Nawaz Sharif discusses Jadhav sentencing with Pak Army chief; ready to respond to ICJ's query, says military
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa today discussed the International Court of Justice's stay order on the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, media reports said.
During the meeting, which lasted for around 90 minutes, Sharif was briefed on the "latest situation" regarding Jadhav's case, the Geo News reported.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) yesterday stayed the execution of 46-year-old Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "spying".
The order by the Hague-based ICJ came a day after India approached it against the death sentence handed down to Jadhav by Pakistan's Field General Court Martial last month.
India, in its appeal to the ICJ, accused Pakistan of "egregious" violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy but Pakistan claimed to have arrested him from Balochistan on March 3, 2016.
Ready to respond to ICJ's query on Jadhav's sentence: Pak Army
Pakistan Army said it will respond at an "appropriate level" to any query by the ICJ over the death sentence given to Jadhav by its military court on the charges of "spying".
Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told the media that Jadhav was sentenced by a military court after "due process of law". "If the ICJ requests Pakistan anything about Jadhav, then the government of Pakistan will respond to it at an appropriate level,” he said.
He said "the process is continuing within the army over the decision by the (military) court” against Jadhav. However, he did not explain the nature of "process". The statement came after Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed the ICJ's stay order on the execution of Jadhav.
Earlier, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said the government was analysing the Hague-based ICJ's authority in freezing the execution of Jadhav. Aziz said the government would issue a statement on the issue in the next few days.
"We are analysing the Indian petition and the ICJ's authority in this case,” Aziz said after the Hague-based ICJ stayed the execution of 46-year-old Jadhav.
Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif in a tweet accused India of using Jadhav's death conviction to "divert" attention from its "state-sponsored" terrorism in the country. "Indian letter to ICJ attempt to divert attention from state sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. Kulbhushan convicted of offences against national security," Asif tweeted.
Jadhav's sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India. India has warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the "pre-meditated murder" was carried out.
In its application, India had also informed the ICJ that it learnt about the death sentence against Jadhav from a press release. Jadhav was sentenced to death for "espionage and subversive activities".
India acknowledges that Jadhav had served with the Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government. It also said that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran. India has also handed over to Pakistan an appeal by Jadhav's mother, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.