Just before verdict on Jadhav, Pakistan revoked its ‘1960 declaration’ in March.
New Delhi: Pakistan seems to have meticulously planned its strategy in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, with indications that it anticipated India’s move to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and therefore acted in advance.
While the Pakistan Army had announced on April 10 that former Indian naval officer Jadhav had been sentenced to death on charges of sabotage and espionage, the Pakistani state machinery seems to have quietly swung into motion on the global stage just days before that. Till recently, Pakistan’s last declaration on jurisdiction before the ICJ had been made decades ago on September 12, 1960. But in a curious turn of events, on March 29, this year — just 12 days before it went public with the verdict of death penalty against Jadhav —Pakistan made a fresh declaration before the ICJ, and told it that “this declaration revokes and substitutes the previous declaration made on 12 September 1960”.
In its March-29 declaration, Pakistan had recognised the jurisdiction of the ICJ but had specified before it that this would not apply to “matters related to the national security of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. Pakistan treats the Kulbhushan Jadhav case as a matter of national security. Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, had, in the fresh declaration before the ICJ on March 29, said, “Pakistan recognises the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice under its statute … provided that this declaration shall not apply to: all matters related to the national security of Pakistan”.
With New Delhi accusing Islamabad at the ICJ for violating the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Pakistan’s March 29 declaration accepting the ICJ jurisdiction also stated that its declaration would not be applicable regarding “disputes arising under a multilateral treaty or any other international obligation that Pakistan has specifically undertaken unless all the parties to the treaty affected by the decision are also parties to the case before the court, or Pakistan specifically agrees to jurisdiction”.