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Modi gets a diplomatic victory

Last Updated: Friday, 19 May 2017 (13:01 IST)
New Delhi: Giving a big relief to the family members of former Indian Naval official Kulbushan Jadhav and also in a major diplomatic victory for India, the (ICJ) today issued a "binding" order to not to carry out the death sentence Jadhav, pending final disposal of the case. While the Pakistan Government was left red-faced with the ruling establishment there, coming under attack by opposition People's Party of Pakistan, the Government of India described order as an "essential first step" in ensuring justice for Jadhav, whom a Pakistani military court has last month handed over the death sentence.

Back home in India, the episode today virtually united the political parties, with prominent Opposition leaders welcoming the verdict, however, they fell short of appreciating the role of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Government. According to the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesman Gopal Baglay, today's verdict would also help find remedy to the "violation of international convention by Pakistan". "Today's verdict is a great relief to all Indians," he said.
 
India had petitioned the ICJ that Pakistan had violated its obligation under the Vienna Convention by repeated denial of consular access to Jadhav as the Convention guarantees diplomatic help to foreigners accused of capital crimes. The 46-year-old former Navy officer was arrested by Pakistan's security agencies on March 24, 2016 on charges of espionage subversion and terrorism, and last month, he was handed down death sentence by a military court in Pakistan.

External Affairs Minister welcomed the ICJ order and assured once again that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, no stone will be left unturned to save #KulbhushanJadhav. "I compliment my team of officers in the MEA for their tireless efforts and hard work," she wrote in a tweet and also thanked senior counsel Harish Salve for representing India's case strongly. The ICJ in today's order recognised that there was an urgency in the case and noted that Pakistan had given no assurance that Jadhav would not be executed. Commenting on the reported comments of Pakistan Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf Ali that the ICJ judgement was not binding on his Government, MEA Spokesman Mr Baglay said, "India is a law abiding country.
 
We abide by international laws and the court today made it clear that the order shall be binding on all." "This order is legally binding on all under international obligation," he added. Among political parties, Congress welcomed the verdict. 'Welcome the verdict by ICJ to stay execution of #KulbhushanJadhav. Hope case reaches logical end,' AICC Spokesperson Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a tweet.

Welcoming the ICJ order, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the entire country is united in ensuring safe release of Jadhav. "Strongly welcome the ICJ stay on Kulbushan Jadhav's execution. Entire country is united in ensuring his safe release," Mr Kejriwal tweeted. The Court in its order also said the existence of a 2008 bilateral Agreement between India and Pakistan on consular relations did not alter the ICJ jurisdiction in the case.
 
In an unanimous decision, the Bench of the Court said Pakistan must 'take all measures at its disposal' to ensure that Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav is not executed, pending a final judgement of the Court in the Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan)'. Reading the court's decision, presiding judge Ronny Abraham said, 'the Government of Pakistan shall inform it of all measures taken in implementation of that Order.' In Pakistan, opposition PPP and several lawyers flayed the Nawaz Sharif regime for its mishandling the case. PPP leader Sherry Rehman said, "We based our case on jurisdiction and it proved weak. More arguments should have been made regarding espionage", according to reports in the Pakistan media. (UNI)
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