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Indian Ex-Naval Officer On Death Row Is A 'Terrorist,' Pakistan Tells UN court

Former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav speaks via video link during a news conference at the Pakistani Foreign Ministry in Islamabad in December 2017.

An Indian citizen on death row in Pakistan for alleged spying committed "terrorist" acts on New Delhi's orders, lawyers representing Islamabad told the UN's top court on the second day of a hearing over the fate of the man.

Pakistani Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan told judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on February 19 that former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav ran a network "to carry out despicable terrorism and suicide bombing, targeted killing, kidnapping for ransom, and targeted operations to create unrest and instability in the country."

Another lawyer representing Pakistan, Khawar Qureshi, urged the court in The Hague to dismiss India's case to save Jadhav from execution, accusing New Delhi of "political theater."

On the first day of the hearing on February 18, Deepak Mittal, joint secretary at India's External Affairs Ministry, told the ICJ that the proceedings against Jadhav were based on a "farcical case" and "malicious propaganda."

A lawyer representing India, Harish Salve, said that Jadhav's trial "hopelessly failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process."

Pakistani authorities say Jadhav, now 48, was arrested in March 2016 in the southwestern province of Balochistan, which has been plagued by sectarian violence, Islamist militant attacks, and a separatist insurgency that has led to thousands of casualties since 2004.

A military court in Pakistan sentenced the man to death in April 2017 on charges of espionage.

In May 2017, New Delhi won an injunction from the ICJ to stay Jadhav's execution.

The ICJ hearing comes amid growing tensions between India and Pakistan after dozens of Indian paramilitary troops and army soldiers were recently killed in the disputed Kashmir region.

The UN court's decision is expected to come months after this week's hearings.

Pakistan says it will put the man on trial on terrorism charges if the court orders his convictions overturned.

With reporting by AFP and AP