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India moves International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Kulbhushan Jadhav, gets stay on death sentence by Pakistani Military Court

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Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court.. Wikileaks
Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court.. Wikileaks
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New Delhi, May 10, 2017: In a reprieve for alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the International Court of Justice at the Hague in the Netherlands has suspended the death sentence on him by a Pakistani military court, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday.

“I have spoken to the mother of #KulbhushanJadhav and told her about the order of President, ICJ under Art 74 Paragraph 4 of Rules of Court,” she said in a tweet.

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She also said that legal luminary Harish Salve was representing the country on the matter.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ICJ said: “On 8 May 2017, the Republic of India instituted proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, accusing the latter of aegregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations’ (hereinafter the aVienna Convention’) in the matter of the detention and trial of an Indian national, Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan,” the ICJ said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Applicant contends that it was not informed of Mr. Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights,” the statement said.

Under Article 74, paragraph 4 of the ICJ rules, which says “pending the meeting of the Court, the President may call upon the parties to act in such a way as will enable any order the Court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects”, ICJ President Justice Ronny Abraham has written to Pakistan seeking the suspension of the sentence.

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India had moved the court on Monday seeking a set of reliefs including “by way of suspension of the sentence of death awarded to the accused”, and “restraining Pakistan from giving effect to the sentence awarded by the military court”.

It had also sought the sentence of the military court “arrived in brazen defiance of Vienna Convention rights” as well as the rights of the accused be declared violative of international law.

Citing “the extreme gravity and immediacy of the threat that authorities in Pakistan will execute an Indian citizen in violation of obligations Pakistan owes India”, it urged the court to deliver an order indicating provisional measures immediately “without waiting for an oral hearing”.

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Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, was allegedly arrested in Balochistan in March 2016 and Pakistan said Jadhav worked for the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) fuelling the Baloch separatist movement and attempting to sabotage the CPEC project.

A military court sentenced him to death on April 10 on charges of espionage and waging war against Islamabad.

New Delhi had warned that if Jadhav was hanged, it would be considered “premeditated murder” by Islamabad.

Since Jadhav’s alleged arrest in Pakistan in March last year, India sought consular access to him 16 times till this month but Islamabad refused to respond. (IANS)

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All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.