India on Wednesday denounced Pakistan at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, arguing that it was using Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national sentenced to death for alleged spying, as a "pawn" to divert attention from its own conduct -- state sponsorship of terrorism. Drawing the court's attention to last week's terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, in which 40 soldiers died, senior advocate Harish Salve said the strike was carried out by a Pakistan-based entity.
Contending that Pakistan has been censured by various nations about its role in the spread of terror, Mr Salve said the US has called on Pakistan to end support to terrorism.
"In another attack in Iran, the Iranian side has said that Pakistan must be held accountable. Pakistan is under pressure from FATF (Financial Action Task Force, an international organisation that combats money laundering and financing of terror)," Mr Salve said in his closing arguments before the court.
Pakistan, Mr Salve said, is used as a safe haven by UN proscribed terrorist entities and individuals like Dawood Ibrahim. "Prominent Pakistan newspaper Dawn carried (Nawaz) Sharif's interview in which he acknowledged Pakistan's role in 26/11? This interview has not been denied," he added.
India has appealed to the International Court to cancel the death sentence of Mr Jadhav, arguing that he has been sentenced to death after a "farcical" court proceedings and Pakistan has breached the Vienna Convention skipping due process of law and refusing him any aid from India. By denying him consular access, Pakistan has even violated the order of the International Court, India said.
That there is no evidence against Kulbhushan Jadhav is evident from Pakistan's reticence to "share with the world and this court the judgment in which Mr Jadhav was convicted", Mr Salve said.
"That judgment would show the basis for conviction. India has repeatedly requested for evidence... I have little doubt that there was any substantive evidence of Jadhav's involvement. All Pakistan has is a passport. Pakistan claims that Jadhav was an Indian terrorist, sent by India. This is a flying leap of faith. Possessing a passport doesn't make you party to those offences... Jadhav is being sent to the gallows on the basis of an extracted confession," India said.
Mr Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April 2017. India says he is a retired Naval officer, who was abducted from Iran, where he was running a business. The International Court has asked Pakistan to hold off the execution till it reaches its final verdict in the case.
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