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Hassan Rouhani re-elected Iranian President । Prime Minister Modi congratulated him on his re-election । India, Palestine sign 5 MoUs including one on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holder । Agreements were signed after Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with President Abbas May 16 । Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas is on 4-day State visit to India beginning May 14 । Abbas is visiting India on the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee । This is the fifth visit and the third State visit of President Abbas to India । Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Colombo May 11 on his two-day visit to Sri Lanka । He was received by his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickramsinghe on his arrival at the Colombo airport । PM Modi is the chief guest at the International Vesak Day celebrations of Sri Lanka । India marks 19th National Technology Day । National Technology Day is marked to commemorate the anniversary of Pokhran nuclear tests of 1998 । On this day, Prime Minister Modi hails the then PM Vajpayee’s courage to conduct the nuclear tests । India launches GSAT-9 satetllite from Sriharikota । India to make Israeli rifles and small arms । Punj Lloyd and Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) collaborating in the venture । Trump to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia this month । This will be his first foreign visit as US President । India, Turkey signed three agreements including one between the Foreign Services Institute of India and the Diplomacy Academy of Turkey । Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls on President Mukherjee, Vice President Ansari, PM Modi and EAM Sushma Swaraj during his State visit to India । The Turkish President, visiting from April 30-May 1, backs India in fight against terrorism । Turkey conveyed its support for India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) । PM Modi expressed his gratitude on Turkey’s support । Indian Army celebrates 79th Armour Day । On 1 May 1938, Scinde Horse cavalry regiment was equipped with Vickers tanks and Chevrolet armoire cars । The Indian Army’s Armourerd Corps has played decisive role against Pakistani intruders in 1947, 1965 and 1971। India, Cyprus sign 4 agreements including one on Air Service Agreement । Agreements signed during Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’s visit to India April 28 । Cyprus President called on President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi । The visiting President and PM Modi agreed on urgent need for all countries to decisively act against the states supporting factories of terrorism । PM Modi also thanked the Cyprus President for his support to India’s claim of Permanent Membership in UNSC । North Korea test fires a ballistic missile which landed in the Sea of Japan । India, Sri Lanka ink pacts on economic cooperation and road infrastructure development । The agreements signed during Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India । Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on him । Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar accompanied Sushma Swaraj when the latter called on the visiting Sri Lankan PM । India-Russia defence engagement will continue to grow, says Defence Minister Arun Jaitley । He was speaking at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow । India, Russia are celebrating 70 years of Diplomatic Relationship । China launches its first indigenous aircraft carrier । The new carrier will accommodate 36 aircraft and will be commissioned in 2020 after sea trials । It’s a 50000 ton platform with a ski jump deck modeled on Soviet carriers but has many design innovations । India, South Korea Sign Inter-Governmental MoU for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding । The MoU signed by Secretary (Defence Production), India, Ashok Kumar Gupta and Minister of Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration (DAPA), South Korea, Chang Myoung-Jin । The Inter-Governmental MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both countries । The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) accorded its approval for signing the MoU । The CCS also gave a go ahead for nominating Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam for collaboration । Indian Navy successfully test-fires land attack version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile । Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari calls on President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister in New Delhi Apr 18 । Nepalese President is on a State visit to India April 17-21 । This is her first ever visit to India since taking over in 2015 । She was given a ceremonial Guard of Honour on her arrival at Rashtrapati Bhawan । Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan, called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday । He was presented a Tri-Services Guard of Honour on his arrival at South Block । 12 killed in Saudi military helicopter in Yemen । Unconfined reports say the Blackhawk was accidentally shot down by a Saudi Patriot missile। US NSA Gen HR McMaster meets Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi । Gen McMaster also exchanged views on Indo-US relations with Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar । Happy Easter । US drops its biggest 21,000 pound bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan April 13 । Designated GBU 43, the Mother of All Bombs is designed to hit deep caves and tunnels in hardy mountains । GBU 43 is the biggest non-nuclear bomb, carried by the US Air Force (USAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) । White House Press Secretyary Sean Spricer confirmed the night bombing but there was no immediate word from Taliban । Spicer said the ISIS terroists were targeted as they used the caves and tunnels to hit the US forces । GBU 43 is a concussion bomb carrying an explosive charge of 8,500 kg, equal to 11 tons of TNT । India, Australia sign 6 MoUs including on Combating Terrorism and Civil Aviation Security । Agreements signed during Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull’s Visit to India April 10 । He calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । This is the first ever visit of Turnbull after taking over as Australian PM in 2015 । The Australian PM along with his Indian counterpart took a Delhi metro ride to visit city-based Akshardham Temple । India, Bangladesh signed 22 agreements April 8 including key pacts on defence cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation । India announced an additional $4.5-billion concessional line of credit for infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, and another $500 million for Dhaka to procure defence equipment from New Delhi । A joint India-Bangladesh event saw both PMs honour the 1,661 Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 war for Bangladesh’s independence । Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives in New Delhi for 4-day State visit to India । Prime Minister Modi himself goes to the airport to greet the Bangladesh PM on her arrival । External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj calls on Sheikh Hasina at Rashtrapati Bhawan । She is the special guest of President Pranab Mukherjee during her State visit to India । The Bangladesh PM has a full day of bilateral discussions with her Indian counterpart on Saturday (April 8) । 20 agreements are expected to be signed between India and Bangladesh । India, Malaysia sign 7 agreements । The agreements signed during Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s visit to India from March 30 to April 4 । Malaysian PM calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । India and Malaysia joint statement, issued after Modi, Razak meeting, calls for a deeper ties between the two nations । Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is free from jail after six year । Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who holds additional charge of Defence, elected President of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) । He succeeds Mr Manohar Parikkar who resigned to take over as Chief Minister of Goa recently। Hardeep Singh Puri appointed Chairman of the Research and Information System for Developing Countries । Mr Puri is former Indian Envoy to the UN in New York and Geneva । FBI investigating possible Russian interference in 2016 US presidential election, Director Comey confirms । He told House Intelligence Committee there is no evidence of President Obama ordering wiretap of Trump during the election campaign । President Trump has made several allegations against his predecessor, which the powerful heads of FBI and NSA have denied । Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assumes additional charge as Defence Minster । Jaitley replaces Manohar Parrikar who has moved to Goa to head the State’s Government as Chief Minster । BRAHMOS Extended Range (ER) missile successfully test-fired । Prime Minister greets CISF on its 48th Raising Day । INS Tillanchang Commissioned into Indian Navy । INS Tillanchang was commissioned by FOC-in-C Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Girish Luthra at Karwar । India Strategic salutes the humanity on this International Women’s Day । Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju dedicates first integrated heliport to the nation । Ms. DR Doley Barman appointed Director of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad । 1992 batch IFS officer Gopal Baglay appointed MEA Spokesperson । He replaces Vikas Swarup, who has been appointed Indian High Commissioner to Canada । Raytheon, Tata Advanced Systems to Co-produce Stinger Missile Components । Indian Navy Concludes First Contract under Buy and Make (Indian) Category । Contract signed between Nova Integrated Systems Ltd (NISL), a TASL subsidiary, and Indian Navy for procurement of Surface Surveillance Radars (SSRs) ।
May 22, 2017
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India wins reprieve for Jadhav at the ICJ: Pakistan must stay his killing

