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India warns Pak against ‘farcical attempts’ to implement ICJ’s order
London/The Hague: India has warned Pakistan that its conduct will be under watch and any “farcical attempts” claiming to implement the ICJ’s order in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case would mean going back to the world court or the UN Security Council for remedies.
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017 based on an “extracted confession”. India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, to seek a stay on his death sentence and further remedies.
A 16-member bench headed by President of the Court, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, by 15-1 votes ordered Pakistan on Wednesday to undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav. “It is a good moment for us to help Jadhav get justice and ensure he gets a fair trial,” India’s lead counsel in the case, Harish Salve, told reporters in London on Wednesday in the the wake of the judgment.
Salve indicated that the next steps would involve access to the Indian national by India’s consular officials in Pakistan, who will then be able to ensure he gets full legal representation. Asked about the means at India’s disposal if Pakistan did not fully comply with the ICJ verdict, he noted: “If there is a violation of the order, we can go back to the ICJ to seek further instructions. If a country brazenly violates such an order, there are other provisions, including sanctions in the [UN] Security Council and other remedies. “I am sure Pakistan would not go that way, or at least I hope so…. Their conduct is under watch and any farcical attempts will not go unnoticed… if a country decides to behave rogue and not comply, there are measures available.”
“There is an obligation of result, of fair adjudication after allowing Mr Jadhav consular access and Pakistan must take all steps necessary, including legislative measures,” the senior Indian lawyer asserted.
Reacting for the first time to the verdict, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday tweeted: “Appreciate ICJ’s decision not to acquit, release and return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India. He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law.”
In its 42-page ruling, the ICJ ruled that Pakistan had “breached” the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which gives countries the right to consular access when their nationals are arrested abroad.
The world court found that by not informing Jadhav without delay of his rights under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Pakistan breached the obligations incumbent upon it under that provision.
“The judgment has restored our faith in the rule of law, in the ICJ and in the systems which we as mankind put together to protect the citizens of the world,” said Salve.
“We had challenged the conduct of Pakistan in its brazen refusal to adhere to the Vienna Convention and allow consular access to Mr Jadhav… The court found Pakistan guilty of internationally wrongful acts and that it must cease those acts,” he said. (PTI)