Dr Shireen Mazari, PTI member SC on Foreign Affairs today expressed surprise over India going to the ICJ over its spy Jhadav. She said Pakistan’s failure to correct course on optional commitments made in the case of not only the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations but also on the ICJ General Declaration on acceptance of jurisdiction keeps landing Pakistan in embarrassing situations.
Because Pakistan made itself Party to the Optional Protocol of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which states that the ICJ can be approached in cases of consular disputes, the present situation has arisen. However, Mazari pointed out that in the case of spies neither Pakistan nor India has either sought consular access or approached the ICJ. Why India was so desperate this time leads one to believe that India has a lot at stake in this high profile arrest of a spymaster who was running a whole ring of spies to conduct terrorism within Pakistan. Incidentally India is giving out false information about the ICJ having passed orders etc. The fact is that so far no order has been passed. In any case, at best the ICJ can question whether a consular visit would have altered the trial outcome but it cannot acutally compel Pakistan to alter the court judgement.
But, Mazari demanded that Pakistan revisit its consent to the Optional Protocol as many other countries like the USA have done so. She said “given the vitriole being spewed by the Modi government and the possibility of the continuing rise of Hindu extremism in Indian politics as well the rise of extreme right wing leaders in the West, Pakistan cannot leave itself vulnerable on any legal front internationally.”
Equally critical is the need for Pakistan to withdraw from the General Declaration of acceptance of the ICJ jurisdiction which led the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) to take Pakistan along with India and the UK to the ICJ on the nuclear issue when it is the US that has and continues to test nuclear weapons on and fired at the RMI.
Mazari also demanded that all international treaties be brought before Parliament for ratification and all international obligations be put before Parliament. “The RMI case and the present Indian approach to the ICJ on Jhadav show the costs Pakistan has to bear when major decisions on international issues are made behind closed doors with no proper debate in parliament.”
--- Shireen M Mazari