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Will ICJ's verdict prove fruitful in saving Kulbhushan Jhadav's life?
India became jubilant when the International Court of Justice gave interim relief to India and Kulbhushan Jhadav issuing provisional measures that include stay on his execution and providing consular access to Jhadav pending the full scale hearing and deliverance of final justice.

At the same time, Pakistan became frustrated and a bit embarrassed due to the interim relief by the ICJ to India. Pakistan has officially rejected ICJ's provisional measures while blamingIndia for sponsoring terror inside Pakistan.

No doubt, Harish Salve must be admired for his brilliant arguments and the government of India should also be commended for having taken bold action of knocking ICJ's door.

Despite all the above, we should realise that Kulbhshan Jhadav's case is still pending and he risks execution while being under detention in Pakistan. No country is bound to obey ICJ's verdict, forget about provisional measures. In the past, America has executed people on whose execution the ICJ had ordered a stay. Thus, Pakistan can very well execute Jhadav. I don't even think that they will provide consular access to Jhadav.

India can try to isolate Pakistan using the verdict of ICJ, but then, there is also little chance of imposing UN sanctions as China will veto it. Pakistan will take this case as a prestige issue and citing national security, it can go to any extent. Not to forget, Pakistan is a nation that has a history of removing its elected prime ministers through military coups and also hanging them at will. Pakistani Army is all powerful there and not accountable to anyone. That's why, I don't think ICJ's verdict can anyway help either Jhadav or India.

Thus, India needs to adopt another approach if it really wants to save Kulbhushan Jhadav, because even if the ICJ instructs to release him, Pakistan will refuse to do so. 

Although, USA defied ICJ's order citing that it had a robust judiciary, Pakistan can't claim that because in modern democracies, military courts don't exist. But then, despite Pakistan being a failed democracy, the world has never paid heed to it.

So then, what are the options at hand for India? 

One option might be of resolving it through diplomacy. I believe that Pakistan can release Kulbhushan Jhadav if India initiates a dialogue with Pakistan. Pakistan desperately needs a dialogue with India because of its isolation at the international level. But, having a dialogue at this stage is very risky for India. If a dialogue happens now, then India would lose all the gains it had made by isolating Pakistan in the last one year. Also, India would never like to set such a precedent where there is risk of Pakistan repeating such a tactic.

Well, there's another way where India can succeed in getting Jhadav released. That is, the military way. I am not saying that India should declare a war against Pakistan immediately. But, what India can do is to build military enforcement along the border, indirectly warning that India could even go to war against Pakistan if Jhadav is executed. 

This escalated military build-up will attract global attention which will force the world powers including China to enter in to the scene to deescalate the tension. An Indo-Pakistan war at this time is not warranted by both America and China because of obvious reasons. And the Pakistani Army only listens to the military language of USA and China.

None can question India for this military build-up as every nation has a coherent right to save its citizens. That's why global pressure will be on Pakistan to release Jhadav.

But there's a risk involved too.

What will happen if despite Indian military build-up Pakistan executes Jhadav?

Well, in that case, it should be considered that Pakistan wants a war. Thus, India should give them a war, and a decisive one this time. There is no point in having the world's second largest army and being the fourth largest military power if a nation can't protect its citizens from being murdered by a rogue nation.

While going to war against Pakistan this time, India should make it a point not to repeat the same mistakes it made during 1965, 1971 or 1999 wars. India's full scale war will only be completed after taking back PoK and liberating Balochistan.

Now the point is whether the Indian government has the courage to take that risk. I think Narendra Modi is a Prime Minister who would be willing to take that risk.

Let's see what happens next. But mark my word, ICJ's verdict is good from a diplomatic point of view, but in reality, it would prove futile in saving Kulbhushan Jhadav's life.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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