ICJ reserves verdict in Jadhav case

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The US urged India and Pakistan to engage in direct dialogue to reduce tension as they faced-off at the International Court of Justice over the the death penalty given to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

A State Department spokesperson said, "We believe India and Pakistan stand to benefit from practical cooperation". India sought relief from the ICJ "by way of immediate suspension of the sentence of death awarded" to Jadhav.

Harish Salve, leading the Indian legal team, had focused his arguments on Pakistan's denial of consular access to Jadhav as he presented India's case before the judicial body.

The urgent hearing comes after the ICJ last week stayed Jadhav's execution.

Presenting Pakistani stance, the Director General of South Asia in Foreign Office Dr Muhammad Faisal at ICJ in The Hague, Netherlands, today said under Vienna Convention, hearing of criminal cases does not fall under the purview of the worldwide court.

The ICJ on Monday has listened to the arguments from India and Pakistan.

India claims Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from service. India could simply have denied that the passport is genuine.

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"The graver the charges, the greater the need for continued adherence of the Vienna Convention".

Pakistan also wanted to play a six-minute video of Jadhav's confession in the court, but the bench, comprising 11 judges, denied permission. India immediately sought consular access to Jadhav.

Jadhav was awarded the death sentence by a Pakistani military court last month, a year after he was arrested on espionage charges.

Salve also raised questions over the impartiality of the process and said that Jadhav's mercy plea would be heard by "two-star generals" even though Pakistan claimed that he had the right to appeal.

"We are confident that ICJ will take decision in favour of India and Jadhva will get justice". "India invoked the jurisdiction of this court improperly", he said. We have a long border with India where millions of people reside. India has accused Pakistan of "egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations" (hereinafter the "Vienna Convention") in the matter of the detention and trial of Jadhav.

Pakistan's legal team comprises Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE in capacity of an Agent; Mohammad Faisal, DG (South Asia & SAARC) in capacity of an Agent; Syed Faraz Hussain Zaidi, Counsellor of the Pakistan Embassy in the Netherlands in capacity of an Adviserl; Q.C. Khawar Qureshi as the Counsel; Asad Rahim Khan as the Junior Counsel; and Joseph Dyke as the Legal Assistant.

Pakistan's counsel also claimed that his side had submitted to the court names of 13 officials that Jadhav named in his confession video while India did not even submit the whole dossier to the ICJ.