Saturday, 26 November, 2022
HomeOpinionOn Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan must blame its military for another international humiliation

On Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan must blame its military for another international humiliation

This is what happens when military rules a country with a civilian façade.

Text Size:

The almost unanimous decision of the International Court of Justice at the Hague, Netherlands, in Kulbhushan Jadhav case has added one more episode to the unending list of Pakistan’s international embarrassments.

Pakistan could have saved itself the embarrassment had its army allowed civilian authorities to deal with the matter once Jadhav was arrested in 2016. This is not the first time that Pakistan’s military has not given space to its civilian counterparts, more so diplomats, who will now be asked to clean up the mess created by them. This is what happens when military rules a country with a civilian façade.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) vindicated India’s stand that Jadhav was denied consular access under Article 36 of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 and declared that Pakistan had breached its obligations incumbent under the provision. As a remedy to what Pakistan did, the ICJ ordered for effective review and reconsideration of conviction and sentence of Jadhav. It also ruled that Article 36 does not exclude from its scope persons suspected of espionage – a big relief for nationals of both countries, who have been arrested on such charges.


Also read: How Pakistan tried to strong-arm ICJ at Kulbhushan Jadhav hearing


Jurists and diplomats on both sides of the border had expected this verdict – a partial victory for India and Pakistan. In simple terms, Indian High Commission officials can now meet Jadhav and the latter will have access to legal support for his retrial. On the question as to whether he will face retrial in a civilian court or the military one, like last time, the ICJ has no jurisdiction to deal with this issue. But a close reading of the judgment would indicate a trial befitting provisions of Vienna Conventions – perhaps a hint towards civilian trial. There is still a long road ahead for his release and eventual return to India.

Pakistan army initially thought that it had hit a jackpot with the arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav. A huge hype was created on his arrest within and outside Pakistan. His “confessions” were regularly played on compliant Pakistani media outlets to justify capital punishment given to him by military courts. The army also pushed its diplomatic community to carry out a smear campaign against India for its alleged involvement in terrorism in Balochistan – perhaps to cover up for its own misdeeds.

Once the case reached the ICJ, Pakistan made a sham of the meeting between Jadhav and his mother and wife. The way it allowed them to meet Jadhav in highly opaque and controlled conditions raised serious doubts over the “confessions” that were being re-replayed on Pakistani media. Still, it didn’t allow consular access.


Also read: Kulbhushan Jadhav case — Times Now says ‘categorical win’ for India, Express is sceptical


Soon after the ICJ announcement, Pakistan army spokesman Asif Ghafoor justified the military court trial of Jadhav – a practice being questioned even within Pakistan. To cover up the setback, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, while addressing media Wednesday, assured the country that Jadhav would remain in Pakistan and would be treated in accordance with the laws of the land. Now, even Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the country will move on the case as per law.

Nevertheless, a window of reconciliation has opened up between the two countries, which should be utilised by India to press for the early return of Jadhav – his family needs him. It is no time for point scoring that one has witnessed on media since last evening. Pakistan should also keep in mind that India had allowed consular access to hundreds of Pakistanis, who were involved in terrorism and espionage (called security prisoners), in Kashmir and the rest of India. All were tried by civilian courts and most of them are back with their loved ones. A far more humane and judicious approach is required in this case as well.


Also read: Full text of International Court of Justice order on Kulbhushan Jadhav


The author is a former Intelligence Bureau official who has served in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and in Kashmir. Views are personal.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

5 COMMENTS

  1. Why.??? Let’s talk to my points that I written in the comment box if any thing wrong or I mislead the ICJ judgment correct me. I am waiting. Turth is Turth Mr. Patel.

  2. I advise to the author to read the judgment carefully and if he did not understand must be consult with a English teacher. The fact of the matter is india got only consuler access to comander yadev which is not a big deal and ICJ suspended the death punishment of the indian spy till the final decision on the appeal of the indian spy is come out from the higher court in the Pakistan(due process of law is completed) it is the basic rule of law against a state to suspende the punishment in whole world nothing special for the indian spy. Now what the demands of the indian side in the appeal of the spy jadev in the court ICJ as fellowes.
    1.Over ruled the judgment of the pak miltery court with regard to spy jadev death sentence. ICJ decision.(Rejected). ICJ up held the decision of the pak miltery court and said it is not in the jurisdiction of the court. ICJ ask to pak consider the jadev plenty according to his on chosen means.
    2.To quite the spy jadev from the pak and declared him not gulty. ICJ decision was rejected. ICJ admitted that jadev is a indian spy.
    3. India appealed in the court ask to pak to ensure the safe return to the spy to his home land(India) ICJ decision was Rejected ICJ said the spy jadev will remain in pak not to return to the India and the fate of the spy will be decided by the pak courts (miltery or civilian).
    4.Indian submission in the court was that the pak authorities did not arrest the spy jadev in the inside from pak instead he was kidnapped from the Iran and he is business man ICJ rejected this submission of the indian side.
    5.Indian did not satisfy the ICJ on the matter of the dual passport of the spy jadev ICJ ruling was the spy jadev travel at least 17 times to Iran on his fake passport naming Mubrik Hussain pateel what is the purpose of traveling on a fake passports??
    6.Why the Indian side did not parsent the pension book of the spy jadev in the ICJ court as pak constantly demanding.
    And finally in the matter of the shame. you should shame as Indian on the matter of spy jadev it is clear example of state terrorism he is serving RAW sarvent. Shame on you so called world biggest democracy which has been involved to promote sport the terrorism in a sovereign state involved in the killing of innocent people of pak to permote extremists activities in pak to sabotage the development of a soveregin country.
    Mr. Author the truth is spy jadev will eremain a Indian spy he will remain be- hained the barrs in pak and the future of the spy jadev in the hands of the pak courts who will decide accordingly to the law of land.
    I understand what is your felling when decision of the spy jadev was announce but it is turth he was involved to killing the innocent peoples of pak as humain beings I condemned the the terrorism in the every shape any ware in the world either in pak. India either killing of innocent kashmeri and pelstaine people.
    I advise you to show the courage and tell the turth to his own people as a journalist it is your moral responsibility and not make them fool on the behalf of your gov. I hope the media institution like Print will do so in future.

  3. Pakistani lie becomes apparent when they claim that he is a serving office in the Navy. With 30 years of service, he would be much more than a commander. Otherwise, he would be retired. So the Indian story fits common sense. As we have seen from past Pakistani conduct, they will not change until they are repaid in kind.

  4. Paks live in a delusional world of their own. How else could they achieve this failed state with collapsing economy?! If you read their newspapers, they have declared victory for the terrorist state!

Comments are closed.

Most Popular