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Pakistan mulling response to ICJ move, says Aziz

Updated May 11, 2017 07:37am

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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Wednesday that Islamabad was still reviewing India’s position on Pakistan’s decision to execute Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Talking to reporters after an event in the capital, he said India had approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Jadhav’s execution, and that Pakistan was in the process of reviewing its stand, after which a formal response would be given in a couple of days.

The ICJ has asked the government of Pakistan to stay the execution of Jadhav after India moved the international court, accusing Islamabad of denying consular access to the Indian spy under the Geneva Convention.


International court ‘stays’ Indian spy’s death sentence


Mr Aziz said the government was also ascertaining whether the matter fell within the domain of ICJ or not.

However, according to statements released from The Hague, the ICJ will begin public hearings in the matter from Monday, May 15. “The hearings will be devoted to the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by India,” said a statement released by ICJ on Wednesday night.

An earlier statement said that ICJ President Judge Ronny Abraham had “addressed [on Tuesday] an urgent communication to the prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan” which asked for Jadhav’s sentence to be stayed.

Also on Wednesday, military spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that Jadhav had been convicted in accordance with the law of the land and that the legal process was under way. He offered no comments on the ICJ decision and said the Foreign Office would respond to the international court’s missive.

India’s case before the ICJ revolves around Pakistan being a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) and not fulfilling its obligations under Article 36 of the convention, which obliges it to inform India about Jadhav’s detention “without delay”, intimate the detainee of his rights and provide him consular access.

The Indian position is that Pakistan not only failed to inform India about his detention, but was also denying consular access.

In addition to being a signatory to the convention, Pakistan has also adopted an optional protocol that gives the ICJ jurisdiction over disputes that could arise over fulfilment obligations under the convention.

However, both India and Pakistan have identified reservations and exceptions in accepting ICJ jurisdiction.

India invoked a similar reservation in 1999 to get Pakistan’s petition over the downing of a navy aircraft dismissed.

At the time, the court had referred to the declarations of acceptance of the compulsory jurisdiction of the court made by both states, saying that India’s declaration contained a reservation, according to which “disputes with the government of any state which is or has been a member of the commonwealth of nations” are excluded from the court’s jurisdiction.

Pakistan also made similar exceptions at the time of adopting the additional protocol.

In addition, the two countries have a bilateral agreement on consular access, under which they have agreed to decide political and security-related matters on the merits of each case. Neither of the parties can, therefore, demand blanket access in such cases.

This bilateral agreement is not mentioned in India’s petition to the ICJ. It is important to note that bilateral accords take precedence over any multilateral framework, such as the VCCR.

In his remarks on Wednesday, Sartaj Aziz also disclosed that a Pak-Iran border commission had been formed and would hold its first meeting within a month. He said the commission consisted of four members from each country.

“Smugglers and other elements are present along the Pak-Iran border,” Aziz said, explaining that border issues between the two countries were not limited to terrorism. He downplayed the prevailing tensions with both Iran and Afghanistan, saying that the two countries were not Pakistan’s enemies.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2017

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Comments (53) Closed



Nilesh May 11, 2017 07:33am

Flexing muscles both countries...

TbH May 11, 2017 07:43am

That shows Pakistan was taken by surprise. No preparation before sentencing a foreign national

Ahmed May 11, 2017 07:46am

Pak Iran border is the most mismanaged border area which is a den of smugglers and anti state elements. This is the reason why smuggled items such as Irani Petrol is available in areas as far as Karachi.

Kkl May 11, 2017 08:01am

Smart move...let's see what happens next.

Vijay Halgeri May 11, 2017 08:06am

Good. Looking forward to 15th of May when the court hears the arguments.

Kannan May 11, 2017 08:18am

I think india did right to save its citizen life.

ANIR May 11, 2017 08:38am

Pakistan wants to go to ICJ for many issues like the water issues. If they ignore ICJ, then they can never go there.

Nasir May 11, 2017 08:38am

Good for Pakistan, issue is internationalized.

Ind May 11, 2017 08:45am

Indian move a surprise for Pakistan. Pakistan should think rationally before appearing in ICJ. Desperately waiting for 15th..

M.S.PATIL May 11, 2017 08:54am

@Nasir " Good for Pakistan, issue is internationalized."

Who is taking up the issue of the Lt Gen who is missing from Nepal border ?

Satya May 11, 2017 08:56am

Lets see what happens now. Hope every one will now know the facts very soon.

DJ May 11, 2017 09:08am

Hope that Pakistan challenges the jurisdiction of ICJ ....so next in line will be deliberate messing with the Indus Water Treaty !! Give & Take Policy of Modi !!

Zaraq Khan May 11, 2017 09:11am

India first deny Yadhav is their citizen and now they own him. Whts this ?

SATYANAAs May 11, 2017 09:14am

Hmmmm.....looks like the "bilateral " mantra parroted by India is going to prove obstructive to it.

helloWorld May 11, 2017 09:15am

@Nasir Not sure what this "internationalized" means however no one in this world cares man!!! Is it hard to understand that India is in different league now and no one in the world can twist it's arm anymore. It's more of give and take relationship between India and rest of the world..

Self respect and self dependence makes a country strong.

KR May 11, 2017 09:20am

I would presume that the Vienna Convention would apply for those traveling with proper documents and visas.

