Congress slams govt. for taking Jadhav issue to ICJ

Says it will create an unhealthy precedent as Pakistan might take issues relating to Kashmir

Published - May 10, 2017 10:56 pm IST - New Delhi

New Delhi: File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who is on death row in Pakistan on charges of 'espionage'. International Court of Justice has asked Pakistan to stay his death sentence. PTI Photo  (PTI5_10_2017_000220B)

New Delhi: File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who is on death row in Pakistan on charges of 'espionage'. International Court of Justice has asked Pakistan to stay his death sentence. PTI Photo (PTI5_10_2017_000220B)

The Congress has criticised the Modi government for internationalising the issue of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian citizen sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying.

Party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said on Wednesday that this would create an unhealthy precedent as Pakistan might take issues relating to Kashmir, for instance, to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Responding to the ICJ staying the death sentence imposed on Jadhav after the Indian government approached it, he said: “Of course, the first step was for the Government of India to bring back Kulbhushan Yadav... But today, the Indian government has taken this matter to the ICJ. What prevents Pakistan from taking some issue relating to Kashmir to the ICJ?”

India had earlier accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and kidnapping Mr. Jadhav from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. But Pakistan claimed it had arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016. Targeting the government, Mr. Kumar said, “Have we now given Pakistan the opportunity to internationalise the issue? This government’s Kashmir policy is only about managing news cycles that are detrimental to the security of our country. You need to have a strategy and you need to settle all issues bilaterally.”

Deteriorating situation

Mr. Kumar also offered the Congress’s condolences to the family of Lt. Umar Fayaz, the young Kashmiri Army officer who was killed by militants. “ ...this incident draws attention to the deteriorating situation in Kashmir. From the time this 56-inch strong government was sworn into power, there have been 1,300 ceasefire violations, 170 terror incidents and innumerable killings.”

“The PM speaks on many issues, but seems unconcerned about security issues. We don’t even have a full time Defence Minister ever since Manohar Parrikar was made Chief Minister of Goa,” he said.

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