Experts wonder why ICJ jurisdiction was recognised in March

ISLAMABAD: Though Pakistani officials seem confident of their chances before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) despite the reprieve granted to India, legal experts at home have assailed the way the world court handled the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Former Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Dr Farogh Naseem was of the view that Pakistan should have immediately withdrawn its March 29, 2017 declaration accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. Instead of contesting the matter, this should have been done immediately after the Indians took Jadhav’s case to the ICJ, he said.

Why did Pakistan not take the glaring and brutal human rights violations in India-held Kashmir before the court, despite the fact that Islamabad had a strong case in this regard, he asked, then answered his own question, saying that India had not conceded to the court’s compulsory jurisdiction in this matter.

This point of view was also shared by former Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar, an expert in international law. He regretted that Pakistan had accepted ICJ jurisdiction through a declaration, which should have been withdrawn once Pakistan knew India would invoke the ICJ’s jurisdiction against it.

Being an arbitration forum, each contesting state was allowed to nominate one person of its choice to act as an ad hoc judge at the ICJ, Mr Khokhar recalled.

India did nominate one but Pakistan did not, he regretted, adding that Pakistan’s counsel did not argue for the full allotted time either. He deplored these failures, and asked: “How can we not execute a foreign terrorist who was nabbed red-handed when we are hanging our terrorists?”

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