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In a major diplomatic, legal, and emotional victory for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on Wednesday ruled that counsellor access be provided to Kulbhushan Jadhav, say reports.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), based in The Hague, has been hearing Jadhav’s case after Pakistan had awarded him the death sentence on charges of being an Indian spy working for India’s spy agency RAW.
Pakistan claims it arrested forty-nine-year-old Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, on 3 March 2016 when he attempted to cross over into the country from the Saravan border in Iran in pursuit of targets set by his RAW handlers. New Delhi has rubbished Pakistan’s claim, asserting that the Indian national was abducted by Pakistani agencies from Iran where he was running a business.
Pakistan subsequently conducted a farcical trial of Jadhav in a military court and sentenced him to death. Pakistan Army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, had endorsed the death penalty for Jadhav in April 2017.
Pakistan also refused to give consular access to the Jadhav despite repeated requests by New Delhi. In June 2017, Jadhav filed a mercy petition against the death penalty. However, it was rejected by Pakistan, forcing India to approach the ICJ. India sought annulment of Jadhav’s execution and his immediate release by Pakistan. The court, during its hearings, asked Pakistan to stay his execution till it delivers its final verdict.
On Wednesday, a Pakistani team, headed by the Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan had reached The Hague, in the Netherlands to hear the verdict. The team also included Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal, as reported by the Express Tribune.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was born in Maharashtra’s Sangli district and spent his childhood at the family home in south Mumbai’s NM Joshi Marg and later shifted to Powai. He joined the Indian Navy as an officer in 1987 but quit the force in 2001 to set up his own business.