kulbhushan jadhav case: pakistan to challenge india's claim in ICJ

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Pakistan to submit 400-page reply today. India has accused it of violating Vienna Convention. Jadhav is facing death sentence in an espionage case

Kulbhushan Jadhav is a retired Indian Navy officer who is facing a death sentence in Pakistan on charges of espionage.

Pakistan will today file a counter-affidavit before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Kubhushan Jadhav case. It is learnt that the rejoinder runs into 400 pages and has been prepared by a team headed by Pakistan's attorney general.

Jadhav is a retired Indian Navy officer who is lodged in a jail in Pakistan. In April 2017, he was sentenced to death after a court held him guilty of espionage and terrorism.

He was arrested in Baluchistan province of Pakistan. He was charged with espionage and accused of working as a spy for the Research and Analysis Wing, India's intelligence agency.

This a charge India has vehemently opposed, both at bilateral talks and before the ICJ.

The 400-page reply will be submitted before the ICJ by Pakistan's Foreign Office Director for India, Fareha Bugti. He is already in The Haugue, said Feo TV, a news channel in Pakistan.

Pakistan's counter reply states that Jadhav is not an ordinary person and thus does not fall under the preview of the Vienna Convention.

On April 17, India had submitted a fresh plea to seek Jadhav's release before the ICJ. Following which, Pakistan was given time until July 17 to file its response.

India first approached the international court on May 8, 2017, in this case.

It was argued that Pakistan has "egregiously violated" provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963.

The court, on May 18 last year, indicated provisional measures, as requested by India, and passed an order restricting Pakistan from executing Jadhav's death sentence.

As per the court order, India later filed written pleas in the case on September 13, 2017, and Pakistan filed its counter-memorial in December last year.

India, however, maintains that Jadhav was a former naval officer and kidnapped from Iran, where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

On April 10, 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan.

A month later, the ICJ stayed his hanging after India approached the court against the death sentence.

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