- Much more damaging for India than for Pakistan
While the verdict by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is being portrayed by New Delhi as a major victory for India, the country in fact has failed to get its major demands accepted. The ICJ refused to strike down the death sentence awarded to convicted spy Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court. It did not order his release or his handing over to India. The sentence is thus a big defeat for India.
The judgment however does not spare Pakistan either.
The court maintained that Pakistan breached several obligations under the Geneva Convention. According to the judgment, Pakistan was bound to inform India, without delay, of the arrest and detention of Jadhav. It was also bound to provide consular access to Jadhav. Again Pakistan had to inform Jadhav of his rights under Article 36 which it failed to do. The court directed Pakistan to ensure that Jadhav is not executed pending the final decision in the present case.
The court ruled immediate consular access to Jadhav, that was being denied for three years, and allowed India to provide Jadhav counsel to fight his case. Pakistan is required to take all measures to provide for “effective” review and reconsideration of the Jadhav case, including, if necessary, by enacting appropriate legislation. The review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav, in order to be effective, must ensure that full weight is given to the effect of the violation of the rights set forth in Article 36 of the Convention and guarantee that the violation and the possible prejudice caused by the violation are fully examined.
The judgment comes in the midst of other verdicts against Pakistan by international bodies. Last week the Word Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered Pakistan to pay $5.9 billion to the Tethyan Copper Company in the Reko Diq case, while Pakistan lost its appeal against Broadsheet in the London High Court, requiring it to pay up an amount of almost $22 million plus $11million in costs. Pakistan being held responsible for violation of international rules and regulations tarnishes its image in the comity of nations and discourages foreign investors who feel more comfortable in countries that strictly adhere to international conventions they have signed.