Pakistani high commissioner Abdul Basit on Sunday said that Islamabad will abide by the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) verdict staying the death sentence of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.
In an interview to Times of India, Basit said that Pakistan was committed to international laws and its multilateral obligations and that it would by the ICJ’s ruling until it passed the final judgement.
“That is only in the context of provisional order that only stays execution and it has no bearing whatsoever on the merit of the case,” Basit was quoted by Times of India as saying.
Basit’s statement is apparently the first assurance from Pakistan that Jadhav’s life is safe for the time being even as Islamabad approaches ICJ for a review of its ruling.
The Pakistani high commissioner, however, stated that Pakistan is on solid grounds regarding the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, adding that Islamabad’s domestic laws will take precedence over ICJ’s final judgement.
“No country compromises on security issues. Remember he was convicted of subversion and terrorism. He is not an ordinary citizen but a serving naval officer,” he said.
“As for the merits of the Commander Jadhav case, we are on terra firma and thus very confident of our position. Terrorism cannot be condoned under any circumstances,” he added.
Basit added that there was no doubt that Pakistan would round up the legal case Jadhav as per its own domestic laws.
Abdul Basit also said that the court has not said anything conclusive about the consular access and that all such issues would be decided in the final judgement.
While Basit said that the ICJ ruling did not really matter much to Pakistan as Jadhav had 150 days to seek clemency in any case, his comment on abiding by the ruling should come as a relief to India which expressed fear that he might be executed even while the case was being heard at ICJ.
If the ICJ upholds the death sentence, Jadhav will still have 60 days to file mercy petition before the Pakistan army chief. If that too is rejected, he would have the option of seeking mercy from Pakistan president.