THE HAGUE: The UN’s top court on Thursday ordered Pakistan to stay the execution of an Indian national convicted of spying.
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 judgment in the case.
Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016 and Pakistani officials say 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 has accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access, as well as breaking international human rights law.
“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 state members.
Outlining the reasons for its decision, Abraham said Pakistan had “given no assurances” Jadhav would not be executed before the court delivered its final decision.
Therefore the court was “satisfied there is an urgency in this case.”
India lodged its case against Pakistan earlier this month, and the ICJ has yet to decide whether to take it up. The hearings and, final decision, could take more many months if not years.
The ICJ was set up in 1945 to rule on disputes between nations in accordance with international law.— AFP