Pak­istan or­dered not to kill of­fi­cer

Kingston Whig-Standard - - WORLD NEWS - MIKE CORDER

THE HAGUE, Nether­lands — The In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice on Thurs­day or­dered Pak­istan not to ex­e­cute an In­dian naval of­fi­cer con­victed of es­pi­onage and ter­ror­ism, in a case that has fur­ther strained re­la­tions be­tween the Asian neigh­bours.

The UN court ruled unan­i­mously that Pak­istan shouldn’t carry out the death penalty on Kulb­hushan Jad­hav pend­ing the out­come of a case filed by In­dia al­leg­ing that Pak­istan breached Jad­hav’s right to con­sular as­sis­tance fol­low­ing his ar­rest last year. Jad­hav was con­victed in Pak­istan and sen­tenced to death on April 10.

“Pak­istan shall take all mea­sures at its dis­posal to en­sure that Mr. Jad­hav is not ex­e­cuted,” court Pres­i­dent Ronny Abra­ham said at a hear­ing in the or­nate, wood-pan­eled Great Hall of Jus­tice in The Hague.

In­dia’s ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter, Sushma Swaraj, tweeted that the “ICJ or­der has come as a huge re­lief to the fam­ily of Kulb­hushan Jad­hav and peo­ple of In­dia.”

Pak­istan sought to play down the sig­nif­i­cance of the or­der, say­ing in a writ­ten state­ment that, “the court’s decision to­day has not changed the sta­tus of Cmdr. Jad­hav’s case in any man­ner.”

The for­eign min­istry state­ment added that Jad­hav “still has am­ple time to pe­ti­tion for clemency.”

At hear­ings on Mon­day, In­dia called Jad­hav’s trial a“se­ri­ous mis car­riage of jus­tice” be­cause he wasn’ t al­lowed to see In­dian diplo­mats or choose his own de­fence lawyer. In­dian lawyers ar­gued that those re­stric­tions amounted to a breach of the 1963 Vi­enna Con­ven­tion on Con­sular Re­la­tions.

Pak­istan ar­gued that Jad­hav’s rights weren’t breached and that the court didn’t need to is­sue an ur­gent or­der to stay his ex­e­cu­tion be­cause it wasn’t im­mi­nent. A lawyer for Pak­istan added that a bi­lat­eral agree­ment al­lows ei­ther coun­try to de­cide on con­sular ac­cess in cases in­volv­ing “po­lit­i­cal or se­cu­rity” is­sues.

Pak­istani rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mo­ham­mad Faisal said Mon­day that Jad­hav “has con­fessed to hav­ing been sent by In­dia to wage ter­ror on the in­no­cent civil­ians and in­fras­truc­ture of Pak­istan.”

The case will take months or years to set­tle, so judges is­sued Thurs­day’s or­der to en­sure that Jad­hav isn’t ex­e­cuted be­fore the case ends. Rul­ings by the court are fi­nal and bind­ing on the coun­tries in­volved.

AJIT SOLANKI/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In­di­ans hold posters of In­dian naval of­fi­cer Kulb­hushan Jad­hav and light fire crack­ers as they cel­e­brate the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice or­der stop­ping Pak­istan from ex­e­cut­ing him.

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