Pakistan to International Court of Justice: Vienna Convention not for spies involved in terror

After a strong oral observation from India in round one of the verbal discourse at the International Court of Justice, Pakistan reiterated its old stand on Kulbhushan Jadav case on Monday, stating that India's application was "unnecessary and misconceived" and must be dismissed.

Mohammed Faisal of the Pakistan Foreign Office, who opened Pakistan's observation, in his opening statement, remarked that India had been unable to provide an explanation for Jadhav's passport which bears a Muslim name. "India has been unable or perhaps more accurately unwilling to provide an explanation for this passport which is the most obvious indication of covert and illegal activity," he said.

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI

File photo of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav. PTI

Faisal labelled India's attempts to draw international attention towards the death sentence awarded by a Pakistani military court as mere drama and alleged India of using the ICJ as a stage for "political theatre". "Pakistan will not be cowed by terrorism, nor will it allow any attempt to malign or misrepresent its position or legal processes to go unchecked," Faisal said, adding that Pakistan "will not respond in kind".

There has been deafening silence and no response from India on Pakistan's accusations on Jadhav, Pakistan's lawyer Khawar Qureshi told ICJ. He urged the court to dismiss India's application on three accounts: first, there was "no urgency"; second, the relief sought was "manifestly unavailable"; and third, the jurisdiction under the Vienna Convention was not "as unchallenged" as India has suggested.

In his 45-minute reply to Indian counsel Harish Salve's observations at the ICJ, Qureshi said that India’s plea for invoking provisions of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention is not relevant in this case because the issue was not urgent and claimed that Jadhav faced "no real harm".

Qureshi said that India’s plea for invoking provisions of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention is not relevant in this case. "The Vienna convention article 36 which adopted to set up standards of conduct particularly concerning communications and contact with nationals of the sending state which would contribute to the development of friendly relations among nations...the observation we made immediately is this is unlikely to apply in the context of a spy send by a state to engage in acts of terror."

"Indeed, it is clear from the Vienna conventions that there are provisions beyond article 36 that need to be considered before coming to the court with the bold assertion that the Vienna is interrelated regime," Qureshi said.

In its oral observation, Pakistan defended not providing counsular access to Jadhav stating that Pakistan was under the threat of spying, espionage and possible acts of terror being planted by India. In that sense giving consular access to the officials of that state itself is a grave violation of Article 36 (1) (c) of the Vienna convention, it said, according to News18.

Pakistan also quoted Article 55 of the convention which states that there should be no interference in the internal affairs of state when it's a victim of spying and possible acts of terror.

According to the report, Pakistan also quoted the Avenna case stating that a state which wishes to be granted consular access has the onus upon them to prove that the person whose right is being violated is a national of the applicant state. "But in this case, India did not even provide a birth certificate to prove Jadhav's nationality and did not even come forward to explain his passport. This is a clear violation of a proposition laid down by an ICJ case," it added.

Qureshi also claimed that Jadhav was given 150 days to clarify himself and argued that the ICJ must not give relief to the alleged Indian spy.

As Firstpost had reported earlier, Pakistan's argument rested on the merit of the case rather than the technicality that India raised while seeking relief for Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Click here to read more about what Indian counsels Harish Salve and Deepak Mittal told ICJ, and to read live updates, click here.

With agency inputs

Updated Date: May 16, 2017 01:30 AM

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