ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on July 18 said his country will proceed as per the law in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, a day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gave its verdict asking Islamabad to review and reconsider the conviction of the former naval officer.
"Pakistan shall proceed further as per law," he said while alleging that Jadhav is "guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan".
In a major win for India, the ICJ on Wednesday asked Pakistan to review its order of death sentence awarded to Jadhav facing charges of espionage and conspiracy against Pakistan. The court also granted him consular access holding Islamabad guilty of violating the Vienna Convention.
The ICJ by a vote of 15-1 in the Jadhav case upheld India's claim that Pakistan is in egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations on several counts, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
"We also appreciate the direction of the ICJ that Pakistan should review and reconsider the conviction and sentence given to Jadhav by Pakistani military court," he added.
Following the ruling, a statement from the spokesperson of the Pakistan Foreign Office claimed that the country has "upheld its commitment" from the very beginning of the case as a "responsible member" of the internal community.
"Pakistan, as a responsible member of the International community, upheld its commitment from the very beginning of the case by appearing before the honourable court for the provisional measures hearing despite the very short notice. Having heard the judgment, Pakistan will now proceed as per law," the statement read.
Government sources in New Delhi said Jadhav is innocent and that "he was kidnapped from Iran, where he was residing and carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy. There is absolutely no clarification by Pakistan about the circumstances of his arrest".
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.
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".