PM Khan appreciates ICJ verdict

Islamabad 18th July: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday appreciated the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) verdict in the case of Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav. In the tweet, the premier reiterated that the Indian spy will be held accountable for crimes against the people of Pakistan.

PM Imran concluded with the assurance Pakistan ‘shall proceed further as per law’. The tweet comes a day after the ICJ dashed Indian hopes of seeking remedies through international arbitration. The judgment, delivered by ICJ President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, to a packed court at The Hague; however, allowed India consular access to the convicted spy.

Jadhav self-confessed to fomenting terrorism and engaging in espionage within Pakistan, while he was also a serving commander of the Indian Navy.

He was convicted on April 10, 2017, for terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi, almost a year after his arrest from Balochistan in March 2016.
India had later knocked at the door of the ICJ, which stayed Jadhav’s execution as its 16-judge bench started its proceedings on Indian appeal. India in its plea had asked the ICJ to direct Pakistan to take steps to annul the military court”s decision, release Jadhav and to facilitate his safe passage to India.

However, the ICJ said that Jadhav’s conviction and sentence was not violating Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. “Thus, the court finds that these submissions made by India cannot be upheld,” it says.
However, for the first time, the ICJ with 15-1 majority ruled that consular access should be given to spies under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. Ad hoc judge from Pakistan, Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, however, wrote a dissenting note.

The ICJ in its 42-page verdict also ruled that Pakistan is under an obligation to cease those acts and to comply fully with its obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.

“Consequently, Pakistan must inform Mr Jadhav without further delay of his rights under Article 36, paragraph 1 (b), and allow Indian consular officers to have access to him and to arrange for his legal representation, as provided by Article 36, paragraph 1 (a) and (c),” says judgment.

Paragraph (a) says that consular officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending state and to have access to them. Nationals of the sending state shall have the same freedom with respect to communication with and access to consular officers of the sending state.

Paragraph (c) states that consular officers shall have the right to visit a national of the sending state who is in prison, custody or detention, to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation. The ICJ has also disappointed India as it neither annulled Jadhav’s conviction nor referred his matter for re-trial. The court has directed Pakistan to take all measures to provide for effective review and reconsideration, including, if necessary, by enacting ‘appropriate legislation’.