Last Update 16:20
Friday, 23 August 2019

India demands Pakistan release accused 'spy' after world court ruling

AFP , Thursday 18 Jul 2019
Islamabad
File Photo: Former Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav is seen on a screen during a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan December 25, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 631
Share/Bookmark
Views: 631

India on Thursday demanded that Pakistan release an alleged spy after the International Court of Justice called for a review of a death sentence against him.

The arch-rivals each declared victory after the world court ruling made late Wednesday. But with 49-year-old Kulbhushan Jadhav still held in secret, his case risked setting off new tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said Jadhav, a former navy officer, "is in the illegal custody of Pakistan under fabricated charges" as he welcomed the court ruling.

"Yesterday's judgement is not only a vindication of India and Mr Jadhav but for all those who believe in the rule of law and the sanctity of international conventions," the minister added.

Jaishankar insisted that Jadhav "is innocent of the charges levelled against him" and had been forced to confess without access to a lawyer.

"We once again call upon Pakistan to release and repatriate him forthwith."

The ICJ said Pakistan must give India consular access to the prisoner, give Jadhav proper representation and review the death sentence. But it rejected India's demand that Jadhav be freed.

Modi-Khan Twitter battle

Pakistan said Jadhav was detained in its southwestern province of Baluchistan in March 2016.

It released a "confession" video in which Jadhav said he worked for Indian intelligence. A military court sentenced him to death in 2017.

According to Indian officials, Jadhav retired from the navy in 2001 and was running a "logistics" business in the Iranian port of Chabahar.

India insisted he was taken captive in Iran before being moved to Pakistan and then forced to confess.

It started an ICJ case in 2017. Throughout the hearings, Jadhav has been kept under strict lock and key in Pakistan.

Apart the video in which he said he graduated from India's premier defence academy and began to help Indian intelligence in 2001, the only sighting of Jadhav was when his mother and wife saw him for 40 minutes on December 25, 2017.

Indian officials say relatives reported that he appeared to have been tortured.

Relations between the neighbours frequently boil over. They have fought three wars since independence in 1947 and staged air battles on their border in February.

New Delhi frequently says there can be no improvement in relations until its neighbour takes action to rein in militant attacks in India.

Keeping up the rivalry, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said late Wednesday that "truth and justice have prevailed" with the ruling.

His Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan hit back through his Twitter account.

"Appreciate ICJ's decision not to acquit, release and return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India," Khan said.

"He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law," Khan added.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said the incident is a "clear case of Indian state terrorism".

Media in the two countries also claimed victory in the case.

"India Wins in World Court," said a Mail Today headline. "Justice in International Court," declared The Indian Express.

"Pakistan vindicated" ran a banner front-page headline in Pakistan's Express Tribune.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.