A person caught red handed, spying with the full intent to cause damage to another country does not deserve such cover.

flipflop May 11, 2017 09:21am

If he's guilty then Pakistan will not have any issues in presenting themselves in the international court. Of course based on the data made public, it shows that India is truly hiding something. For instance, they first declined Jadhav to be citizen of India. Then, he traveled on a fake ID. India hasn't taken this matter with Iran as to why he was travelling to Pakistan. India also declined Jhadav to be a Navy officer but later on retracted their statement. So based on these events an average person would conclude that he was indeed a spy.

Aslum shaikh May 11, 2017 09:23am

@Zaraq Khan Please do research case before commenting. India has clearly said that he is Indian and was retired Navy officer from day 1

Imtiaz May 11, 2017 09:24am

Mr.Sartaj Ajeej said "there is no enough evidence..." earlier, whoever took the decision should face ICJ.

Ramgarh May 11, 2017 09:25am

It is basically a power game. Might is right. Hope Pakistan understands.

Ahamd May 11, 2017 09:28am

@Zaraq Khan Where did you read it? India never denied that Yadav is not Indian.

Hasmukh dave May 11, 2017 09:33am

@Zaraq Khan India never deny that Kulbhushan Jadhav is Indian citizen

Joshj May 11, 2017 09:42am

@Zaraq Khan Looks like you had a very long vacation to a place without any modes of information transfer!

Shamshad Ahmad Qurraishi May 11, 2017 09:45am

Mr. Foreign Minister ! Sir, please go home.

Just asking May 11, 2017 09:49am

@SATYANAAs not really as this is under vccr. Water dispute can be taken to ICJ but not Kashmir !

point of view May 11, 2017 09:51am

@Zaraq Khan, please do read before commenting. India from day one saying that Kulbhushan Yadav is an Indian national, a retired navy officer. He has been abducted from Iran where he was doing a business.

Nitin May 11, 2017 09:56am

"It is important to note that bilateral accords take precedence over any multilateral framework, such as the VCCR." Thats why Shimla agreements got importance over UN resolution on Kashmir.

Pune-India May 11, 2017 09:58am

@Just asking: India is honest we have still stopped ur water flow

Asif Ahmed May 11, 2017 10:01am

Only the lawyers will get richer

Sjan May 11, 2017 10:06am

Does that mean Indus water treaty is a bilateral issue?

Matoda May 11, 2017 10:08am

He is even making statements about his thought process! What a show!

Devendra G May 11, 2017 10:15am

Seventy years of nuisance ....let us fight for our stand on every forum and every front once for all !! Then only we will see peace!

pervez May 11, 2017 10:22am

@ANIR did you not read the above article....it states clearly that bilateral agreements override IJC.

EQ May 11, 2017 10:22am

@Ramgarh do u think when some country take any kind of actions they don't know the consequences..these are just for news wht is happening backstage nobody know..so we public no matter from which country we are cannot know the whole truth..

Iqbal May 11, 2017 10:24am

C'mon Pakistan! There's a basic rule for justice: Justice must not only be done, it must be SEEN to be done.

That's certainly not the case here.

Sheraz May 11, 2017 10:25am

@TbH India is in trouble because they don't want internationalization of Khulbushan Yadav issue for very obvious reasons.

Amol May 11, 2017 10:30am

I am surprised at some of the readers saying India denied Kulbhushan as its citizen. India, since first day maintained, he was retired naval officer and denied any spying charges.

aamir May 11, 2017 10:33am

@ANIR India have violated many icj judgment in past so how Indian have now decided to go to icj.

Angry pitbull May 11, 2017 10:35am

“Kulbhushan Jadhav is not just the son of his parents but he is the son of entire India" - Sushma swaraj

flipflop May 11, 2017 10:36am

@Devendra G Nothing will change as both countries would continue to fight and spend resources to break each other politically and geographically. Sad set of affairs and shameless leaders on both sides. Nothing can be improved until we will bomb each other and only then we will realize how we were all in the wrong.

Kishore Hindustani May 11, 2017 10:39am

@Zaraq Khan India never denied he is not our Citizen, India denied that he is not a SPY.

hasnain May 11, 2017 11:10am

might be another compromise on nations security

D.KUMAR May 11, 2017 11:29am

We have full faith on ICJ and outcome of the decision will be in favour of Jadhav, great son of India.

ALIEN1 May 11, 2017 07:01pm

If pakistan rejects ICJ, then pakistan cannot go to UN(shimla agreement) and for water issue(IWT).

Saeed May 12, 2017 04:48am

@Ramgarh
Ofcourse Pakistan knows that's why it's proceeding

Saeed May 12, 2017 04:54am

@D.KUMAR As you have ONLY this hope

lubnakhan May 12, 2017 01:26pm

@point of view he was doing business with a different name ,,and had more than one passport,,,

Mubashir May 12, 2017 09:42pm

@helloWorld "Self respect and self dependence makes a country strong."

I agree, those with a begging bowl are left high and dry on the street

How so? May 12, 2017 10:11pm

@Sheraz "India is in trouble because they don't want internationalization of Khulbushan Yadav issue for very obvious reasons"

What you are saying is illogical. If India wanted to avoid internationalization, would it have approached ICJ?

Syed May 13, 2017 12:38am

Pakistan should take the Kashmir issue to ICJ and ask ICJ to resolve the Kashmir issue first.

Mahen May 13, 2017 04:34am

@lubnakhan "@point of view he was doing business with a different name ,,and had more than one passport,,, SO? Grow up

Kool May 13, 2017 07:26am

@KR what about kidnapped person this law applicable?

Honest May 13, 2017 07:40am

@pervez Bunkum! Then why ICJ is giving stay order?? WHY? don't they know that?? This is how lack of knowledge of Pak people is being exploited by their leaders!