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ICJ snubs Pak, stays Jadhav execution till final verdict

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New Delhi has secured a temporary reprieve for Kulbhushan Jadhav with the United Nations' principal judicial organ ordering Pakistan to take all measures to ensure that the Indian national is not executed before the court gives its final judgment.

Foreign Affairs Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sartaj Aziz, said the ICJ did not order Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav but has merely put forward an opinion.

Radio Pakistan quoted Aziz as saying that Pakistan's counsel had courageously presented Pakistan's stance in ICJ on Jadhav.

Ronny Abraham, the Hague-based court's president, also asked Pakistan to inform the tribunal that it will implement the ruling, and stressed that ICJ decisions are binding on all state members.

However, he said Pakistan "will present solid evidence against the Indian spy in the International Court".

The International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Pakistan not to execute an Indian naval officer convicted of espionage and terrorism, in a case that has further strained relations between the Asian neighbors. Also, India's allegations against Pakistan are related to the terms of the Vienna Convention and hence, ICJ does have jurisdiction, regardless of the 2008 bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan. He said that the decision is a major victory for India.

Mr. Salve also said, India's fight for Jadhav rested on the argument of restitution which basically meant that the verdict of the Pakistani military court which found Jadhav guilty needed to be annulled and the trial started afresh.

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"It is appreciated that the World Court saw reason in Indian appeal and could see through the false Pakistan propaganda by rightly turning down their request to play the purported confessional video during hearing earlier", Azad said.

People distributed candies and, burst crackers at Jadhav's Powai residence and hoped that the former Indian Naval officer returns to India safely.

India's case had no substance, the Pakistani government said.

During the hearing, India's lead attorney, former solicitor general Harish Salve said the country feared Jadhav could be executed even as his case was being heard by the ICJ.

Pakistani representatives, however, told the court Jadhav had confessed to having been sent by India "to wage terror on the innocent civilians and infrastructure of Pakistan". The ICJ had on Thursday said that the execution of Jadhav be placed in abeyance until the final verdict is out. That argument was rejected by the court.

The only condition under which Jadhav now stands to face execution is if Pakistan does not comply with the ICJ's decision.

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