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Jadhav’s case

Updated May 20, 2017 03:07am

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THE reaction to the preliminary order has been intense, seemingly politicised and, by and large, confused. Pakistan has not lost in the International Court of Justice and India has not won — the convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s fate continues to hang in the balance. Indeed, given the death sentence that Jadhav has been awarded, it was always likely that the first move of any court hearing any aspect of the case would be to ensure that the convicted individual is not executed. A dead individual cannot receive justice, it should be apparent. For Pakistan, it is important that the preliminary ruling of the ICJ be adhered to. Whatever the emotions and certainties of sections of the state and public, international obligations must be approached with a sense of seriousness and commitment. Yet, between the shameful politicisation of the handling of the ICJ hearing by the government and the latter’s seeming uncertainty and confusion, there remains much to be clarified going forward.

First, the civil and military leaderships must jointly and publicly address the matter of the ICJ hearing and clearly state both what is now required of Pakistan and what Pakistan intends to do as a result. While it could be that the state representation before the ICJ is entirely adequate, the matter has been politicised to the extent that the opposition is questioning the PML-N’s motives — a disquieting situation that has the potential to escalate into another so-called national security crisis. Second, beyond the task of making a robust defence before the ICJ — the matter does not just involve the fate of a single Indian convict in Pakistani custody, but has important principles of international law at stake — Pakistan must proceed very carefully with a resolution of the Jadhav affair domestically. This paper opposes the death penalty in all instances and does so in this case too. Equally troubling, however, is the opacity with which the case has been handled; an unnecessary secrecy given that it appears fairly obvious that Jadhav was involved in spycraft of some manner. There are also regional and international dimensions to be considered of Pakistan imprisoning or executing a foreigner convicted in secret of espionage and crimes against the state. Perhaps the civilian court route ought to be considered by the state, with suitable accommodations made to shield secret information. The case of Jadhav needs to be handled sensibly and sensitively.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2017

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Comments (19)

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Ash20 May 20, 2017 03:44am

Thanks Dawn. This is all Indian are asking to give him fair civil trial in Pakistani high court and then Supreme Court, if required.

Amit May 20, 2017 05:08am

Sanity prevails. Finally a sane voice from Pakistan. No wonder we come back to this news paper everytime when we feel helpless with the dark side of humanity.

kerala May 20, 2017 05:48am

Sane voice

shr May 20, 2017 06:53am

".....opacity with which the case has been handled; an unnecessary secrecy given that it appears fairly obvious that Jadhav was involved in spycraft of some manner.

on what basis is it fairly obvious that KJ was involved in spycraft when the case was handled in an opaque manner. How can any court give justice with such aforegone conclusion and bias. The only two shreds of "evidence" that has appeared in the public domain are a) his self confession which is not acceptable as they could have been under duress and b) multiple passports which even if true may be a crime but does not by itself provide sufficient proof of terrorism. There has to be an evidence based link established between him and terrorism related activties and till then he is innocent of terrorism - until proven otherwise!!!.

CHARU May 20, 2017 07:58am

As a regular reader with genuine interest in my neighbouring country.... one thought is predominant in mind....can Pakistan sleep peacefully without commotion around ?

tomUHTO TAWMAYTO May 20, 2017 08:02am

It's over-simplistic - and somewhat predictable - to say Pakistan has not lost, India and has not won.

There are a number of points , where India can draw satisfaction from the verdict.

First, the court overruled Pakistan's contention that the ICJ was the not competent authority to hear the case; the judge said it was, and it superseded the 2008 agreement between the two countries.

Second, it clearly said it saw no reason to believe Pakistan would not execute Jadhav after August 2017, and that the "risk" remained (Pakistan had said there was no risk, so the judge called Pakistan a liar).

Third, the very fact that India took the ICJ route in a direct u-turn to its stance following the Atlantique shooting took the Pakistanis off-guard (that time court had said it was a bilateral issue and had fined Pakistan for "wasting" its time).

Fourth, the whole world heard the court imply that it did not believe Pakistan's story that Jadhav was given adequate legal representation.

Samit May 20, 2017 08:52am

Well written mr editor. The dawn editorial board should be governing Pakistan .

last word May 20, 2017 09:20am

My salute to Dawn for penning an apt and logical editorial. Many in Pakistan had raised questions on jurisdiction of the court which was incorrect and now laid to rest by some eminent lawyers in Pakistan. Pakistan may have to change the the trial procedure making it more transparent and follow international norms otherwise the best lawyer of the world will not be able to defend this case.

Mumbai man May 20, 2017 10:24am

I also said so, but my compatriots were celebrating as if Everest has been scaled and Pakistanis behaved as if they lost to Indis in world cup again! Long way still to go...

Manu May 20, 2017 12:24pm

Thanks Dawn- hope they follow your advice and give him a fair trial in a civilian court

NG Bloke May 20, 2017 01:48pm

A balanced article. May justice prevail.

A May 20, 2017 02:41pm

No one can save Kulbushan Yadav ...a fact known to all. Only good outcome should be ........let Pakistan have a strong Civilian Government so proper decision is taken on every issue.

MSP May 20, 2017 04:17pm

One question : Should Pakistan spoil relations with India and Iran over this issue?

Sania May 20, 2017 04:20pm

A spy who confessed to harm Pakistanis must be punished!

Iftikhar Husain May 20, 2017 04:37pm

One fact is certain that this was a case of spying organized by Indian security services which went wrong. He can be tried in Pakistan again that will be sensible.

Sanky May 20, 2017 05:31pm

The only sensible way is to prove your case in open court by giving KJ it's right to defend, instead of rejecting ICJ's order and questioning their jurisdiction. The final verdict could be as per law of land but it's trial that should follow due international conventions.

sk May 20, 2017 06:16pm

Thank you DAWN for your impartial view with utmost national integrity!!! The fair & transparent trial of Mr. Jadhav in the court of law of Pakistan by giving him an opportunity to defend himself at all levels.

Varun May 20, 2017 08:56pm

As everybody else has said, very sensible.

MANOJ KAUL May 20, 2017 11:02pm

There is a tendency in both India and Pakistan to go into an overdrive on minor issues instead of focusing on the 'main' issue. For instance, blaming the recent setback at ICJ entirely on the lawyer Khawar Qureshi. BTW the same lawyer was hired by Government of India under PM ManMohan in 2004 to fight a case against the multinational company Enron.

All the opposition parties are also using this opportunity to hit their Panama-tainted PM using frivolous or non-existent reasons. Even Nawaz Sharif's own cabinet colleagues are doing so.

The real villain of the story is known to all and yet no one is even talking about it, not even Mr.Clean Imran Khan.