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Jadhav: India preparing solid case against Pak

Ashok Tuteja | New Delhi |

The best legal minds from India and Pakistan are expected to fight it out at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) when it conducts an oral public hearing on 15 May on the petition moved by New Delhi to seek justice for former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been awarded death sentence by a Pakistani military court.

is learnt that New Delhi is seeking to prepare a 'water-tight case' against the Pakistani authorities over the manner in which they arrested him from near the country’s border with Iran and declared him a RAW agent.

India would also point out how Pakistan had violated the international conventions on consular matters by not giving consular access to the Indian prisoner.

It would be argued that Pakistan was bent upon hanging an Indian national on frivolous charges without a fair trial, which would be regarded as a "premeditated murder".

The civilian government of Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan, though virtually kept out of the loop over the Jadhav issue, is also said to closely coordinating with the Army over the position Islamabad would take at the ICJ. Prime Minister Sharif, who is scheduled to leave for China on Friday to attend the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Summit, had a threadbare discussion with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, on Wednesday over the situation arising from the ICJ granting stay on the execution of the Indian prisoner.

According to the press release put out by the ICJ, India would make its oral observations at the court before lunch on Monday while Pakistan would argue its case in the post-lunch session. The hearing will be open to the media as well as the general public on a first-come first-served basis. Senior Lawyer Harish Salve is expected to lead the charge from the Indian side. He will be assisted by a team of lawyers.

Meanwhile, Pakistan on Thursday sought to divert attention from the Jadhav issue by charging India with violating the ceasefire on the border, killing a man and injuring three others. The Pakistan Foreign Office summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh and told him that the "deliberate targeting" of civilians was contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws.

However, Singh told the Pakistani officials that the "cross-border firing was initiated by Pakistani troops to give cover to terrorists" and "Indian troops responded only in self-defence".