Pakistan on Wednesday said it will now proceed “as per law” in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case after the International Court of Justice ruled that it must review the death sentence for the Indian national who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism”.
The Foreign Office in a statement said Pakistan as a “responsible member” of the international community “upheld its commitment” from the very beginning of the case by appearing before the court for the provisional measures hearing despite a very short notice.
“Having heard the judgment, Pakistan will now proceed as per law,” the statement said. The statement claimed that the Hague-based ICJ in its judgment did not accept India’s plea to “acquit/release” Jadhav. The Foreign Office reiterated that Jadhav entered Pakistan “without a visa on authentic Indian Passport with a fake alias Hussain Mubarak Patel”.
The ICJ bench headed by Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav. Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India following which New Delhi moved the world court.
In New Delhi, India welcomed the verdict of the ICJ asking Pakistan to review the death sentence for Jadhav and granting consular access to him. Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Raveesh Kumar said the ruling of the court by a vote of 15-1 upheld India’s position in the case.
“This landmark judgement validates India’s position on the matter,” he said, adding, “We will continue to work vigorously for Kulbhushan Jadhav’s early release and return to India.”
Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said that execution of Jadhav was stayed by the International Court of Justice only until he exhausts reviews. Mazari tweeted that the verdict was in favour of Pakistan.
“Oh for heaven sakes only on consular access judgement in India’s favour - otherwise on every other count India lost - execution only stayed till all review channels utilised,” she said.