Ensure Pak respects ICJ order, says Congress; Sibal offers legal assistance

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

Senior lawyer Harish Salve, who fought India's case at the International Court of Justice against the death penalty to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, said on Thursday that he had anticipated New Delhi's victory, and added the ruling was "binding" on Islamabad.

While India asserted that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he was involved in business activities after retiring from the Indian Navy, Pakistan had claimed to have arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province.

Earlier Sushma Swaraj while reacting on the order said, "The ICJ order has come as a great relief to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav and people of India". This agreement and the exception could not supersede the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) 1963, he said.

"Pakistan shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr. Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in these proceedings", the court at The Hague said in a unanimous order.

Legal experts believe Pakistan may face great embarrassment if it does not comply with the ICJ's decision, adding that the UN Security Council has the authority to take action against such states.

Responding to comments by the Attorney General of Pakistan, Mr. Baglay said the ICJ's verdict remains binding.

However, in the case of Jadhav, the argument was denied because the case turned into a national security matter.

"The stay given by International Court at the hague in Kulbhushan Jadhav case is a very big decision".

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Speaking in Geo News" show "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath' International Legal Advisor South Asia of International Commission of Jurist Reema Omer said: "In the laymen's term, it is an interim order".

They also wonder why Pakistan wants to appoint foreigner as ad hoc judge when every state prefers to nominate its own lawyers.

India and Pakistan routinely accuse each other of sending spies into their countries, and it is not uncommon for either nation to expel diplomats accused of espionage. "Pakistan will present solid evidence against Jadhav".

How long will the ICJ take for the final decision?

The ICJ ruling did not favor the arguments of either side but was meant to prevent Pakistan from taking any irrevocable steps before the court can decide whether it has jurisdiction in the case and, later, which side is right or wrong.

Although India's case is built on Pakistan's alleged violation of the Vienna Convention, it did not specifically seek a directive from the ICJ ordering Pakistan to grant consular access to Jadhav. Once the government chose to contest the case, there is no other way than to accept the verdict with all its implications.

In this regard, the Court noted that the Parties do indeed appear to have differed, and still differ today, on the question of India's consular assistance to Jadhav under the Vienna Convention.

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