Connect with us


India-Pakistan Showdown Over Kulbhushan Jadhav Set for ICJ



India, Pakistan are all set for another showdown over Kulbhushan Jadhav – the alleged Indian spy at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).  Jadhav, who was arrested in Mashkel, a town close to the Iranian border, was sentenced to death by a military court of Pakistan on spying charges.

But no date was set for his execution. The ICJ halted the sentence after New Delhi challenged the verdict in May last year. Now the ICJ — the principal judicial organ of the United Nations — will hear the case from Feb. 18 to 21 next year, according to a statement.

Jadhav, who the court heard was a serving officer in the Indian Navy, had been allegedly involved in carrying out espionage and sabotage in Pakistan’s commercial capital Karachi and Balochistan province.

According to the military, he was using the Muslim name Hussein Mubarak Patel. Weeks after Jadhav’s arrest, New Delhi denied any ties to him and described him as a retired naval officer.

India had warned if the sentence against its citizen Jadhav was carried out, it would be regarded as “a case of premeditated murder.” The two nuclear-armed neighbours soften arrest each other’s nationals on different charges, including spying.

Longstanding strained relations between the two neighbours keep prisoners in jail for longer periods, and in some cases, even after they serve their sentences. So much so, many of them have been killed or died during the custody.

Sarbajeet Singh, an alleged Indian spy serving a jail term in Pakistan’s northeastern Lahore city, was murdered by two inmates in April 2013. Just a few weeks later, an alleged Pakistani militant, Sanaullah Haq was beaten to death by a fellow prisoner in a Jammu and Kashmir jail.

Prime victim

Fishermen from both sides have long been paying the price for fraught relations between the two neighbours. Both countries often arrest fishermen for violating each other’s seawaters due to poorly marked water boundaries and ill-equipped boats that lack the technology to specify exact locations.

Under the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access, both the countries exchange list of prisoners on every Jan. 1 and July 1. As of today, 418 Indian fishermen and 53 civilians, whereas 249 Pakistani nationals and 108 fishermen are currently languishing in each other’s jails, according to the lists shared by the two countries in July this year.

Islamabad released 174 Indian fishermen and 4 civilian prisoners, whereas New Delhi released 28 Pakistani fishermen and 21 civilian prisoners in 2018.

India and Pakistan have recently agreed to revive a joint judicial committee on prisoners comprising four members — retired judges from the higher judiciary — from each country. India has nominated its four members, whereas Pakistan has yet to nominate its members.

The committee, set up in January 2008, used to meet twice in a year — once in India and once in Pakistan — until Oct. 2013. Since then, no meeting is held following escalating diplomatic tensions between the two sides. The committee’s unanimous recommendations included he release of fishermen, women, juvenile, and mentally challenged prisoners.

Jatin Desai, former secretary general of Pakistan-India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy, a group of peace activists from both countries, reckon the prisoners’ issue needs to be seen from the humanist rather than the political perspective.

“As far as fishermen are concerned it is absolutely a human issue as they venture into the sea only for their livelihood,” Desai told Anadolu Agency. “They should not become pawns in the hands of both the countries. I am for the No Arrest Policy (NAP) for the fishermen,” he maintained.

Instead of arresting them, he went on to say, they could be compelled to go back to their respective countries’ waters. Also, he added, both the countries should think of a free fishing zone for the traditional fishermen.

Unfortunately, Desai observed, there was no time limit to confirm a prisoner’s nationality. “In the absence of time limit, in some cases, prisoners have to languish in another country even after completion of his/her sentence,” he said.

Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, a former judge of Pakistan’s Supreme Court and former member of the joint judicial committee on prisoners, shares a similar view.

“The maximum punishment (in both India and Pakistan) for entering a foreign country without visa is one year. But the legal process is so lengthy and cumbersome that by the time a prisoner (fisherman) is presented before the court, he has already spent two or more years in jail,” Zahid told Anadolu Agency.

The two governments, he thought, should pass a law binding the judiciary to decide illegal entry related issues within six months. Another issue, he pointed out, was the seizure of fishermen’s boats, which were never returned.

“The prices of fishing boats vary from one million to 10 million rupees [$7,180-$71,800]. The fishermen are captured along with their boats. But when they are released, they have to go back without boats, which are either sold out in connivance with the authorities or rot in the sea,” he said.

“At the end, a fisherman returns to his home empty-handed and has to restart from zero,” Zahid maintained. He said the relatives of the prisoners should be allowed to at least talk to their loved ones by phone. “The two governments can set up a hotline for this purpose or allow Skype call or something similar so the families can be assured that their members are healthy and in a proper frame of mind”, he added.

More News at EurAsian Times




S400-VS-F35 S400-VS-F35
Americas8 hours ago

Is The UAE Threatening To Opt For Russian Su-57 Jets Over US’ Stealth F-35 Warplanes??

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has warned that if the US refuses to supply it with F-35 and MQ-9 Reaper...

india-russia india-russia
Featured9 hours ago

Indian, Russian Navy Hold PASSEX Exercise In The Eastern Indian Ocean Region

On the occasion of Navy Day, the Indian Navy is conducting a passage exercise (PASSEX) with the Russian Navy in...

Pakistan-Turkey-Relations Pakistan-Turkey-Relations
Featured12 hours ago

After Backing Pakistan on Kashmir, Is Turkey’s Erdogan Hiring Syrian Mercenaries To Fight In The Valley?

For some time now, Turkey has been making attempts to grow its influence among the Muslims in South Asia in...

iran-israel iran-israel
Featured13 hours ago

Assassination Of Top Iranian Scientist Will Complicate Relations Between The US & Iran: Joe Biden

Joe Biden, the next President of the United States said the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is likely...

Asia Pacific15 hours ago

From Rafales, Su-30 MKIs & Tejas, Why Next-Gen BrahMos Missile Can Be A Game-Changer For The Indian Air Force?

Amid the border row with China, the Indian armed forces successfully test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles in the past...

India-Pak-War-1971 India-Pak-War-1971
Asia Pacific16 hours ago

What Did Indira Gandhi Tell Naval Chief Before Indian Navy Bombed Karachi Port In 1971 War?

India marks 4 December as Navy Day to commemorate the Indian Navy’s attack on the Karachi port during the 1971...

Asia Pacific17 hours ago

Indian Navy To Counter Chinese Swarm Drones With New Guns That Can ‘Smash’ UAVs

Countries across the globe are looking for innovative ideas to check the menace of small drones or small unmanned aerial...

Featured18 hours ago

Eurofighter Typhoons ‘Soar & Roar’ In Qatar As Royal Air Force Conducts Drills With Emiri Air Force

The British Royal Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force, for the first time in history, have come together for...

imran-khan imran-khan
Asia Pacific19 hours ago

Not India, Former ISI Chief Hints At UAE, Saudi Arabia Being The Biggest Threat To Pakistan

Durrani said that Pakistan is not threatened by India but is mired with its internal problems, including political instability and...

EurAsian Region21 hours ago

Russia, Pakistan To Be First Buyers Of Turkey’s Mobile Anti-Drone System That Can Smell UAVs From 5000 Meters

As Turkey is gradually emerging as a drone superpower, its key allies Russia and Pakistan have shown tremendous interest in...