THE HAGUE: India on Monday appealed to the UN’s top court to order Pakistan to suspend its planned execution of an Indian spy caught red-handed in Pakistan
The man, named by the army as Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav who also goes by the alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was arrested in Balochistan last year.
The Indian naval officer had confessed to committing and planning subversive activities inside Pakistan.
He had confessed before a Magistrate and the Court that he was tasked by Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to plan, coordinate and organize espionage/sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.
In an emergency hearing, lawyers for New Delhi urged the International Court of Justice to halt the execution of Jadhav.
India has denied he was a spy, and last week lodged a protest at the ICJ in The Hague accusing Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna convention”.
Jadhav was “an innocent Indian national, who, incarcerated in Pakistan for more than a year on concocted charges, deprived of his rights and protection accorded under the Vienna Convention, has been held incommunicado… and faces imminent execution,” Indian lawyer Deepak Mittal told the tribunal Monday.
Islamabad has also not replied to a visa application by Jadhav’s parents seeking to travel to Pakistan to visit their son, claimed the Indian lawyer.
“All that we know is what we have seen in the media in Pakistan,” Mittal told the tribunal at the start of the day-long hearing.
Jadhav “has been denied the right to be defended by a legal counsel of his choice,” he added.
India is seeking the immediate suspension of the death sentence against Jadhav who it claims was ‘kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy’,” according to court documents.
New Delhi ultimately wants the tribunal to order Islamabad to annul the sentence.
Pakistan will present its arguments to the afternoon session.
Pakistani security agencies on March 24, 2016 apprehended an ‘on-duty RAW agent’ from Balochistan. The suspect was said to be an officer of the Indian navy working for the covert agency to destabilize Pakistan.
The operative had contacts with banned organizations and was working on plans to break Karachi and Balochistan away from Pakistan, and to sabotage the billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
On March 25, a day after the arrest, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said the Indian man arrested from Balochistan has no connection with the government, however, admitted that Kulbhushan Yadav is a former officer of the Indian navy.
“He (Jadhav) acquired premature retirement from the Indian navy and since then the government has nothing to do with him,” said Vikas Swarup, a spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, requesting Pakistan to grant counsellor access to the ‘arrested Indian citizen’.