The International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Pakistan not to execute an Indian naval officer convicted of espionage and terrorism, in a case that has further strained relations between the Asian neighbors.
The UN court ruled unanimously that Pakistan shouldn’t carry out the death penalty on Kulbhushan Jadhav pending the outcome of a case filed by India alleging that Pakistan breached Jadhav’s right to consular assistance following his arrest last year.
Jadhav was convicted in Pakistan and sentenced to death on April 10. “Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr Jadhav is not executed,” court President Ronny Abraham said at a hearing in the ornate, wood-paneled Great Hall of Justice in The Hague.
India’s external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, tweeted that the “ICJ order has come as a huge relief to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav and people of India.” Asian neighbors Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations, and Jadhav’s death sentence has further strained ties.
Pakistan sought to play down the significance of the order. “It’s a very basic thing which the court has done, given its ruling on a provisional measure which is basically a procedural process and I think that is about it,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Moazzam Ahmad Khan. “The court … has said nothing on the merits or the maintainability of the case.” (AP)