Pakistan approached the ICJ (International Court of Justice) on the 29th of March itself, even before the execution order of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav was pronounced by the military courts in Pakistan.

Pakistan, in its revised commitment to the ICJ withdrew the international court’s jurisdiction in ‘all matters related to the national security of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’. The declaration was sent by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi.

The idea was to ensure that if India moves the international court as a result of proceedings in the military court then Pakistan would be safe on question of jurisdiction given the eleven exclusions from ICJ writ includes matters of ‘national security’. The revised declaration at the end reads, ‘This Declaration revokes and substitutes the previous Declaration made on 12 September 1960’.

Sources have told NewsX that a core team of the Indian government handling the Jadhav case went to The Hague between May 7th and May 9th to discuss the case and weigh the option of approaching the ICJ given that it would be a huge shift in India’s policies where she maintains no third party or international intervention would be entertained in matters relating to Pakistan and India.

On May 8, 2017, India took legal recourse and approached the ICJ after much ‘deliberations’ as India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said, “It was a decision to save the life of a son of India.”

The only reason why Pakistan is stumped is because India did not take the Jadhav case to ICJ in its entirety. India has approached ICJ to institute proceedings against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for “egregious violations” of India’s rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 (VCCR). India is fighting for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.

NewsX has learnt that there have been series of meetings in Islamabad to formulate a response and a strategy for the hearing at The Hague that will begin Monday morning. The position that Pakistan was likely to take was based on the revised commitment claiming that the international court did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter.

But now with the case primarily focussing on ‘consular access’ and violation of the Vienna Convention, matters have taken a serious turn and Pakistan is rethinking its strategy.

India, on the other hand maintains that this case is not about international intervention but purely about an Indian national who is being denied his basic rights.

First Published | 12 May 2017 4:18 PM
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