Two top Indian government officials refused to shake hands with senior Pakistani officials at the International Court of Justice at The Hague where proceedings in Kulbhushan Jadhav case are on.
In a photo that is going viral on the internet, Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretary, MEA, can be seen doing a Namaste in response to an offer of handshake by Anwar Mansoor Khan, Pakistan’s Attorney General.
A video doing the rounds of social media also shows Venu Rajamony, India’s envoy to Netherlands, refusing to shake hands with the Pakistani side ahead of the oral arguments at the ICJ.
Diplomats have their way of talking. At the ICJ, both India’s envoy to Netherlands Venu Rajamony and MEA JS PAI Deepak Mittal refused to shake hands with the Pak side before the proceedings began. Customary Namaskar was offered. In mourning can’t shake hands with terror nation. pic.twitter.com/nI9YBNrqTy
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) February 18, 2019
Social media users praised the senior Indian officials for their cold gesture to the Pakistan officials.
Good gesture… They shouldn’t have even got up…
— JAY KANT MISHRA (@JAZZEDUPJAY) February 18, 2019
That was a hard slap! Excellent!
— Cara 🇮🇳 (@Cara07352870) February 18, 2019
Ouch that was evident.
— Doctor Doctor 🇮🇳 (@icedtea28) February 18, 2019
Feeling proud. Well done.
— 🇮🇳 PRASANTA MAJHI 🇮🇳 (@prashant_majhi1) February 18, 2019
Thug Life Level : Expert
India’s Dr Deepak Mittal, JS, MEA, snubs Pakistan’s AG Anwar Mansoor Khan before presenting oral arguments at the ICJ in The Hague for #KulbhushanJadhav hearing. #LetsTalkKulbhushan pic.twitter.com/72Mud6cbO1
— thanaveenkumar (@thanaveenkumar) February 18, 2019
The refusal to shake hands by the senior Indian government officials is being interpreted as a sign of diplomatic snub to Pakistan following the 14 February Pulwama terror attack in which a terrorist from the Pak-sponsored Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) attacked a CRPF convoy killing 44 troopers.
The attack has put great strain on the relations between the two South Asian neighbours.
But this is not the first time that Mittal refused to shake hands with Pak officials. In May 2017, during a hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the ICJ, the MEA Joint Secretary had offered a curt namaskar to the offer of a handshake by Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan’s DG for South Asia and SAARC.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case
The public hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case began at the ICJ on Monday. Both India and Pakistan are presenting their respective arguments before the top UN court. The hearing is expected to go on for four days.
While the Indian side is being represented by Harish Salve, Khawar Qureshi will present the case for Pakistan.
India said that Jadhav’s continued custody without consular access should be declared unlawful
“There is no manner of doubt that Pakistan was using this as a propaganda tool. Pakistan was bound to grant consular access without delay,” said Salve at the ICJ.
Pakistan said Jadhav was a serving commander in the Indian Navy and was involved in subversive activities inside Pakistan.
A Field General Court Martial in Pakistan sentenced Jadhav to death on 10 April 2017 which was stayed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 18 May 2017.
Salve, in his argument, told the ICJ that Pakistan has no substantive defence and is indulging in malicious acts, adding that Islamabad’s acts are “an egregious violation of the Vienna Convention.”