ICJ over Kulbhushan Yadav

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Dr Muhammad Khan

BY the time this article is published, the ‘International Court of Justice’ (ICJ) might have announced its verdict about the merit of the application, Indian lodged about its spying master, Kulbhushan Yadav’s
execution case. On May 8, 2017, India approached the ICJ for a stay in execution of Yadav. Surprisingly, Indian contention is that, Pakistan is ‘violating the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by persistently denying consular access to Yadav and conducting a “farcical trial” without a “shred of evidence”.
The Indian legal team under Harish Salve asked the ICJ to, “take all measures necessary to ensure that Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Yadav is not executed”. Besides, Mr asked the ICJ to, to ‘report to the court about the action it has taken to stay Yadav’s execution.’ On its part, Pakistan strongly feels that, cases of those involved in spying and running terrorist’s network does not fall in the jurisdiction of ICJ. Pakistani legal team under Mr Khawar Qureshi, requested ICJ “to reject India’s request for the indication of provisional measures”. Mr Qureshi to ICJ in clear words, that, India’s request was “unnecessary and misconceived” therefore must be dismissed. He further reminded ICJ that, “relief sought by India is manifestly unavailable, and the jurisdiction (of ICJ) is limited.” Indeed, Vienna Convention, particularly its Article 36, was never meant for ‘spies and those run the terrorist’s network’.
It is worth mentioning that, Yadav, an Indian Naval officer was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for running the terrorists network inside Pakistan, which he himself confessed. Indeed, immediately after the award of death sentence to Indian spymaster, Kulbhushan Yadav by the Military Court of Pakistan Army, the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj cautions Pakistan for the consequences. In her statement, she said, “I would caution the Pakistani government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter.”
The Minister also assured the Indian parliamentarians that, Indian Government would go ‘all out’ to save the Indian spy, who has been running a RAW terrorist network in Pakistan, being a serving Indian Naval officer. Ms Swaraj also declared Yadav as the ‘son of India’ and astonishingly, said that, Kulbhushan has done nothing wrong and there is no evidence against him, as if he was on a tourist visa to Balochistan. She also said that, “This is an act of premeditated murder.” Besides, another influential Indian Parliamentarian of ruling BJP, Mr Subramanian Swamy has emphasized Indian Government to recognise Balochistan as an independent country, in case Pakistan executes the Indian spy. What a juvenile thinking by the Indian leadership.
As Pakistan has declared the Indian manipulation of referring the Yadav case to ICJ is nothing else, but a ‘Political Theatre’. In fact India is misleading the world by saying that, Yadav was kidnapped from the Iranian port of Chabahar and his secret trial was a “farce”. The sentence by military court was based on public confession of this Indian Naval Officer, on deputation to RAW. During the preceding of the case, Kulbhushan Yadav has confessed before a magistrate and the Military court that “he was tasked by Indian spy agency Research and Analysis wing to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities seeking to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan through impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for the restoration of peace in Balochistan and Karachi.”
Yadav was tried by the Military court through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under Section 59 of the PAA and Section 3 of the Official Secret Act of 1923. As per ISPR, he was provided a defence council to fulfil the legal requirement. Yet he has sufficient time to appeal against the verdict. The truth is that, arrest of Indian RAW terrorist, Naval Commander Kulbhushan Yadav from Pakistani soil (Balochistan) in March 2016, was a direct evidence of Indian state sponsor terrorism inside Pakistan. Nevertheless, for decades, India has been misleading the world about Pakistan, to conceal its terrorism.
Apart from unearthing the terrorist network after arrest of Kulbashan Yadav, Pakistan had the evidences of Indian state sponsored terrorism for decades. In the past, Pakistan also presented the proofs of Indian terrorism to UN, US and even shared the information with all friendly countries. However, the influential countries of the world had their economic and political stakes in India, thus gave less attention to Pakistani proofs. After the arrest of this spy, Pakistan has approached and appraised the US, EU and UN about the Indian terrorism and terrorist network in Pakistan. It was responsibility of the UN and the major powers must take a serious note of Indian terrorist activities in Pakistan and other South Asian countries. These Indian activities in fact are anti-thesis of the global campaign against terrorism.
Indeed, there is a recent precedence on such cases. In 1999, once Pakistan referred the case of its surveillance plan, Atlantique, which was hit by Indian Navy in Pakistani territory through a missile, killing 16 naval personnel, ICJ maintained Indian view on the issues of its jurisdiction. The case of Indian spymaster, Kulbashan Yadav is very serious, where he is involved in terrorist activity against the state of Pakistan. At that, India used its declaration of 1974, which states the UN court would have no jurisdiction in disputes between Commonwealth states, to successfully argue that it could not take up the Atlantique case. Is not the Yadav case more serious and not under the Vienna convention. It is an act of terrorism by India, a deliberate effort by Indian state.
It is expected that, ICJ would reject the Indian application for a stay in execution of Yadav on legal grounds. Pakistan understands that, India is a big market and strategic partner for US and EU, therefore, their lobbies will try to go all out for rescuing the India. However, in case, the ICJ takes a different course, its credibility and credibility of UN will be seriously questioned. On its part, Pakistani authorities must implement the verdict of the Military Court after completing the legal aspects. Any leniency or compromise on any account will encourage the foreign spying networks to continue sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.
Email: drmkedu@gmail.com