US Urges India, Pakistan To Talk Directly On Kulbhushan Jadhav Case

India's Ministry of External Affairs official Dr Deepak Mittal snubs Pakistan's Dr Muhammad Faisal handshake in The Hague. —AP

Reflecting the chill in Indo-Pak ties, a curt "namaskar" was all that a senior Indian diplomat had to offer to an extended hand of a member of the Pakistani delegation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), hearing the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

A State Department spokesperson said, "We believe India and Pakistan stand to benefit from practical cooperation".

In an emergency hearing called only days after India lodged its case, lawyers and officials for New Delhi urged the ICJ to halt the death sentence imposed on Yadav saying his rights had been violated by Islamabad.

ICJ president Ronny Abraham, after hearing arguments from both sides, said that the verdict would be announced "as soon as possible" and the date "duly communicated".

Jadhav was "an innocent Indian national, who, incarcerated in Pakistan for more than a year on concocted charges, deprived of his rights and protection accorded under the Vienna Convention, has been held incommunicado and faces imminent execution", Indian lawyer Deepak Mittal told the tribunal yesterday.

Nikam said Jadhav did private business in Iran and the Iran Government agreed with that but still he was kidnapped, adding he was forced to give statements which are against the law.

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

At the outset, Qureshi said India was invoking the jurisdiction of the court for "political theatre" and described as "bizzare" the description of Jadhav's trial as a kangaroo court.

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Qureshi also stressed on the fact that assistance in investigation was a "fundamental requirement" for consular access. Dr Faisal said that, according to the Vienna Convention, the court had no jurisdiction to hear such a case.

At the core of the dispute is the fate of Kulbhushan Sudir Jadhav, an Indian former naval officer who was arrested in March 2016 in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

"India is trying to make its best effort to use the global laws to make sure that Jadhav is not unfairly tried".

"We are confident that ICJ will take decision in favour of India and Jadhva will get justice".

Islamabad has also not replied to a visa application by Jadhav's parents to Pakistan to visit their son. We submit that India's silence is telling.

Pakistan's legal team comprises Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE in capacity of an Agent; Mohammad Faisal, DG (South Asia & SAARC) in capacity of an Agent; Syed Faraz Hussain Zaidi, Counsellor of the Pakistan Embassy in the Netherlands in capacity of an Adviserl; Q.C. Khawar Qureshi as the Counsel; Asad Rahim Khan as the Junior Counsel; and Joseph Dyke as the Legal Assistant.

"India's allegation regarding the kidnapping of its spy is not true and he [Jadhav] was arrested by Pakistani forces from Balochistan", he maintained.

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