NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan will present their arguments into the case on Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) next week. The oral hearing will take place for four days starting from 18 February and will end on 21. The first round of arguments will be made by India on 18 February followed by Pakistan on 19 while the second round of arguments will be presented by India on 20 and Pakistan on 21.
Jadhav is a former Indian naval officer who was abducted by Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from Iran. A Pakistani military court had announced his execution on allegations that he is a spy. India has been demanding consular access of Jadhav since March 2016 when the High Commission of India in Islamabad was first informed of his custody with Pakistan authorities. However, Islamabad has refused to provide consular access to Jadhav so far.
India approached the world court on 8 May 2017 and filed a case against Pakistan for 'for egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963' and got a stay on his hanging. On 18 May 2017, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to put a stay on his execution.
The ICJ order said, "Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings and shall inform the Court of all the measures taken in implementation of the present order."
India has denied all charges against him and maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy and that he has no links with the government. In its written pleadings, India had accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by not giving consular access to Jadhav.
In response, Pakistan through its counter-memorial told the ICJ that the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 applied only to legitimate visitors and did not cover clandestine operations.
India has been maintaining that the trial of Jadhav by a military court in Pakistan was "farcical". Qureshi, who is on a visit to the UK, said that Pakistan has all the evidence against Jadhav.