By Nilova Roy Chaudhury May 2017
 

ICJ-UN

New Delhi. India won recognition of its position and a stay of execution for Kulbhushan Jadhav at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday, May 18, achieving the immediate objective for which it had approached the UN’s highest court.

Former Indian navy officer Jadhav has been in captivity in Pakistan since March 2016, after he was abducted while on a visit to Iran. He was subsequently branded as an Indian spy and charged with terrorism and waging war against Pakistan, tried by a military court and sentenced to death. The sentence, pronounced by a military court on April 10, and upheld by the Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, came as a huge shock to the Indian establishment which has no idea about the man’s whereabouts. India has repeatedly sought (a total of 16 times since he was taken prisoner in March 2016) consular access to Jadhav, but has repeatedly been turned down by Pakistan.

The Jadhav case and the need for India to approach the ICJ, thereby internationalising the matter, is clear indication of the “very sorry state” of India Pakistan relations, a senior official told India Strategic. It also points to a “deep divide” between the Pakistan military and civilian establishments.

The refusal to grant consular access to Jadhav and the secrecy with which the trial was conducted, without allowing him proper legal representation, followed by the sentence of death, forced New Delhi to approach the ICJ, on May 8, seeking a stay of execution.

India sought the ICJ’s intervention to stay the Pakistani military court’s order of execution, resulting from what India termed a “farcical” process. India said it apprehended an immediate threat to the life of Jadhav, an Indian national, and sought the ICJ’s intervention, citing Pakistan’s contravention of the Vienna Conventions on Consular access. The ICJ held its hearing on Monday, May 15, when both India and Pakistan made their submissions to the court.

Pakistan said the ICJ had no jurisdiction in the case and the Vienna Conventions did not apply in Jadhav’s case, as he had confessed to being a spy and indulging in terrorist acts.

In a unanimous verdict, the 11-member bench of the ICJ clearly outlined provisional measures enjoining Pakistan to take all steps needed to ensure that Jadhav was not executed pending adjudication of the matter. The court also observed that it had jurisdiction in this case, as both India and Pakistan were members of the United Nations and had signed the Vienna Conventions.

Pakistan would also need to inform the court about the steps it takes to implement the order, which the ICJ head judge Ronny Abraham clearly stated are binding and create international legal obligations for the country to which they are addressed.

“Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr. Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings and shall inform the Court of all the measures taken in implementation of the present Order,” the judgement stated, accepting India’s plea, and “Unanimously, decides that until it has given its final decision, it shall remain seized of the matters which form the subject-matter of this Order.”

The verdict, although a huge relief for India, will not allow immediate consular access to Jadhav. While accepting India’s contention, the ICJ also said Pakistan had illegally withheld consular access to him, but consular access is not what India sought in its plea, which was limited to seeking an immediate stay of the impending execution. Lack of consular access to an Indian citizen was cited by India to bolster its case.

The Vienna Convention has provisions for consular access to accused even in cases of terror and espionage, the court said.

Delivering the interim order on India’s plea, the highest UN court rejected Pakistan’s contention that it lacked jurisdiction in the case and held that India had a “plausible” right to access to Jadhav.

The earliest he could have been executed was May 19, (40 days after the sentence of death was pronounced), which is why India pleaded urgency. However, the ICJ order now compels Pakistan to wait for the verdict after the full hearing, which could take several years.

Calling the order a “great relief,” MEA spokesman Gopal Baglay said the “ICJ has delivered a unanimous, favourable, clear and unambiguous order for India’s request for provisional measures.”

While Pakistan’s foreign office has sought to downplay the international impact of this verdict, Baglay specified, “This order creates legally binding international obligations. We hope the verdict will end the egregious violation of Jadhav’s rights,” Baglay added.

Thursday’s verdict may have brought Jadhav an immediate reprieve from execution, but India’s MEA and top legal luminaries like Harish Salve, who argued India’s case at the ICJ, have a very long and winding road ahead before (and indeed, if) the former Indian Navy officer can return to his homeland.

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