The International Court of Justice at the Hague commences a four day public hearing into the case of Kulbhhushan Sudhir Jadhav on 18 February. Jadhav was arrested in Pakistan on 3 March 2016 and accused of being an Indian spy working for RAW (Research and Analysis Wing – India’s foreign intelligence service) in Baluchistan. He was arrested at the border apparently trying to enter Pakistan from Iran. His mission was supposedly to stir up trouble with Baluch separatists. Pakistani officials caimed that he had been working in Pakistan for some years, living under cover as a scrap dealer at Gadani. Jadhav was subsequently sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April 2017.
Evidence on Jadhav is unclear. He was born either in 1968 or 1971. His father was a Commissioner of Police in Mumbai. He joined the Indian Navy in 1987. He claims to have retired from the Navy in 2002. In 2003 it appears that he was issued with an Indian passport under the name Hussein Patel. At some point after that (possibly 2003) he then moved to Iran and there are claims that he was a Muslim convert. Naturally, the Iranian authorities have also started expressing interest and have made representations to the Indian government.
India claims that Jadhav was lured over the border from Iran into Pakistan and kidnapped. They raised the case at the ICJ in May 2017. Afer the four day hearing during which both governments will present evidence, the ICJ will retire to consider its verdict and is expected to announce its findings in the summer. Pakistani officials have said that their government will respect the ICJ’s decision.