The fate of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was kidnapped by Pakistan’s ISI backed mercenaries from Iran, then declared a RAW agent and sentenced to death, will now be decided early next year by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). This gives Indian diplomats more than nine months to convince the world about Pakistan’s tale of deceit.

Sources familiar with the developments said that Pakistan will file by 17 July its reply to India’s rejoinder, which India submitted on 17 April. After this, the ICJ will take up the matter.

The ICJ will go on a two-month summer vacation starting August.

“There are at least 16 cases pending in the ICJ, 13 of them were filed before the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. After the court reconvenes in October, it will first hear these 13 cases and then move on to the Jadhav case. Jadhav’s case is likely to be heard in the month of January next year during which India will argue, on the basis of the documents and evidences, that it has placed in front of the court, how Pakistan kidnapped an Indian national, branded him as a spy and has been acting against the Geneva Convention by denying access to him and then finally sentencing him to death,” an official source said.

India approached the ICJ in May last year after Pakistan, in a military court, tried Jadhav and sentenced him to death on 10 April last year after informing India about his arrest on 26 March. This is only the fourth time India and Pakistan are fighting it out at ICJ—the two countries previously appeared before the ICJ in 1971, 1973 and 1999.

Sources said that India has got sufficient evidence to prove that Jadhav was kidnapped from a third country (Iran) and was illegally tried in a sham court without being provided any consular access despite India putting in as many as 14 requests to meet him.

Sources said that Jadhav was made to confess under duress. His medical reports, released by Pakistan to prove that he was not tortured, were “dubious” and of little value.

India’s reply, which was submitted to Pakistan earlier this month, through the ICJ, sources said, has questioned Pakistan’s whole story and rebutted the allegations of Pakistan that Jadhav was a serving Indian Naval officer who was on a spy mission.

As per Pakistan’s narration, Jadhav was captured in Balochistan in March 2016 after which he confessed to his association with Indian intelligence agency’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and his involvement in espionage and fomenting terrorism in Pakistan.

 

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