By Syed Ali Mujtaba
The Indian media is claiming Victory at the verdict of International Court of Justice on Kulbhusan Jhadav. But, as an India if we deeply analysis the ICJ judgment in response to Indian prayer for Jhadav, the victory beguile of the media sounds banal and more a rhetoric because it is sans any tangible concession that India could get from the ICJ.
In defence of Kulbhusan Jhadav, India had made five pleas before the ICJ.
1.)That Pakistan’s military court judgment should be out rightly rejected by the ICJ. This did not happen and the ICJ directed the military court to review its judgment.
2.)India prayed that ICJ should declare Pakistan’s military court’s corporal punishment as null and void. This again was not endorsed by the ICJ.
3.) India’s third plea was ICJ should order Pakistan to release of Kulbhusan Jhadav unconditionally and send him back to India. This plea was rejected by the ICJ.
4.)India then prayed that if Jhadav is not released then ICJ should order the case should be taken away from the military court and it be filed afresh in the civil court with consular access to Jhadav. This was partially endorsed by the ICJ that asked Pakistan to give consular access to the Indian accused.
5.) India then said in its prayer that only “review and reconsideration” may be inadequate concession by the ICJ, to which the international court said the review and reconsideration should be of Pakistan’s choosing.
In such case then what has come out from ICJ judgment that India can claim as victory? The fact is that ICJ has recognized Kulbhusan Jhadav as an Indian spy and further proceeding of his case will supposedly continue in Pakistan as per laws of the espionage and conventions related to it.
In sum neither Kulbhusan Jhadav has been set free by the ICJ, nor is Pakistan’s military court punishment is rejected by the ICJ. Rather ICJ has asked Pakistan to review its military court’s judgment of its own choosing makes Indian claim of victory very sarcastic. In such case, the ICJ judgment has little to cheer about as many Indian wanted his freedom from the Pakistani jail.
Further to it, at the ICJ, India could not establish that Kulbhusan Jhadav is not a serving Indian naval officer. It could also not deny the fact that Jhadav travelled to Pakistan on Indian passport several times.
As such India could not remove the tag on Indian spy to Pakistan from Jhadav’s forehead. As default, India could not substantiate that Jhadav was not involved in act of terrorism in Pakistan and that is the ICJ endorsed his detention in Pakistan.
If that is the case then India could be accused of promoting terrorism in Pakistan, an argument that India often uses against Pakistan to stall Indo- Pak talks on Kashmir.
So what India has gained from going to ICJ. Is it the repeat of Kashmir episode of 1948, that haunts Indian psyche till this day. What did we gained from approaching the ICJ on Kashmir? Now same question is asked, What did we gained from going to ICJ on the Jhadav’s case.
Has it fetched any favorable result for India, or it could be a future nightmare for the country as we may be accused of indulging in acts of terror, while professing to be fighting the war against terrorism on the global front.
So in the end what does the ICJ Judgment on Jhadav means to an ordinary Indian. Well it’s a fit case where operation is successful but patient died!