ICJ hearing: Jadhav’s confession crux of Pakistan’s case

ISLAMABAD: The hearing into India’s petition demanding staying of Pakistan’s death sentence to RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav is currently underway in the International Court of Justice.

A five-member delegation from Pakistan will be pleading the country’s case whereas India’s legal team comprises 13 members who will be pleading New Delhi’s case in The Hague, Netherlands. The Pakistani delegation includes a European lawyer and members of the diplomatic corps.

Senior government officials stated that the incarcerated RAW agent’s confession of involvement in sabotage and espionage activities inside Pakistan is the crux of Islamabad’s case.

According to sources based in The Hague, an 11-member panel of judges will be adjudicating over the petition. The panel is headed by a French judge and includes and Indian judge as well.

Details shared by the sources also revealed that India will plead its case for around 90 minutes, following which Pakistan will be take the stand.

Jadhav, in his confessional statement, had admitted to funding sabotage activities in Balochistan.

Pakistani legal experts are of the view that India’s case at the global legal tribunal is weak.

Criticising India’s designs to cloud the issue, senior government officials said Pakistan’s legal team will lay bare India’s bogus claims regarding the Jadhav case in front of the international court.

Sources also said that India had four months to prepare its case in the global court whereas Pakistan had to prepare its arguments in a couple of days owing to New Delhi’s surprise move to move the ICJ.

On May 9, New Delhi instituted proceedings in the ICJ over Jadhav’s sentencing to death in Pakistan earlier this year.

Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel was arrested on March 3, 2016 in a ‘Counter-Intelligence Operation’ from Mashkel area of Balochistan over his involvement in espionage and sabotage actives in Pakistan.

According to a press release on May 9 from ICJ, India requested the United Nations’ judicial organ to provide relief “by way of immediate suspension of the sentence of death awarded to the accused”.

A later press release from the ICJ stated that on May 15, it will hear India’s observations in the first session and that of Pakistan in the second session.

The hearing will be streamed live and on demand (VOD) on the ICJ’s website, as well as on the United Nations online television.

India has contended that it was not granted consular access to Jadhav, terming it a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. India has also claimed that it learned about the death sentence by way of a press release from Pakistan.

On April 10, Jadhav was awarded a death sentence by a Field General Court Martial under the Pakistan Army Act for espionage and sabotage. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa ratified Jadhav’s sentencing by the army tribunal.

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