Amid heightened tensions with Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack, members of the Indian delegation at the hearing of the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice snubbed their Pakistani counterparts by refusing to shake hands with them.
A curt namaste with folded hands was all that the senior Indian diplomats Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretary heading the Pakistan Division in the External Affairs Ministry, and Venu Rajamoney, India's Ambassador to the Netherlands, offered when Pakistan's Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan wanted to shake hands ahead of the hearing at The Hague.
This was the clear reflection of the chill in the Indo-Pak ties in the aftermath the terror attack that claimed the lives of over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama on Thursday. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack and India has said there is "incontrovertible evidence" of Pakistani support to the group.
The incident occured on the first day of the four-day hearing of concerning the death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court in 2017 on the charges of espionage and terrorism.
In front of UN's top court, India's counsel Harish Salve argued that Jadhav was illegally kept in custody by the Pakistan government and was not even provided with consular support, something which violates the international law.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced toW death by the Pakistan military court on the charges of terrorism and espionage on April 10, 2017. He was convicted of carrying out 'subversive activities' in Pakistan on a "special mission" for the Indian government and has been sentenced to death by the military court in the neighbour country.
He was alleged to be a RAW spy, the charge which India has repeatedly denied, but have conceded that he is indeed an Indian national and a retired naval officer. Jadhav was reportedly arrested in Mashkal district of Balochistan while supposedly entering from Iran in an alleged counter-intelligence operation on March 3, 2016. He has been held in the Pakistan custody since then.
(With inputs from ANI)