By Aamir Latif, Shuriah Niazi and Ahmad Adil
KARACHI, Pakistan/ NEW DELHI, CHANDIGARH, India (AA) - The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday ruled that alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row, be treated under the Vienna convention asking Pakistan to provide him consular access, and continue to stay his execution.
Pakistan declared the ICJ’s Jadhav verdict its “victory”.
''Commander Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan. This is a victory for Pakistan,'' Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on a Twitter message.
“Pakistan, as a responsible member of the international community, upheld its commitment from the very beginning of the case by appearing before the honorable court for the provisional measures hearing despite a very short notice,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said in a statement.
“Pakistan will now proceed as per law”, he said without going into further details.
“It is reiterated that Indian Naval Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav entered Pakistan without a visa on authentic Indian passport with a fake alias Hussain Mubarak Patel,” the statement said, adding, “Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav is responsible for acts of sabotage, espionage and multiple terrorist incidents in which scores of innocent Pakistani citizens were killed resulting into umpteen women being widowed and numerous children becoming orphans.”
- India seeks Jadhav's early release
Meanwhile, India welcomed the ICJ judgement delivered in The Hague in favor of India in Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
The Indian Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said the court, by a vote of 15-1, upheld India's claim that Pakistan is in egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 on several counts.
''We also appreciate the direction by the International Court of Justice that Pakistan should review and reconsider the conviction and sentence given to Shri Jadhav by the Pakistani military court,'' the ministry said.
The ministry continued: ''we note that the Court has directed that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Shri Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him in accordance with the Vienna Convention. We expect Pakistan to implement the directive immediately.''
''This landmark judgement validates India's position on this matter fully. We will continue to work vigorously for Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav's early release and return to India,'' it added.
Also in a Twitter message Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote: ''we welcome today’s verdict in the @CIJ_ICJ. Truth and justice have prevailed. Congratulations to the ICJ for a verdict based on extensive study of facts. I am sure Kulbhushan Jadhav will get justice. Our Government will always work for the safety and welfare of every Indian.''
Kulbhushan Jadhav -- who Pakistan says was a serving officer in the Indian Navy -- was arrested in March 2016 in Mashakel town, a few miles from the Iranian border. According to the military, he was using the Muslim name Hussein Mubarak Patel.
Officials accuse Jadhav of running a spy network for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency from the Iranian port of Chabahar.
Jadhav was later tried by a military court that sentenced him to death in April 2017 on espionage and terrorism charges. No date, however, was set for his execution, which would be by hanging.
According to the military, Jadhav had confessed before the court to having been tasked to “plan, coordinate and organize espionage/sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.”
New Delhi rejects Islamabad's charges declaring Jadhav a retired navy officer who was “kidnapped" from Iran, where he was doing his own business and his subsequent presence in Pakistan was never explained credibly.
India also threatened if the sentence against its citizen was carried out then it would be regarded as “a case of premeditated murder”.
New Delhi had moved to the ICJ, which stayed Jadhav's execution in July 2017.