"Delhi defeated. ICJ knocks out India’s major demands about Kulbhushan Jadhav on his release and annulment of sentence."
As the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict in the case of Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav was announced on Wednesday, members of the legal fraternity as well as journalists took to Twitter to weigh in on the matter, with most viewing it as a favourable outcome for Pakistan.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi termed it a victory for Pakistan and to clear up any confusion regarding the convicted spy's custody said that he shall "remain in Pakistan" and be "treated in accordance with the laws" of the country.
"Commander Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan. This is a victory for Pakistan," he said.
International Lawyer and founder of Courting the Law, Taimoor Malik, in a series of tweets provided a useful summation on the case, highlighting that the matter had been "left to Pakistani courts".
In a later comment to Dawn.com, Malik explained: "The ICJ has left the decision regarding the method and forum for the effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s case to Pakistan and the Pakistani legal system.
"No comments have been made which suggest that a further review or retrial through the military court system wouldn’t be acceptable as long as consular access and legal representation is provided to Jadhav.
"Therefore, Pakistan now needs to carefully consider whether the same military courts should adjudicate the matter or whether somehow an appeal should lie before the civilian courts in this case. In either case, the important aspect is to provide consular access, legal representation of the defendant’s choice and a further opportunity to Jadhav to present his defence.
"Nothing more than this can be expected by ICJ or India and whatever the outcome is of this process, it would then be Pakistan’s call to decide about its implementation."
Reema Omar, the International Legal Advisor for South Asia at the ICJ, noted that India's appeal for Jadhav's release and return was not granted by the Court.
"The Court has, however, rejected most of the remedies sought by India, including annulment of military court decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India," she wrote.
Journalist Mubashir Zaidi cautioned those on "the other side of the border" on jumping the gun and celebrating too early.
"All the experts across the border claiming #KalbushanJadhav sentence has been suspended should read this part of the judgment #Kalbhushan to reconsider their opinion as the ruling says otherwise," he said.
Journalist Talat Hussain condensed the ICJ verdict down in the following few words, reminding readers to remember that however neutral the verdict, it is a defeat of sorts for India, as Pakistan shall effectively be reviewing the case "through its own means".
"Delhi defeated. ICJ knocks out India’s major demands about #KulbhushanJadhav about his release and annulment of sentence, practically admits he is a spy, asks Pakistan for review sentence through its own means with consular access," he said.
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry congratulated the nation on "a great outcome".
"Apparently news reports from Hague suggests that not only Indian case for acquittal, release, return stands rejected but apparently [International] Court also upheld Jurisdiction of [Military] Court in #Kalbhushan case. Indeed a great outcome. Congratulations to Pakistan legal team for putting up [a] great fight," he tweeted.
Express Tribune's executive editor Fahd Husain termed the ruling "not too bad for Pakistan" and "pretty bad for India".
"ICJ verdict: (1) Jadhav will not be released (2) His sentence not overturned (3) His hanging stayed (4) He will get Consular access (5) His sentence to be reviewed. Conclusion: Indian all pleas rejected except consular access. Not too bad for Pakistan. Pretty bad for India," he wrote.
Nasim Zehra, senior journalist and author, in response to Reema Omar's tweet, said that the judgment acknowledges Pakistan’s position that Jadhav is a spy and while asking that a Pakistani court review the military court's decision, it doesn't quash the military court's decision and safe passage to India.
Header image: Vishnu Dutt Sharma, additional secretary of Indian Ministry of External Affairs; Venu Rajamony, Ambassador of India to the Netherlands; and Deepak Mittal, joint secretary of Indian Ministry of External Affairs are seen at the International Court of Justice before the verdict. — Reuters