Vienna Convention not for ‘spies’ involved in terror: Pakistan to ICJ

India has been unable to provide an explanation for Mr. Jadhav’s passport which bears a Muslim name, claims Pakistan Foreign Office official

Updated - May 15, 2017 08:36 pm IST

Published - May 15, 2017 08:19 pm IST - The Hague

Delegation of Pakistan at the International Court of Justice during the Kulbhushan Jadhav case hearing, in The Hague, Netherlands on Monday.

Delegation of Pakistan at the International Court of Justice during the Kulbhushan Jadhav case hearing, in The Hague, Netherlands on Monday.

The Vienna Convention provisions on consular access were not intended for a “spy” involved in terror activities, Pakistan on Monday told the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is hearing India’s plea on the death sentence given to its national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

India’s application on Mr. Jadhav, who was arrested in March last year and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities, was “unnecessary and misconceived” and must be dismissed, Pakistan told the U.N.’s highest judicial body.

India has been unable to provide an explanation for Mr. Jadhav’s passport which bears a Muslim name, Mohammad Faisal of the Pakistan Foreign Office said in his opening remarks in response to India’s submissions earlier in the day.

India was using the court as the “scene of political theatre” but “we will not respond in kind,” Mr. Faisal told the ICJ which held daylong proceedings to decide the fate of the former Indian Navy officer.

There has been deafening silence and no response from India on Pakistan’s accusations on Mr. Jadhav, Pakistan’s lawyer Khawar Qureshi said.

Expressing the fear that Mr. Jadhav, 46, might be executed before the hearing was over, India accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna convention and conducting a “farcical trial” without a “shred of evidence.”

Pakistan had denied India its 16 requests for consular access, India’s lead attorney Harish Salve said.

The urgent hearing comes after the ICJ last week stayed Mr. Jadhav’s execution. While India presented its argument over 90 minutes, Pakistan, which claims that Mr. Jadhav is an agent of India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), took less than an hour.

India wants the ICJ to annul Mr. Jadhav’s death sentence and for Pakistan to ensure that no action is taken that may prejudice the rights of India or of Mr. Jadhav.

Mr. Jadhav, the latest flashpoint in the tensions between Pakistan and India, was sentenced last month. On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 9, the highest court in the UN gave Mr. Jadhav a lease of life.

India, in its appeal to the ICJ, had asserted that Mr. Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. However, it denies that he has any connection with the government.

Pakistan claims to have arrested Mr. Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province.

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