No handshake but a firm Indian ‘namaskar’ for Pakistani diplomats at Kulbhushan hearing

New Delhi: Indian diplomats attending the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice in The Hague Monday greeted their Pakistani counterparts with a firm ‘namaskar’ when they reached out for a handshake.
Deepak Mittal, joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs heading the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran (PAI) desk, got up from his seat and folded his hand in a quick, firm ‘namaskar’ when a Pakistani delegate reached out for a handshake before the hearing.
An embarrassed Pakistani delegate then sheepishly extended his hand to the Indian ambassador to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony, who too folded his hands in ‘namaskar’.
After a momentary pause, the Pakistani delegate quickly moved to India’s lawyer at ICJ, Harish Salve, who shook hands.
India and Pakistan are currently involved in a standoff over the issue of Jadhav and the bombing of a CRPF convoy last week by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, which killed 40 security personnel.
*What went down at ICJ*
As the ICJ began a four-day public hearing in the case of Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage, India accused Pakistan of misusing the UN court for propaganda,
On the first day of the hearing, India based its case on two broad issues — breach of the Vienna Convention on consular access, and the process of resolution.
“It is an unfortunate case where the life of an innocent Indian is at risk,” ex-Solicitor General Salve said.
“Pakistan’s story is solely based on rhetoric and not facts,” he said, adding that Jadhav’s continued custody without consular access should be declared unlawful.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on 3 March 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.
However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.

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