Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Imran Khan hails ICJ decision not to 'acquit, release and return' former naval officer to India

  • Holding Jadhav responsible for crime against Pakistani people, Khan said Pakistan will proceed per law

  • On Wednesday, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to make an 'effective review and reconsideration' of the conviction and death sentence of Jadhav

  • The world court also rejected all objections raised by Pakistan, granting consular access to Jadhav 'without further delay'

Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that he appreciated the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) decision to "not to acquit, release & return" Kulbhushan Jadhav, day after the world court in The Hague directed Pakistan to review the death penalty given to the former Indian Navy commander.

Holding Jadhav responsible for crime against Pakistani people, Khan said Pakistan will proceed per law. On Wednesday, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to make an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and death sentence of Jadhav.

 Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Imran Khan hails ICJ decision not to acquit, release and return former naval officer to India

File image of Imran Khan. PTI

The world court also rejected all objections raised by Pakistan, granting consular access to Jadhav "without further delay", in a verdict that was hailed in India as a "big victory" for the country. It agreed with India's stand that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying access.

In a reprieve for Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017, a 16-member bench by a 15:1 vote continued the stay on the execution.

A Chinese judge was part of the majority verdict while the ad hoc judge from Pakistan on the bench headed by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia gave a dissenting opinion.

Rejecting Pakistan's objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, the court in its 42-page order held that "a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review" of the sentence of Jadhav that had strained relations between the two neighbouring countries.

The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court's decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the verdict, saying "truth and justice" have prevailed while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj described it as a "big victory" for India.

Despite the order backing India, Pakistan claimed victory. The country's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted: "Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan."

Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan on 3 March, 2016, by Pakistani security agencies and was convicted of being a spy. In April 2017, Pakistan had announced that Jadhav was given death sentence by a military court.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jul 18, 2019 12:24:52 IST