The Hague, May 18 (PTI) The International Court of Justice (ICJ) today stayed the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities.
In a major boost to India, which has moved the UN's highest judicial body against the death sentence, the ICJ instructed Pakistan to take all "necessary measures at its disposal" to ensure that Jadhav was not executed pending a final decision by it.
The decision of the 11-judge bench was unanimous, ICJ President Ronny Abraham said while reading out the verdict.
The ICJ said that India should have been granted consular access to its national as per the Vienna Convention to which both countries have been signatories since 1977.
The ICJ asserted its jurisdiction over the case of the 46-year-old former Indian Navy officer while noting that the circumstances of his arrest remain disputed.
The ruling came three days after India and Pakistan gave their submissions in the case.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 03 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
Jadhav's case is the latest flashpoint in the tensions between Pakistan and India.
On May 08, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 09, the global court stayed the death sentence as a provisional measure.
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".
They both thanked senior lawyer Harish Salve, who headed the battery of lawyers presenting India's case.
“India, Pak must transform legacies into opportunities”
Srinagar, May 18: Welcoming the verdict of International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kulbhushan Jhadav, Minister of Public Works and J&K government spokesman, Naeem Akhtar today said India and Pakistan must shun their historical legacies of animosity and confrontation, and work towards peace and prosperity of the region.
“Our region has witnessed enough of hangings, bloodbath and animosity of which the state of Jammu and Kashmir becomes the primary victim. It is time for the political leadership of the two countries to work together for peace and prosperity,” Akhtar said.
He welcomed the decision of ICJ on staying the execution of Kulbhushan Jhadav, saying that baying for each-other’s blood is not going to help any country. “All problems can be resolved through dialogue,” he said.
Akhtar said both the countries must shake hands with each other to put the South Asian region on a new trajectory of development which will change the social, economic and political landscape for good. He said the two countries can show the way on transforming legacies of past into opportunities for future.
“The history of past seven decades testifies that war mongering and violence has not yielded any results. The two countries must shun their historical legacies and move ahead on the path of peace, prosperity and economic development,” he said.