Written byShalini Ojha ·
In what qualifies as a huge diplomatic win for India, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday directed Pakistan to suspend Kulbhushan Jadhav's death sentence. ICJ also said India should be granted consular access to Jadhav, who is imprisoned since 2016.
While countrymen and politicians celebrated, Jadhav's family said they won't be relieved until he comes home safely.
And, they are right.
India maintained that by denying consular access to Jadhav, Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention.
Barring the lone Pakistani judge on the bench, everyone agreed with India's stand and asked Pakistan to review order.
As India broke into celebrations, Jadhav's uncle, retired ACP Subhash Jadhav, asked locals in NM Joshi area (where he spent his childhood) to remain cautious.
"While we are happy with the efforts put in by the Indian government, we want to see Kulbhushan come out alive from Pakistan. Till that does not happen, the fear will remain," Subhash told Indian Express.
Separately, at Pruthvi Chandan building, where Jadhav stayed earlier, residents broke into chants of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', distributed sweets, and released balloons.
"I strongly believe that prayers of the countrymen helped swing the decision in our favor. We know people across the country had been praying in temples and mosques for his release," Jadhav's childhood friend Arvind Singh told the daily.
"We were prepared to celebrate. We had called for balloons, sweets and also wanted to release pigeons. However, we could not arrange for the latter. It is an international court and there was no chance they would give wrong judgment," Singh went on.
Meanwhile, politicians across party lines welcomed ICJ's verdict, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying, "Truth and justice have prevailed. Congratulations to the ICJ for a verdict based on extensive study of facts. I am sure Kulbhushan Jadhav will get justice. Our Government will always work for the safety and welfare of every Indian."
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi also hoped for Jadhav's early return.
I welcome the ICJ verdict.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 17, 2019
My thoughts tonight are with #KulbhushanJadhav , alone in a prison cell in Pakistan with his distraught family for whom this verdict brings a rare moment of relief, joy renewed hope, that he will one day be free to return to his home in India 🇮🇳
Now, Pakistan may have been isolated on the global stage, but the country saw a "victory" in Jadhav's verdict.
Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted he was happy with ICJ's decision because the court didn't "acquit" Jadhav, responsible for "carrying out" crimes against people in his country.
Khan quite conveniently missed the fact that ICJ slammed Pakistan for not informing Jadhav about his rights.
Appreciate ICJ’s decision not to acquit, release return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India. He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 18, 2019
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