LAHORE - Politicians and analysts hold Pakistan’s half hearted fight on the legal side, weak diplomacy, and poor international lobbying on the government side “responsible for failure in winning a strong case against Indian spy Kalbushan Jadhav before the International court of Justice (ICJ)”.

They say Pakistani government should have acted realising the fact that Kalbushan himself and the proofs against him could turn the tables on India about terrorism in Pakistan and change its perception on that count at the international level.

Although final decision is yet remote in future, victory at the initial stage meant much for Pakistan to reach at the roots of terrorism on its soil land which has so far, taken the life of over 60,000 Pakistanis including civilians and security personnel. On the pointation of spy-cum-terrorist Kalbushan Jhadav, a terror network was unearthed and about 200 evidence, including his Indian passport, services in Indian navy, and his own admission were sufficient proof to deal with him severely under any law in the world.

In a shared opinion, politicians and analysts observed that Pakistan’s legal team failed to put up to a quality case against heavy fees which the other side did receiving only a token fees but it fought the case with national zeal and zest. They say given the hostility and charged up atmosphere between the two countries and the continuous violations on the Line of Control, Pakistan role in the war on terror as well struggle of Kashmiris in the Indian-controlled valley, the Kalbushan case held much political and strategic importance for both the countries at the international level.

As such the government of Pakistan should have tackled the situation with that spirit and entered the international legal arena fully prepared in order to render India unable to get any benefit.

Seasoned politicians in Pakistan termed the interim decision in favour of India “a byproduct of the recent meeting between Indian business tycoon Sajjan Jindal and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”. They also accused the PM of being highly reserved about naming Kalbushan in terror acts and soft on Indian involvement in creating instability in Balochistan and Karachi, to substantiate their case against the lackluster attitude of Pakistan to Indian move to ICJ.

Legal wizards on two main points i.e., jurisdiction of the ICJ to take up such a case under 136 of Geneva Convention when the question relates to violating sovereignty of a state through espionage and creating instability therein through terrorism, and consular access to the guilty of such act, say Pakistan could have built a very strong case to deny preliminary advantage to India. “But we failed”.

In the subsequent proceedings, they say, this upper hand would continue to go along the Indian side to help it build a convincing case even without much material in hand.

They say Pakistan, in the first instance, should not have conceded to the appearance before the ICJ; and for that matter it was sufficient to move an appeal against the Military Court decision against Jhadav to check the ICJ from proceedings with the case till his conviction would have attained finality by the Supreme Court under law of land.

Moreover, Article 136 of the Convention not been clearly defined whether Consular access to a foreign spy-cum-terrorist, who also has made confession of terror activity, can be given. Therefore Pakistan needed such an efficient and competent legal team which could have turned this lacuna to its advantage, but it remained short of that.

The presence of an Indian ad-hoc judge in 15-penal of ICJ penal, also formed a good basis to question constitution of the Bench pleading interest of a member thereon.

There is also a section which opines that Pakistan has secured a rare opportunity to expose Indian involvement in spreading terror and creating instability through the ICJ. But they also raise a question that what would happen if India again took a lead in diplomacy and lobbying and neutralised the evidence which Pakistan possesses against the guilty.

What remedy is next available is now a big question.

PPP Sherry Rehman has called for joint session of the Parliament to discuss the failure and the shortcomings. She says our (Pakistan’s) legal team failed to even use the full time in arguments which reinforced the weak Indian case.

JI chief Sirajul Haq says Pakistan failed to present facts against India. “The government must make its position clear on this failure,” he demanded.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmad of AML blames the PM for adopting a lax attitude against India and poor pleading before ICJ was preplanned after PM-Jandal meeting.

Analyst Talat Masood, terming it a setback, said: “It would help India put pressure on Pakistan after it came to the field with a plan.”

However, he said, case on merit has yet to be fought and Pakistan can recover the lost ground by convincingly presenting material evidence against Kalbushan.

Former SCBA president Abid Hassan Minto says the ICJ stay against execution has been given in natural course as the trial would have become a futile exercise, had that relief not been given and execution carried out. “This principle is followed even under Pakistan law, where no execution is carried out unless High Court confirms the trial court conviction even if no appeal is moved,” he added.

Minto further said the situation before the ICJ might have been different, had Kalbushan’s appeal against his conviction been moved before the SC.

Former judge, attorney general, and SCBA president Malik Muhammad Qayyum clearly saw malafide of the ICJ when previously it had thrice refused to assume jurisdiction on the cases of similar nature. At this stage, he said, it appears Indian lobby and influence had worked against Pakistan. However he said, now Pakistan needs to leave no room open which India can exploit in its favour and forcefully present its case when the same will be heard on merit.

Former judge Dr Khalid Ranjha says inefficiency of the Pakistani legal team led India take an upper hand. He said in 1999, the ICJ had denied jurisdiction to Pakistan against Indian act of shooting down a Navy aircraft. Ranjha candidly said non appearance of our Attorney General and representation by unknown lawyers shows that our rulers wanted the case go in Indian favour as their business interest have gone ahead of the national interests.