The UN’s top court will rule today (Thursday) on an urgent bid by India to stop Pakistan from carrying out a death sentence on one of its nationals convicted of spying.
In an emergency hearing swiftly organised on Monday, lawyers for New Delhi had urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to halt the execution of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav.
Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan province last year and he had confessed to spying for Indian intelligence services. He was convicted by a court martial and sentenced to death.
The UN tribunal, based in The Hague, said in a statement it “will deliver its order on the request for the indication of provisional measures made by India in the Jadhav Case (India vs Pakistan), tomorrow on Thursday 18 May 2017”.
The case — a rare foray for the two nations into the international courts — has highlighted the recent sharp uptick in tensions between the two neighbourly countries.
India denied Jadhav was a spy, and on Monday accused Pakistan of “egregious violations of the Vienna convention” by denying him access to legal counsel and consular visits, and refusing to reveal the charge sheet against him.
Jadhav was “an innocent Indian national, who, incarcerated in Pakistan for more than a year on concocted charges … has been held incommunicado… and faces imminent execution,” Indian lawyer Deepak Mittal told the tribunal on Monday.
But Pakistani representatives accused New Delhi of “political grandstanding” and told the court Jadhav “has confessed to having been sent by India to wage terror on the innocent civilians and infrastructure of Pakistan”.