After ICJ stay, Pak to change lawyers in Kulbhushan Jadhav case

On Thursday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed execution of RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer sentenced to death for espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan.

Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said Pakistan's counsel had courageously presented Pakistan's stance in International Court of Justice on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

A Pakistani lawyer added that a bilateral agreement allows either country to make decisions on consular access in cases involving politics or security.

The court agreed with India's concerns on the matter, since Pakistan has not provided any assurance that Jadhav will not be executed till a final decision is taken by ICJ.

The decision of the 11-judge bench was unanimous, ICJ President Ronny Abraham said while reading out the verdict.

The case - a rare foray for the two South Asian nations into the global courts - has highlighted the recent sharp upsurge in tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals.

In the month of April, a rare move was taken by Pakistan's Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) which has resulted in awarding the death sentence to the alleged Indian spy Kulbushan Yadav. Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu also termed the verdict as a "major victory for India". Modi expressed satisfaction over the ICJ's order to Pakistan against executing the former navy officer pending final decision.

It also made clear that Islamabad's argument that the 2008 bilateral agreement on consular access justifies its decision to not give India consular access to Jadhav, as he was accused and subsequently found guilty of acts of espionage, was not in keeping with global norms.

The Hague-based ICJ heard the two sides on Monday where Pakistan had challenged the jurisdiction of the court but in its decision the court prime facie exercised the jurisdiction and accepted Indian pleas.

In its interim order on Thursday, the United Nations court agreed that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention. "It appears that the rights invoked by India under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention in the present case are plausible", Judge Abraham said.

However, India has denied all claims, saying Jadhav is an "innocent Indian abducted by Pakistan from Iran".

"They wanted the ICJ to give a stay".

Yes, the ICJ has jurisdiction Article I of the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention states that the Court has jurisdiction over "d$3 isputes arising out of the interpretation or application of the [Vienna] Convention".

But India has maintained he is not a spy, and has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access, as well as breaking worldwide human rights law.

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