India stands firmly with Jadhav: Congress

| Updated: May 16, 2017 01:59 IST

New Delhi [India] May 15 (ANI): With the International Court of Justice (ICJ) hearing the case of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Congress Party on Monday said India stands strongly with the former. "This is not a moment for recrimination, disputes and questions. I think the entire country stands as one behind Jadhav and India's plea at the ICJ. I have no doubt that justice, compassion and truth will prevail but ultimately these are international court proceedings and we must remain sober, restrained and balanced in the waiting of the verdict whether interim or final," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told ANI. He further said that even if the arguments take a long time, the balance of convenience is clearly in the favour of India. "Till the court gives its orders Pakistan cannot give a death sentence or render in fructuous the case by carrying out the death sentence on Jadhav. Till such time any major decision is taken, no precipitate action by Islamabad can or should be allowed to be done," Singhvi asserted. He added that India has a strong case and the entire country hopes that the case turns out to be well at the ICJ. Meanwhile, senior advocate P. P. Rao said that unless Pakistan's case is known, the edited merits of both the sides cannot be obtained. "Maybe Pakistan will raise the question of jurisdiction in the Court of Justice to entertain this matter. India must be prepared to answer all these objections. Till a hearing is concluded the stay will continue," Rao said. He said that India should put all its strength, adding that this is a very crucial stage. Echoing similar views, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nalin Kohli said Pakistan, despite of being a signatory of the Vienna Convention is choosing to follow the procedure that has been mandated on them. "There is no doubt that the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue has been conducted and the trial that has been done in Pakistan appeared to be more of Kangaroo court proceedings," he added. Kohli further said that the Government of India has very firmly been putting across the point of view on all of these grounds through senior Indian lawyer, Harish Salve and it is believed that it's a strong case that ICJ will take cognizance of. Pakistan on Monday while presenting its case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kulbhushan Jadhav issue claimed that "India has used this court as the scene of political theatre." "India has used this court as the scene of political theatre. We will not respond in kind," Mohammad Faisal, DG south Asia and SAARC, said. "India has been unable to provide an explanation for Jadhav's passport which bears a Muslim name," Faisal added. He also claimed that India's application on Kulbhushan Jadhav is unnecessary and misconceived. There has been deafening silence and no response from India on Pakistan's accusations on Jadhav, Pakistan's lawyer Khawar Qureshi said. Qureshi also said that Jadhav has 150 days to appeal his sentence. Meanwhile, the ICJ declined to play the alleged confessional video of Jadhav when Pakistan's offered it as evidence during the afternoon session of the court. Expressing the fear that Jadhav might be executed before the hearing was over, India accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna convention and conducting a "farcical trial" without a "shred of evidence". Pakistan had denied India its 16 requests for consular access, India's lead attorney Harish Salve said. The urgent hearing comes after the ICJ last week stayed Jadhav's execution. While India presented its argument over 90 minutes, Pakistan, which claims that Jadhav is an agent of India's external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), took less than an hour. India wants the ICJ to annul Jadhav's death sentence and for Pakistan to ensure that no action is taken that may prejudice the rights of India or of Jadhav. Jadhav, the latest flashpoint in the tensions between Pakistan and India, was sentenced last month. On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty, alleging violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. On May 9, the highest court in the UN gave Jadhav a lease of life. India, in its appeal to the ICJ, had asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy. However, it denies that he has any connection with the government. Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province. (ANI)

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