Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : International Institutions – Summits, Working, Organisations Mains Syllabus : GS-II Important International Institutions, Agencies and Fora- their STRUCTURE, Mandate.

Why in News?

  • Pakistan recently said that it has “fully complied” with the ICJ’s judgment in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.

About the Case:

  • Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017.
  • Weeks later, India approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Mr. Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.

What was ICJ’s Ruling?

  • The Court has observed that there has to be an effective review of Jadhav’s sentence. Effective review and reconsideration is a phrase which is different from ‘review’ as one understands in a domestic course.
  • An effective review and reconsideration includes giving consular access and helping Jadhav in preparing his defence. It means that Pakistan has to disclose the charges and also the evidence which it has been absolutely opaque.
  • The Pakistan would also have to disclose the circumstances in which Jadhav’s confession was extracted by the military. It implies that Jadhav will have a right to defence whichever forum or court hears his case.The International Court of Justice also said that Pakistan must take all measures which are necessary including legislative measures to facilitate the process of effective review. In general, military courts cannot try civilians. The constitutional amendment which created military courts for trying civilians has lapsed in Pakistan and it has not been able to re-enact the same.

Points in Favour of India:

  • Pakistan being a party to the UN charter is bound to obey the decision made by the UN body.
  • International community has its own way of dealing with the states that disobey the UN Charter.
  • India has continued to maintain a sustained pressure on Pakistan from all fronts: economic, political, diplomatic and military.
  • Because of the sustained diplomatic campaign by India, Pakistan has got isolated. Now Pakistan wants to normalize its status in the international order.
  • Pakistan is not in a position to disobey the order of ICJ considering especially because of its economic situation.
  • Pakistan needs to be moderate in its opposition and criticism of this decision. It has a way out i.e. it can say to its citizens that it is facing tremendous international pressure. This is a great opportunity that has been presented to Pakistan to mend its ways and to sort of reach out for diplomatic settlement or diplomatic talks with India.
  • Some of the messages that Pakistan has been sending over the last few years have been positive. Opening of airspace to India, acceding to most of the demands of Indian on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, taking an action on Hafiz Saeed are some examples.

Way Forward:

  • India needs to vigorously pursue this case to get satisfaction on full annulment of the decision against Jadhav and his safe and speedy return to India.
  • If Pakistan doesn’t mend its ways, India needs to be prepared to further isolate Pakistan particularly on the issue of terrorism.
  • The regional security environment is becoming complex day by day. India needs to find a solution to tackle the same.
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