UN court orders Pak to stay execution of Jadhav
THE HAGUE, May 18 : The UN's top court on Thursday ordered Pakistan to stay the execution of an Indian national convicted of spying, in a decision hailed by New Delhi.
Judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in a unanimous and binding decision that Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav must not be executed by Islamabad until they have had time to pass final judgement in the case.
Jadhav was arrested in the restive southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan in March 2016 and Pakistani officials claim he has confessed to spying for Indian intelligence services. He was convicted last month by a military court and sentenced to death.
But India has maintained he is not a spy, and lodged a case against Pakistan earlier this month, accusing Islamabad of violating the Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access, as well as breaking international human rights law.
New Delhi also appealed for the court to impose emergency measures to suspend Jadhav's execution until the legal battle in The Hague has concluded.
"Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings," said the court's president Ronny Abraham.
He also ordered Pakistan to inform the tribunal that it has implemented the decision, and stressed that ICJ decisions are binding on all member states.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomed the ruling and said in a Tweet that it was "a great relief to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav and people of India".
"I assure the nation that under the leadership of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi we will leave no stone unturned to save #KulbhushanJadhav," he said in another Tweet. —AFP