ICJ has no jurisdiction to hear Jadhav case: Pakistan
May 18 2017 09:44 PM
Pakistani Kashmiris hold a banner as they shout slogans during a protest against the UN in Muzaffarabad yesterday. The UN’s top court in The Hague yesterday ordered Pakistan to stay the execution of an Indian national convicted of spying.


Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria yesterday said the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has no jurisdiction to hear the case of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.
In his weekly press briefing, hours after the ICJ asked Islamabad not to execute Jadhav till a final order is passed, Zakaria said the international court does not reserve any jurisdiction to hear a case that involves the national stability of Pakistan.
In response to a question, he also termed India’s move requiring the Adviser on Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Sartaj Aziz to write a recommendatory letter to Indian external affairs minister for every medical visa case as “unprecedented in inter-state relations”. 
The spokesperson said Aziz has written to the UN inviting its attention towards the “demographic changes” being engineered by India in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
He said the human rights situation in Indian-administered Kashmir is deteriorating.
Zakaria said that India as the “fastest growing nuclear programme in the world” has serious implications for strategic stability in South Asia and the national security of Pakistan, reported Dunya news.
Pakistan also said it was determined to take to its “logical end” the case of Kulbushan Jadhav.
Indicating that it would abide by the world court’s order on “provisional measures”, staying the execution of Jadhav, Pakistan Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali’s office said the interim order had “no bearing, whatsoever, on the final decision” of the ICJ.
“The ICJ has stated that by way of provisional measures, the status quo be maintained in the case of Jadhav.
The court has clearly underscored that the provisional measures are without prejudice to the final determination of the merits and jurisdiction of the case,” the statement said.
It said the provisional measures were “a procedural process” that would “enable the court to have full consideration at a later hearing”.
“(The) decision has not changed the status of Jadhav’s case in any manner. We are confident that India would not be able to hide the subversive activities it is trying to carry out through its agents like Jadhav...India has no substance in the case,” the statement said.
India on May 8 sought the international court’s intervention to annul the death sentence given by a Pakistan military court to Jadhav who Islamabad says was arrested in Baluchistan on charges of spying, sabotage and terrorism.
New Delhi maintains that Jadhav was abducted from Iran and taken to Baluchistan.
The army court had sentenced him to death on a “confessional” statement he had made in military custody.
Pakistan has been accused of violating the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav and pronouncing him guilty of espionage in a “farcical trial”. 
Meanwhile, a newspaper reported yesterday the ICJ “has caused shock and disappointment in Pakistan”.
Although Pakistani analysts were confident that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to stay Jadhav’s execution, the Dawn quoted unnamed observers as now saying that the jurisdiction argument was “weak” and “damaging”.
Retired Justice Shaiq Usmani told Dawn that the decision was alarming because “ICJ does not have jurisdiction”.
“It’s Pakistan’s mistake to have appeared there. They shouldn’t have attended. They have shot themselves in the foot. 
Until the ICJ gives its verdict, the case will go on in Pakistan,” he said, adding that Jadhav cannot be executed as long as the stay order is there.
London-based Barrister Rashid Aslam said Pakistan was ill-prepared and did not utilise the 90 minutes it had to make its argument.
“Pakistan had 90 minutes of argument time but we wasted 40 minutes,” Aslam told the Dawn.
“I was surprised why we finished our arguments in such little time. I think (lawyer) Khawar Qureshi didn’t consume all the time...I don’t think we presented the case quite well.
“I think Pakistan was grossly unprepared,” he added.
Analyst Zahid Hussain said the ICJ ruling was not binding legally but morally.
Former Attorney General Irfan Qadir said he was shocked.
“I think this decision is a violation of the principle of natural justice. I am shocked as to why Pakistan went there and presented their position and gave it in such a rush. 
“The lawyers handling these matters had no experience. The arguments had no weight. They should have been presented in a rational manner.”
Pakistan People’s Party leader Sherry Rehman told Dawn: “We based our case on jurisdiction and it proved weak. More arguments should have been made regarding espionage.”
Barrister Farogh A Nasim said Pakistan should not have conceded to ICJ’s jurisdiction.
“India did not give consent to the Kashmir issue going to ICJ, then why did Pakistan give consent to the Jadhav case?” he asked.

‘Just a basic ruling’
The head of Pakistan’s delegation at the International Court of Justice yesterday termed its order staying the execution of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav as a “basic ruling” and said the UN court had not mentioned anything about maintainability of the order.
Asked by reporters outside the ICJ if Pakistan will stay Jadhav’s execution as ordered by the court, Moazzam Ahmad Khan initially did not reply.
He then said that the ruling was “basic”. He did not comment on the merits of the case.
“This is a very basic judgment. What the court has done is that it has given a ruling on provisional measures,” Khan told reporters.
“It did not say anything on the merit of maintainability of the order,” he said.

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