The Pakistan government is facing flak for the manner in which it handled the case of Indian national Kulbhushan
Jadhav at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ had on Thursday asked Pakistan not to execute Kulbhushan Jadhav until the court gives a final order in the case. Pakistan has been claiming that former Indian Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav was a spy working in Pakistan.
Reports in Pakistani media suggest that the Pakistan government is planning to set up a new team of lawyers to argue the case at the ICJ. Many Pakistani media outlets quoted Sartaj Aziz, the adviser to Pakistan’s Prime Minister, saying that a new team will “present Pakistan’s stance vigorously” at the ICJ.
Several experts in Pakistan have questioned the strategy that Pakistan’s legal team adopted in the case. Since the stay order has been pronounced by the ICJ, there has been severe criticism of the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) for its “poor handling” and also for selecting Khawar Qureshi to represent Pakistan’s case at the ICJ. Reports suggest that the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) had recommended another counsel to represent the case.
There has also been criticism over why Pakistan accepted the global court’s jurisdiction in the first place. Former Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Farogh Naseem has stated that Pakistan should have immediately withdrawn its March 29, 2017 declaration accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. He added that instead of contesting the matter, Pakistan should have withdrawn the declaration immediately. “Why did Pakistan not take the glaring and brutal human rights violations in Kashmir before the court, despite the fact that Islamabad had a strong case in this regard,” he questionned.
A retired Pakistani judge had also told Dawn newspaper that the decision taken by the court was “alarming” since the “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,” the retired judge, Shaiq Usmani, told Dawn.