The US urged India and Pakistan to engage in direct talks to reduce the tension as they faced-off at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the death sentence given to former Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav.
A State Department spokesperson said, “We believe India and Pakistan stand to benefit from practical cooperation.” The official when asked about the US stand on the case of Jadhav, said “We encourage India and Pakistan to engage in direct dialogue aimed at reducing tension.”
The former Indian Naval officer was arrested in March last year and had been given death sentence by a Pakistani Military court on charges of espionage and subversive activities. His death sentence has become the latest flash point in the India-Pakistan ties.
India’s consular access to Jadhav was denied 16 times by Pakistan, claiming he was an agent of India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Last week, the ICJ stayed his execution, and yesterday both the countries presented their arguments which were heard by the ICJ. India has petitioned the ICJ, urging it immediately to suspend Jadhav’s death sentence, expressing fears that Pakistan could execute him even before the hearing at ICJ.
On May 8, India moved the ICJ against the death penalty, alleging Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by repeatedly denying it consular access to Mr Jadhav. India, in its appeal, has asserted that Mr Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he was doing business after he retired from the Indian Navy. Furthermore, India has denied that he has any connection with the government.