ICJ order on Kulbhushan Jadhav decoded: It’s actually a win each for India and Pakistan at The Hague

Sushma Swaraj tweeted her gratitude to India’s counsel at the Hague, who had argued that there was significant concern that Pakistan’s military court would have executed Jadhav in the dead of night.

Written by Jyoti Malhotra | Updated: May 18, 2017 5:05 pm
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered that Pakistan stay the execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, thereby handing a big diplomatic victory to India, but has also stopped short of ruling on the issue of consular access to Indian embassy officials in Pakistan for Jadhav, thereby allowing Pakistan to save face at the ICJ’s interim verdict.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted her gratitude to India’s counsel at the Hague, who had argued that there was significant concern that Pakistan’s military court would have executed Jadhav in the dead of night, and that therefore, the ICJ should rule against such a heinous act.

“I assure the nation that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi we will leave no stone unturned to save #KulbhushanJadhav,” Swaraj tweeted.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi confirmed to journalists at the Hague that no consular access would be given to Jadhav, pending a final verdict. Meaning, Indian embassy officials still won’t have any idea what Jadhav’s physical and mental condition is since he was kidnapped from Iran over a year ago.

The ICJ threw out the Pakistani plea that it had no jurisdiction in this matter because it was different from Pakistani law. The ICJ argued that according to the Vienna Convention, to which both India and Pakistan are signatories, it indeed had jurisdiction. Therefore, that plea didn’t hold.

Pakistan had argued in front of the ICJ that a 2008 consular agreement between India and Pakistan superceded the Vienna Convention, as all cases of security or political prisoners would be decided on “its merit.”

Because he was such a security and political prisoner – a spy – Pakistan argued, the merit of the case in this case meant that it would not give Indian embassy officials consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. Pakistan argued that Jadhav had been caught waging war against the Pakistani state or its equivalent, and was involved in acts of sabotage in Balochistan and elsewhere.

That is why, Pakistan argued, that he had been sentenced according to the law of the land, and that sentence was hanging.

India’s simple argument rested on the Vienna Convention, which guarantees consular access to all its citizens. It argued in front of the ICJ that it was fearful that Jadhav’s life was in danger. To that extent, India has won a big victory, because the ICJ has clearly told Pakistan that it cannot hang Jadhav until a final verdict.

As this 1-1 score, in favour of both India and Pakistan, sums up the Jadhav case so far, one cannot help wondering if the entire matter could have been sorted more amicably.

Whatever Kulbhushan Jadhav’s actual status – whether or not he’s a spy, as Pakistan says he is and India denies that fact, insisting he was a businessman in Iran, carrying out his normal chores – the fact is that he was kidnapped by Pakistani intelligence agencies from Iran. He has since been kept in a jail somewhere in Pakistan.

If Indian and Pakistani officials could pick up the phone and talk to each other, and sort out this problem bilaterally, it would have been so much more humane. At the end of the day, to wash our dirty linen in public, was ugly, even grotesque. To think that two neighbours can descend to this state diminishes us all.

