Pakistan's challenge to United Nations court echoes India's in 1999

India's delegation waits for judges to enter the World Court in The Hague. —AP

India's delegation waits for judges to enter the World Court in The Hague. —AP

As India is fighting its case against Pakistan at International Court of Justice against the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court, a United Nations body slammed the system of military courts in that country.

"India believes that the farcical nature of the proceedings and unjust trial by a Pakistan military court. has led to a serious miscarriage of justice", said Deepak Mittal, an official at India's external affairs ministry.

ICJ president Ronny Abraham, after hearing arguments from both sides, said that the verdict would be announced "as soon as possible" and the date "duly communicated".

India has petitioned the ICJ, urging it immediately to suspend Jadhav's death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at ICJ.

In the hearing, which began yesterday, ICJ declined to play the alleged confessional video of Jadhav when Pakistan offered it as evidence during the afternoon session of the court. He also emphasised that Jadhav was a serving officer in the Indian Navy and not a retired one.

Government sources also countered Pakistan's claims in court that India had not clarified on Jadhav's passport, nationality and kept silent for a year since Pakistan sought assistance with the investigations.

Qureshi said that Jadhav "is a terrorist" and "India invoked the jurisdiction of this court improperly".

Vienna Convention provisions on consular access were not intended for a "spy" involved in terror activities, Pakistan asserted. DG South Asia in Foreign Office, Dr Faisal, argued that according to Vienna Convention, this court has no jurisdiction to hear such a case.

India urged the court to pass directions so that Pakistan takes no action that might prejudice the rights of India and Jadhav till a decision is taken by the global court.

Mittal insisted Pakistan has failed to respond to all Indian demands for information about the case, snubbing requests for documents including the charge sheet, and has failed to provide Jadav with consular access.

Yesterday, hearings began in the case of Jadhav, who was arrested in Balochistan in March of past year and charged with conducting espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan. Islamabad has also not responded to a visa application by Jadav´s parents seeking to travel to Pakistan to visit their son, he said. We have a long border with India where millions of people reside.

On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty, alleging Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by repeatedly denying it consular access to Mr Jadhav. "On this basis, Pakistan would be content for the Court to list the application of India for hearing within six weeks", he added.

He said the court was not apprised that Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan and that he possessed double passports and birth certificates.

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