The Hague: A day after the International Court of Justice refused to entertain Pakistan’s plea to adjourn the hearing in the high-profile Kulbhushan Jadhav case, India will on Wednesday reply to Islamabad’s submission.
The four-day hearing in the Jadhav case opened Monday at the ICJ headquarters in The Hague amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group that killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers.
On the first day of hearing, India urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to annul Jadhav’s death sentence and order his immediate release, saying the verdict by a Pakistani military court based on a “farcical case” hopelessly fails to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process.
In Tuesday’s hearing, Pakistan responded to India, saying that the Indian Navy officer was a “spy” and not a businessman.
“India, I am sorry to say, has demonstrated a lack of faith throughout these proceedings… good faith is part of international law,” lawyer Khawar Qureshi said.
“India doesn’t know Pakistan, Pakistan is a state that has provided the largest contingent for peacekeeping, whose soldiers have lost lives in pursuing world security,” he said.
While India argued on Monday and Pakistan responded to India’s arguments on Tuesday. India will reply on February 20 while Islamabad will make its closing submissions on February 21. It is expected that the ICJ’s decision may be delivered by the summer of 2019.
Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.
However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.
Pakistan had rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its “spy”.
However, Pakistan facilitated a meeting of Jadhav with his mother and wife in Islamabad on December 25, 2017.