The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will announce its verdict in Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case today at 6pm.
The Hague-based ICJ, which is the United Nations’ top court, said it “will deliver on Wednesday 17 July, 2019 its judgement in the Jadhav case (India v. Pakistan)”. Pakistan’s team, headed by Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan, is at The Hague to hear the verdict. The team also includes Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal.
Jadhav — a serving commander of the Indian Navy associated with Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan on allegations of espionage and terrorism.
In his subsequent trial at a military court, Jadhav had confessed to his involvement in terrorist plots.
The spy was subsequently sentenced to death in 2017. However, India insisted that Jadhav was not a spy and said he was kidnapped in Pakistan.
On April 10, 2017, Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa had endorsed the death penalty for Jadhav. In June 2017, the Indian spy had filed a mercy petition against the death penalty, in which he again confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities.
However, before Pakistani authorities could make a final decision, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), after being approached by India, had ordered a stay in his execution through an interim order.
During the hearing of the case in the international court, India denied Jadhav was a spy and had asked the ICJ to order his release because he was denied consular access and not allowed to choose his own defence lawyer.
Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan had in turn argued that Jadhav was an Indian spy sent to Balochistan to destabilise the country and therefore not entitled to consular access. He had said that “India’s claim for relief […] must be dismissed.”
Khan had told the court that Jadhav ran a network “to carry out despicable terrorism and suicide bombing, targeted killing, kidnapping for ransom and targeted operations to create unrest and instability in the country”.
“His unlawful activities were directed at creating anarchy in Pakistan and particularly targeted the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” Khan had told the 15-judge bench.
India’s lawyers told the court in February that it was a “farcical case” based on “malicious propaganda”, while Pakistan’s lawyers hit back by accusing Jadhav of “terrorism”.
The last hearing coincided with a sharp spike in tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours after a suicide bombing in occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama, although relations have since improved.
India also accused Pakistan of harassing Jadhav’s family in 2017 during a meeting that it said was held in an “atmosphere of coercion”.
It said Jadhav’s conversation with his mother and wife was “tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan”.
Jadhav, on the other hand, said he “saw fear” in the eyes of his mother and wife when he met them in Islamabad on December 25, 2017, adding that an Indian diplomat accompanying them was “yelling at them”.