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  1. R
    Ramesh
    May 20, 2017 at 6:48 am
    "If Indian and stani officials could pick up the phone and talk to each other, and sort out this problem bilaterally, it would have been so much more humane." The authors seems to live in fools paradise. If things were so simple, there would be no conflict between India and stan.
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      Gopal Sriniwasan
      May 19, 2017 at 11:10 pm
      If Indian and officials could pick up the phone and talk to each other, the problem could have been solved bilaterally.To think that two neighbours can stoop so low diminishes us all. What a sweet word of sentiment from a frustrated Punju who is on a vacation from reality. Jyothis heart beating for stan is understandable because she is a member of the cozy club which bene ed from a lot of freebies and therefore Jyothis's frustration and rant is understandable. If things between Indian and stani officials was so simple as made by this Punju, why was Sarabjit so mercilessly killed despite the officials knowing his life was in danger and what Jyothi and her ilks in the Cosy club do to save Sarabjit's life? Sarabjit was a poor farmer and his life did not merit Jyothis conscience but since PM Mody and the BJP have taken a strong stand against s Jyothy has resorted to a propa a to please her ISI Bosses sitting across the border
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        Arvind viswanat
        May 19, 2017 at 6:31 pm
        Pick up the phone and talk ?!? I wonder what Jyoti is smoking! The discomfort at the present situation of a party in power coupled with blind hatred for Modi compels one to stoop to such levels reveals starkness of human character. It is possibly the first time we have witnessed an Indian Government standing up for its citizen in an International forum. If this cannot be seen for what it is and masked as a tie under the guise of snooty English reeking of privilege, we can only say that she is more to be pitied than censured. For I.E. turning fast into irrelevance, the choice of columnists needs a serious rethink.
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          Ghulam Nabi
          May 19, 2017 at 1:51 pm
          Now that a laudatory comment has been accepted and published byIE, without asking for avalid email, doesn't it expose your bigotry
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            Ghulam Nabi
            May 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm
            What a victory for India!!! Thanks to cricketers Sehwag & Kaif !!!
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            1. Y
              Ya
              May 19, 2017 at 3:03 am
              This is called, equal-equal---anti national writer
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                Kuldip Bamzai
                May 19, 2017 at 12:18 am
                How can you put India and stan at par in this case, it shows your inadequacy.This order of ICJ was an interim one, which happens to be totally in agreement with India's stand based on Vienna convention.An order on consular access may follow, as the case proceeds.Got it !!
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                  Rohit Chopra
                  May 19, 2017 at 12:10 am
                  I feel pity for disoriented and delusional people like this author who always try to accommodate any thing ranging from mischief to terror attacks to such farcical trials by blood thirsty generals of stan, and we are both same. How we are same? Just because you gave some friends eho feed you biryani ? And how the it is 1-1 ? So many times those lu natics they turned down request for consular access and you are talking of picking up the phone?? What kind of re tards we have. God bless Jhadav and he should be back in India.
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                    SHUBH KARN GUPTA
                    May 18, 2017 at 11:43 pm
                    Views of a person, member of a select group patronised by Govts on the both sides in past in the name of back channel diplomacy, frustrated at loosing the freebies.
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                      S B
                      May 18, 2017 at 11:38 pm
                      IE has become anti-MODI, at any cost! They hire lousy, super-biased journos to give left handed compliments, even at a time of clear cut national glory! All for the anti-BJP bias. Even -media, accepting their "b er", but our PAID-BRIGADE is at its worst game. Madam Jyoti, why dont you try along with Mani S Aiyar, Kavita Krisnamrthy, Arundhati etc etc etc..and solve all the problem on phone, in your sweet (read biased) tone!
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                        Dhaval B.
                        May 18, 2017 at 11:27 pm
                        What pathetic reporting - "India and stan should have sought a bilateral, amicable and humane solution" - to expect that much from stan is BS and naive. I wonder who makes these people journalists, ranting and venting what they feel instead of reporting on what actually did transpire. Does the author know that India has been asking for consular access ever since it was known that Mr. Jadhav was kidnapped? Does the author know that India had called on stan's ambassador to India and requested the same? Where is the need to pick up the phone again? India went to ICJ as a "last" resort. If this does not work, India will have other options that no one likes.
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                          Yuganshu Sharma
                          May 18, 2017 at 10:27 pm
                          It's 1-(-2) actually since Pak's argument of the case being beyond the jurisdiction was dismissed. The court has sta the execution and implicitly hinted at want of urance from pak for protection of jadhav. It's an interim judgement on expected lines, grant of consular access was far fetched. It would have been professional on part of stan to have an open trial and grant consular access but to expect that from Pak, a rogue state, is unrealistic.
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                            Masood Mian
                            May 19, 2017 at 2:36 am
                            " It was known Mr. Jadhave was kidnapped." Prove it ! !
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                            Peter Durairaj
                            May 18, 2017 at 9:29 pm
                            The Indian Express tries to teach its g ma how to suck eggs! She knows it better! What a pity!
                            Reply
                            1. P
                              Peter Durairaj
                              May 18, 2017 at 9:31 pm
                              error: g ma
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                              1. P
                                Peter Durairaj
                                May 18, 2017 at 9:31 pm
                                error corrected: g ma
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                              Indian
                              May 18, 2017 at 9:23 pm
                              Madam Jyoti Malhotra ji, please register yourself for a journalism course from a good ins ution. Please do your research thoroughly before you write an article...oops Opinion. Janta seems to know facts better than you did as author. Wasted my time reading it. IE, please improve your quality.
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                                Shashichandra Desai
                                May 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm
                                The author is dreaming.Over 50 years talks with stan on Kashmir was fruitless.Same for the terrorists hiding in stan which is a terrorist country.
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                                  pagri
                                  May 18, 2017 at 9:08 pm
                                  We ll hang him high dont worry..we have our own law in the land of the pure and we dont care about this kangaroo court.
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                                    Suresh Hattangadi
                                    May 18, 2017 at 8:41 pm
                                    This article is written within two hours of judgment was delivered by ICJ and int his the journalist has already concluded that the verdict was 1-1 for India as well as stan.She seems to have heard the verdict even before the nation knew of it and concluded in a jiffy what the verdict says.She seems to presume nobody other than herself has any legal knowledge in India .Much more can be said but then I doubt this itself may not find favour.
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                                      Sitaram
                                      May 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm
                                      Silly to ume that telephone conversation could have settled it when all diplomatic avenues for exhausted and then the International court was summoned. Pak and India are not exactly equal en ies as the writer seems to think, they are so very different which is why they separated as countries. In this situation the other channels got exhausted and Jadhav's execution was just pending which would complete if India did not engage ICJ. How come all that is ignored in this article? If life runs like movies (Bajrangi Bhaijan ), we wont be cal two different names India and Pak.
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                                        Babu
                                        May 18, 2017 at 8:06 pm
                                        Jyoti are you on payroll what do you mean by :"If Indian and stani officials could pick up the phone and talk to each other".....What do you think since last almost 70 years we have been doing shamelessly, after each terrorist attack including Parliament and Mumbai, we like shameless ^ $### go and beg on our knees the and with folded hands request them to behave. Do we need another 70 years to go on our knees again and again....After Modiji coming and after surgical strike and our very very robust reply on cross border firing and reading in-between lines on their print media, we are now seeing a shadow of anxiety and fear in . Have you noticed that they have stopped using the threat of A-bomb, unlike MMS who shamelessly signed on the dotted line regarding the Sharm-el-sheikh declaration.....OR...I repeat...OR...you are one of those with built in hatred for Modiji and BJP irrespective whether they are right or wrong for you they are always wrong.
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                                          Babu
                                          May 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm
                                          Correction ic computer moderator: the word p a k i has been deleted in my comment
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                                          Krishnan
                                          May 18, 2017 at 8:01 pm
                                          IE is bent upon proving that whatever the present government does is wrong. Keep it up.
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                                            Krishna
                                            May 18, 2017 at 8:01 pm
                                            False news on your part - you indicate India has not contacted PAK but the truth is India did contact PAK several times to get consular access. Be honest, truthful and through please because not only do you get paid for it but people are looking to information here as truth.
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