ICJ's verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav brings relief, renewed hope: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has welcomed the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to continue its stay on the execution of the Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav held in a Pakistani jail on allegations of spying.

Taking to Twitter, Gandhi, who has publically announced his resignation from the post of Congress president recently, on Wednesday said that the verdict brought a "rare moment of relief, joy and renewed hope" for the family of Jadhav that he will one-day return home. "I welcome the ICJ verdict. My thoughts tonight are with Kulbhushan Jadhav, alone in a prison cell in Pakistan and with his distraught family for whom this verdict brings a rare moment of relief, joy and renewed hope, that he will one day be free to return to his home in India," Gandhi tweeted.

Gandhi scion's remark came after the ICJ on Wednesday continued its stay on the execution of the Indian national, held in a Pakistani jail on allegations of spying, and called for an effective review and reconsideration of the conviction. Apart from Rahul Gandhi, other Congress leaders including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ahmed Patel and Rajdeep Singh Surjewala too hailed the ICJ's verdict. Jadhav, 49, was purportedly "arrested" from Balochistan by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, after he allegedly entered the country from Iran, as claimed by Islamabad.

India has held that Pakistan, which faces several problems on its border with Iran, has been using Jadhav's case to blame India for its problems in Balochistan. It has used proxy groups such as Jaish al Adl against Iran, while Iranian officials have spoken of Pakistan's sponsorship of terror activities along the Iran-Pakistan border. It was on March 25, 2016, that then Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, had informed the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad of Jadhav's "arrest." Since then, Pakistan has not offered any explanation as to why Islamabad took over three weeks to inform the Indian High Commissioner about Jadhav's arrest.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on April 11, 2017. Following this, India on May 8, 2017, approached the ICJ against Pakistan "for egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963" in the matter. India alleged that Pakistan is in breach of Article 36(1) (b) of the Vienna Convention, which obliged Pakistan to inform India of the arrest of Jadhav "without delay".

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