Pakistan has devised their strategy on how they are going to plead their point of view in the public hearing on Monday before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the conviction of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. After hectic consultations for two days with the Foreign Office and law ministry officials, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf has sent a set of recommendations to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif . There are reports that Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf is expected to lead the Pakistan side before the ICJ but he indicated that they may hire someone from abroad, the best minds on international law to advance Pakistan’s standpoint.
“We have sent our recommendations to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Office,” Dawn quoted Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf as saying. Stressing on the need to keep the suggestions, arguments and options confidential so that the other side might not know the strategy being devised, the attorney general said a robust reply would be advanced by Pakistan in a forceful manner, refuting all allegations leveled against it and also pointing out atrocities India was getting away with committing in Kashmir.
Some of the suggestions that Pakistan is likely to put forward before ICJ on May 15 are:
1) Pakistan updated a list of reservations that includes national security about ICJ jurisdiction which had been updated on March 29, a fortnight before Jadhav’s conviction.
Pakistan could raise the issue of jurisdiction before the ICJ, citing a 1999 case pertaining to the shooting down of an Atlantique aircraft in which India had refused to accept the court’s jurisdiction on the pretext that it could not hear cases related to disputes between Commonwealth countries.
2)The ICJ president has stayed the execution of Jadhav, although the notification of initiation of the proceedings on Monday had categorically stated that the hearing would be about “provisional measures” which India had sought to protect its interest in the case, the Dawn reported citing legal expert as saying.
The ICJ can allow the provisional measures under Article 41 of its statutes. But the intimation to Pakistan about the proceedings was under Article 74, which technically was not a stay, he explained.
3) Ex judge of the Lahore High Court, Justice Chohan said that Pakistan can put forward an argument that India has not exhausted other forums available and the final stage to approach the world court had not been reached.
Pakistan could also assure the ICJ that the spy would not be executed until other forums were fully explored, he said.
4)Moreover, the Supreme Court, in a recent case challenging the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, had kept with itself the judicial authority of reviewing any sentence awarded by the military courts if the condition of fair trial was not met, Dawn quoted Justice Chohan as saying.
India, in its appeal before the ICJ, has accused Pakistan of “egregious” violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The plea stated that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, where he was involved in business activities after retiring after retiring from the Indian navy, but Pakistan claimed he was arrested from Balochistan on March 3,2016. Jadhav was sentenced to death by the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) last month for his alleged involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan.