Kashmir and ICJ

August 23, 2019


PAKISTAN’S approach to the world court should be cautious. There are many pitfalls. First among these is the time that the International Court of Justice would take to decide the matter. It could be years. India’s ploy would be to use every trick in the book to prolong the case.

Second, we will have to pay the hefty fees of lawyers, besides other expenses when we are already under severe financial constraints. Third, the United Nations and its Security Council and others could wash their hands of saying the matter is sub judice.

Under Article 36 of its Statute, which lays down jurisdiction, the ICJ can only make a declaration which it has to forward to the UNSC for implementation. So Pakistan will be back to square one.

There is no appeal as per article 60 of the statute; only a revision on limited grounds. The question then arises: does any of the aforesaid organisations have any powers to enforcing implementation of any such declaration? We have seen the fate of the League of Nations and the time and expenses involved in the Jhadev case.

There is no other option except the pressure exerted by the world powers on New Delhi. This can only ensured by Islamabad’s vigorous and bold pursuit of the matter at the diplomatic and political level in the world’s capital to get them to persuade India to fulfill its obligations.

Zahid H. Borhani

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2019