based Khawar Qureshi, who represented Pakistan's case before the ICJ.

Pakistan says ICJ has no jurisdiction to hear the case of Yadav as it pertains with the national security of the country.

Amid the court proceedings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, President of the ICJ, Ronny Abraham said that India should have been given consular access as per Vienna convention.

"Pakistan's security is so important and we have to maintain our fundamental sovereign right", The Nation reported him as saying.

Pakistan today was in shock as it was confident that the ICJ will throw out the case on the grounds of jurisdiction.

Fighting to save Jadhav, India on Monday told the International Court of Justice that there is an "immediate threat" that he may be executed any time that calls for urgent suspension of the sentence, media reports said.

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Having ordered Pakistan not to execute Jadhav, the ICJ will now seek comprehensive submissions from both New Delhi and Islamabad on their respective cases.

The court further observed that the existence of a 2008 bilateral agreement between Indian and Pakistan on consular relations did not change its conclusion.

The 11-judge bench of ICJ on Thursday ruled that Pakistan can not execute Jadhav until the "final decision". It also made clear that Islamabad's argument that the 2008 bilateral agreement on consular access justifies its decision to not give India consular access to Jadhav, as he was accused and subsequently found guilty of acts of espionage, was not in keeping with worldwide norms.

It also said that the 150-day period for clemency given by Pakistan, which ends in August, suggests that the execution can happen immediately thereafter.

Last week, after India challenged the death sentence, Pakistan was asked by the International Court to put it on hold.

The UN Court virtually snubbed Pakistan by pronouncing that no execution will take place before the final decision.

The ICJ also said that its ruling is binding. But death sentences have rarely been issued in recent years.



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