Days before Kulbhushan Jadhav death sentence, Pakistan laid ground at International Court of Justice

Pakistan said ‘national security’ matters cannot be The Hague’s jurisdiction

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: May 13, 2017 12:50 pm
 Kulbhushan jadhav, Kulbhushan jadhav death sentence, Jadhav hearing, ICJ hearing, Pakistan ICJ, ICJ hearing, Pakistan Kulbhushan jadhav, India news, Indian Express Kulbhushan Jadhav. (File Photo)

TWELVE DAYS before Pakistan’s military court sentenced Kulbhushan Jadhav to death for “espionage and subversive activities”, Islamabad quietly gave a declaration to the International Court of Justice at The Hague stating that matters related to Pakistan’s “national security” would not be part of the ICJ’s jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Maleeha Lodhi, submitted the declaration to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on March 29, which superseded Pakistan’s earlier declaration to the ICJ on September 12, 1960.

The Indian Express examined both declarations and found that the national security clause was one of the key additions in the new declaration. These declarations are essentially terms and conditions under which a country decides to accept ICJ’s jurisdiction.

Top government sources in New Delhi said this was, in all likelihood, a “pre-emptive” step to counter India’s attempt to approach the ICJ and seek justice. “This clearly shows that the Pakistan government had made up its mind on the death sentence, and was trying to plug holes in its system,” said a top source.

Pakistan government sources confirmed to The Indian Express on Friday that it was done in “anticipation” of India’s move to approach the ICJ.
Lodhi’s declaration, on behalf of the Pakistan government, on March 29 said: “I have the honour, by direction of the President of the lslamic Republic of Pakistan, to declare that (the) Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan recognises as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement in relation to any other state accepting the same obligation, the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice under the Statute of the International Court of Justice… Provided that this declaration shall not apply to…” (the declaration lays out eight clauses) and “all matters related to the national security of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

This clause was not a part of the previous declaration. India’s declaration, which was made on September 15, 1974 by then External Affairs Minister Swaran Singh, does not preclude the national security option.

Among the eight other clauses that Pakistan has listed are disputes connected with “any aspect of hostilities, armed conflicts, individual or collective self-defence or the discharge of any functions pursuant to any decision or recommendation of international bodies, the deployment of armed forces abroad, as well as action relating and ancillary thereto in which Pakistan is, has been or may in future be involved.”

India, too, has a similarly-worded clause in its declaration.

Pakistan has, in fact, used the national security clause to deny all consular access requests to the Indian government. India has so far made 16 such requests, and its case is primarily based on the violation of Vienna Convention of Consular Relations.

“We realised this declaration was made by Pakistan, which precluded the national security matters. That is one of the key reasons we decided to approach the ICJ on the basis of violation of VCCR, which is an internationally accepted law on consular relations,” said an Indian government source.

ICJ is scheduled to hear both countries on May 15 and take a decision on the case which has strained relations between the two countries in the last month-and-a-half.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. M
    Mumbai Lawyer
    May 14, 2017 at 3:51 pm
    If India pretends that the 2008 bilateral agreement between India- stan to not give consular access to spies does not exist for purpose of ICJ proceedings, then stan can very simply withdraw from the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and stump India. This is what USA also did in the Mexico drug dealers cases where the drug dealers were executed by USA. stan could rejoin the Convention on Consular Relations after the execution, if they choose to do so.
    Reply
    1. S
      Suresh Hattangadi
      May 13, 2017 at 9:07 pm
      stan slipped in this case by approaching ICJ and giving changed declaration.It is confirmed that this move even before Jadhav was tried and given death sentnce was to preempt India's objections .However, India approached on consular access and other matters.
      Reply
      1. C
        Citizen
        May 13, 2017 at 8:15 pm
        Good if ICJ has no jurisdiction so also the other international organization where the present alleged dispute it is raising now and then. In fact the so called dispute was never taken or ratified by the Govt of India so the nation is free to adopt whatever it thinks fit to secure its citizens/assets from the rouge states infiltration even crossing the borders to eliminate the menace once for all. Jaihind
        Reply
        1. M
          MyTake
          May 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm
          India can not pretend it is not at war with stan.
          Reply
          1. M
            MyTake
            May 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm
            stan is at war with India and during war no oneone sticks to any agreement. Use this and stop water flowing through any rivers from India. If stan comes and confirms it is not at war and proves it in letter and spirit, renegotiate the agreements.
            Reply
            1. M
              Mumbai Lawyer
              May 14, 2017 at 3:55 pm
              Your argument is childish, and stupid
              Reply
              1. M
                Mumbai Lawyer
                May 14, 2017 at 3:57 pm
                Your argument is called: "Hindoo babu's school teacher argument to village pupils"
                Reply
              2. B
                bitterhoney
                May 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm
                tu daal daal to mein paat paat
                Reply
                1. R
                  romi
                  May 13, 2017 at 12:23 pm
                  india has caught so many spied but our stupid democracy & judijiary system cant make fast decisions while in pak is military government has made big issue of this India learn from s & china how to handle terror
                  Reply
                  1. P
                    pakki
                    May 13, 2017 at 12:07 pm
                    that means indian govt ICJ drama failed - kulbushan dont believe indian ministers and beurocracy they are only people who lured u into pak for spy and terrorist activities better you apologise and give mercy pe ion to pak they are more honest and mercyful than india - and become a military officer to fight your RAW enemies pak will pardon you
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Murthy
                      May 13, 2017 at 12:33 pm
                      Good piece of Pakki advice.... but Gulbhushan is an Indian and so Pakki advice will not be for his good. Second he knows how he was "lured into " .... He does not trust you. In any case NONE trusts your Military Courts - an oxymoron moron....
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        pakki
                        May 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm
                        you traiter u r talking about person you dont know his name - it is kulbhushan and not GULBHUSHAN ok you chaddi murthy you people are sucking blood of sc st obc muslims and kil them in name of gau mata and drinking cow
                      2. H
                        HELLWITHISLAM
                        May 13, 2017 at 3:40 pm
                        You follower of terror cult living in the Terrorist State of Porkystan better you see your own Firka kil and discriminations with every second person as Kufar. Now victim of Bachabazi shut your mouth or i will start posting all the filth of and your filthy doctrine of PigAmber MahaMad
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          minutha karkera
                          May 13, 2017 at 3:56 pm
                          Haha what a joke people like you should be washing haiz say toilets pls go and clean
                          Reply
                        2. Load More Comments