This is the second time Pakistan has been rebuffed by The International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague. This time the verdict to stay the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan has come as a big win for India and its people who have been anxiously waiting for the Thursday decision of the ICJ. The world Court ordered Islamabad to give consular access to Jadhav. Pakistan shall take all measures to ensure that Jadhav is not hanged until a final decision by the Court, said ICJ Judge Ronny Abraham. The circumstances of his arrest are in dispute… India should have been given consular access as per Vienna Convention. Pronouncing the court’s order, Abraham said the ICJ had jurisdiction in the matter. On the face of the verdict what is to be seen is could Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif try and wrest some leverage from the army and prise open the door to diplomacy with India. For India ICJ decision is a big win which puts a lot of pressure on Pakistan, and more particularly its army by weakening its grip on the events. Though no political party in Pakistan has spoken against the death sentence, it has been clear that Sharif and the government have largely been bystanders as the army held and tried the Indian. In fact, the Pakistan Army’s aggression along the Line of Control and the death sentence handed to Jadhav by a secret Military Court with no access to the normal judicial procedure left Sharif with few options. But now, the ICJ order provides a reason to argue that the matter has assumed larger proportions, with Pakistan risking serious international opprobrium if it carries out the death sentence. India’s decision to move the ICJ clearly indicates the priority Prime Minister Narendra Modi attaches to the case and Jadhav’s safety.
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