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16 May 2017, 10:09 | Katie Chavez
India seeks UN court order to bar execution of naval officer
Pakistan has contested in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday that the petition filed by India seeking halt to implementation of death sentence awarded to spy Kulbhushan Jadhav is inadmissible.
A State Department spokesperson said, "We believe India and Pakistan stand to benefit from practical cooperation".
India demanded the immediate suspension of Jadhav's death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at the ICJ was over.
While India presented its argument over 90 minutes, Pakistan, which claims that Jadhav is an agent of India's external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), took less than an hour.
The court's president Ronny Abraham said the tribunal would publicly deliver its decision on whether to grant an emergency stay of execution "as soon as possible".
India made a forceful submission as the ICJ began hearing the case of the 46-year-old former Navy officer who was arrested on March 3 last year and sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities.
Pakistan had denied India its 16 requests for consular access, India's lead attorney Harish Salve said.
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"The graver the charges, the greater the need for continued adherence of the Vienna Convention".
Qureshi said the issue of consular access to Jadhav was not considered as he was accused of spying and it was not considered to be applied on terrorists. "According to the Vienna Convention consular access should be given as both the countries are signatory of the convention", he said.
"Against Pakistan our legal fight will not get over here".
Interestingly, ICJ denied permission to Pakistan to play the purported "confessional" video of the retired Navy officer at the public hearing, but Pakistani representatives at the ICJ claimed the Court was "aware of the contents". Islamabad also advocated an "expedited hearing which would dispel any suggestion for the need for provisional measures", adding that "Pakistan would be content for the court to list the application of India for hearing within six weeks".
Pakistan's DG for South Asia and Saarc, Mohammed Faisal, said, "India was provided with a copy of the passport that was in the possession of Commander Jadhav when he was apprehended". We have a long border with India where millions of people reside. He called India's description of the Pakistani military court as a "Kangaroo court" "bizarre". Pakistan has said the conviction and sentence remain open to appeal.
India had appealed against the death sentence on May 8 alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by Pakistan.
"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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