Pak could ignore ICJ order on Jadhav; India may again seek consular access


lawzmag.comNEW DELHI: With the International Court of Justice staying Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution, Pakistan will have to wait till the case is heard in detail and a verdict delivered.The earliest he could have been hanged is May 19, so at least that will not happen now.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said on Thursday, “India is a law abiding country. We expect others would be too.”

However, as a precedent between the US and Germany shows, the ICJ verdict could be openly flouted by Pakistan like the US did. Pakistan could theoretically toss the ICJ judgment to the winds and execute Jadhav, hoping to weather the international opprobrium. So, although the ICJ verdict is “binding” as was clarified by the president of the court himself, it doesn’t actually have the power to enforce it. Second, India could once again ask Pakistan for consular access to Jadhav. It’s likely Pakistan will refuse again but there is a tiny chance that it may decide not to go against the ICJ order. If it actually does give India access, it could obviate the necessity for the next round of hearings. That seems unlikely, since the Pakistan foreign office spokesperson has already declared that Islamabad will have a tougher stand during the full hearings that will come up.

Since the matter is now “sub-judice”, both sides will not be able to talk about it publicly. Jadhav’s family has already applied to Pakistani authorities for a visa but that is yet to be granted.

ICJ president Ronny Abraham observed that on the matter of consular access, India and Pakistan had a “dispute”. This means a trial on the Indian request for consular access to Jadhav will happen soon.

Pakistan is expected to keep the ICJ briefed on the status and condition of Jadhav. There has been speculation whether Jadhav is alive at all. Presumably, that will be put to rest.

As carried in Times of india on 19.5.2017

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