Indian Diplomat Refuses To Shake Hands With Pakistan At ICJ

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The Hague: MEA joint secretary Deepak Mittal on Monday snubbed the Pakistani official at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday where the two countries were attending the proceedings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

Deepak Mittal ignored the handshake gesture by Pakistan’s AG Anwar Mansoor Khan before presenting oral arguments at the ICJ in The Hague when the latter tried to shake hands as a courtesy gesture.

While the two officials exchanged greetings before the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, Anwar Mansoor Khan reached out to Deepak Mittal to shake his hand but the latter folded his hands to greet him with a namaste.

The oral proceedings in the Kulbhushan Jadhav began today before the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Kulbhushan Jadhav, 48, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May the same year against the verdict.

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Kulbhushan Jadhav in the restive Balochistan province in 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. A 10-member bench of the ICJ on May 18, 2017, had restrained Pakistan from executing Kulbhushan Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

India has, however, maintained that Kulbhushan Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy. At the ICJ, India pointed out that the Pakistan story has always been strong on rhetoric and blurry on facts. It also said that Pakistan has provided no credible evidence to show Kulbhushan Jadhav’s involvement in any act of terrorism.

This is the second India has snubbed Pakistan at an international level. In May 2017, a curt ‘namaskar’ was all that a senior Indian diplomat had to offer to an extended hand of a member of the Pakistani delegation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), hearing the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

Ahead of the hearing on Monday, Deepak Mittal, who is the head of the Pakistan division in the external affairs ministry, ignored the handshake gesture by Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan’s DG for South Asia and SAARC, and offered a ‘namaskar’ instead.