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Indian diplomats ignore handshake by Pak officials at ICJ


Secretary of Foreign Affairs of India Deepak Mittal (L) and Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan (R) greet each other at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, prior to the India-Pakistan case, on February 18, 2019


The Hague: Indian diplomats on Monday ignored the handshake gesture by senior Pakistani officials and instead greeted them with a 'namaste' on the first day of the hearing in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) here.

The four-day hearing in the Jadhav case opened Monday at the ICJ headquarters amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group that killed at least 41 CRPF soldiers.

Ahead of the hearing this morning, Pakistan's Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan reached out to Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretary, the Ministry of External Affairs, to shake hand but he responded with a namaste.

Khan then extended his hand to Venu Rajamony, the Indian ambassador to the Netherlands, who was sitting next to Mittal. Rajamony too greeted him with a namaste.

The Pakistani official then moved to Harish Salve, the former attorney general who is representing India and Jadhav at the ICJ, who shook hands.

Mittal also greeted Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman and the Director General for South Asia and SAARC, with a 'namaste.

Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India.

India moved the ICJ in May the same year for the "egregious violation" of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to the 48-year-old Indian national.

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