India-Pakistan Ties

Kulbhushan Jadhav: How India notched up an international victory over Pakistan

India has often shied away from going to multilateral forums, but in this case its bold decision has paid off.

The International Court of Justice’s decision ordering Pakistan not to execute Khulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who had been sentenced to death for espionage by a Pakistani military court, does not just come as a relief for the Jadhav’s family. It is also a vindication of the Indian government’s unusual step in taking the matter to an international forum.

New Delhi tends to keep away from the international stage when it comes to dealing with Pakistan. This is borne out of the belief that any attempt to internationalise the India-Pakistan dispute will build a false equivalence between the two countries, and allow Islamabad to draw strength by grandstanding as well appealing to powerful allies, like China, who would be equally happy to check India’s influence.

As a result, India almost always insists that matters between it and Pakistan are bilateral issues that will be dealt with directly, without the intervention of third parties. Under no circumstances does India want matters such as Kashmir to be the subject of international peace-making efforts, in the manner of the Palestine dispute.

Bilateral matters

This approach is important for one other reason: Staying away from international scrutiny saves India from having to answer embarrassing questions about its own internal record in places such as Kashmir or the North East. It also follows the simple foreign policy logic that the larger, more powerful neighbour will be able to get a better deal if no other party is at the table.

When Pakistan announced that it had caught Jadhav and released an evidently manipulated video that it claimed was a confession, India immediate denied the allegations and demanded consular access. Over the months that followed, New Delhi continued to ask for consular access to Jadhav, who was languishing in Pakistani jails, without any response. But India did not, at this point, make any suggestion that it would take the case to an international forum.

Even after Pakistan announced that it had sentenced Jadhav to death for espionage, after a secret military trial, India’s first response was to summon Pakistan’s High Commissioner and declare that the trial was farcical. Even then it was not evident that India would take the case to the International Court of Justice.

This is especially relevant because of India’s history at the court. The last time India had itself applied to the ICJ to intervene in a case involving Pakistan, in 1971, the court dismissed New Delhi’s claims. Since then, Pakistan has attempted to take matters to the ICJ on two occasions, but in both cases no hearing actually took place.

Vienna Convention

The difference in this case appears to be the Vienna Convention for Consular Relations’ Optional Protocol, one of those rare international treaties that both India and Pakistan are party to. The Protocol says the ICJ would have jurisdiction over disputes concerning consular relations, unless the countries have agreed to another forum to resolve disagreements. Pakistan claimed that India did indeed come to an agreement in 2008, under which the countries decided that, in cases related to national security, questions of consular access would be decided on a case by case basis internally.

The Court however decided that there were three reasons this 2008 agreement did not prevent it from having jurisdiction in the case:

  • The 2008 agreement had not been registered as a treaty in the United Nations secretariat, and so could not be invoked.
  • The Vienna Convention does not prevent countries from signing treaties that amplify the safeguards in the convention, but
  • It does prevent countries from diluting its safeguards through subsequent treaties.

India’s case

India’s constant requests for consular access to Jadhav also plaed a part in the court’s decision-making. To be convinced that it has jurisdiction in a case like this, the ICJ has to establish that there is a genuine dispute regarding consular access and that this is within the scope of the treaty that applies here.

The order, according to the ICJ press release, relied on the 16 Notes Verbales that India sent to Pakistan demanding consular access to establish proof of the dispute. The fact that Pakistan had labelled Jadhav an Indian citizen, and yet admitted that he could still follow the local legal provisions, such as appealing to higher courts within Pakistan or asking for clemency, further convinced the court that India had rights to demand consular access.

India’s case was additionally aided by the sentence Pakistan gave to Jadhav. Although technically India might have been able to make the same case for consular access even if Pakistan’s military court had not sentenced Jadhav to death, the ICJ may not have treated the case with the same urgency. The ICJ felt empowered enough to give orders to Pakistan in part because Islamabad refused to give assurances that it would not hang him while the case was still ongoing. Now Pakistan has been clearly told that it must ensure his safety until the ICJ concludes its hearing in the matter.


It is important to remember that this is only a preliminary decision, and that too primarily on the question of jurisdiction. The court has concluded that it has prima facie jurisdiction on the case. It will now hear complete arguments as to whether Pakistan was guilty of denying Jadhav has consular rights, and Islamabad has insisted that its case has not changed in any manner, and asked for the hearing to take place as soon as possible.

Yet even if it is just the first step, the chances of an Indian victory on the international stage was by no means a given, especially given India’s past record at this court. Thursday’s decision vindicates New Delhi’s bold choice to take what would have otherwise been a bilateral disagreement to an international forum.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival

We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.

The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:

Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app

Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.

Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.

Plan your shopping

The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.

Track the deals

There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.

Big discounts and top picks

The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.

Home Appliances

Our top picks for washing machines are Haier 5.8 Kg Fully Automatic Top Loading at 32% off, and Bosch Fully Automatic Front Loading 6 Kg and 7 Kg, both available at 27% discount. Morphy Richards 20 L Microwave Oven will be available at a discount of 38%.

Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.

There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.

Personal Electronics

There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are Lenovo Tab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch.

If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.

Power banks always come in handy. Check out the Lenovo 13000 mAh power bank at 30% off.

Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.

The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.

The Amazon Fire Stick
The Amazon Fire Stick

For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.

The sale will see great discounts of up to 60% off on headphones and speakers from the top brands. The 40% off on Bose QC 25 Headphones is our favourite. Top deals are on Logitech speakers with Logitech Z506 Surround Sound 5.1 multimedia Speakers at 60% off and Logitech X300 Bluetooth Speaker at 58% off!

Other noteworthy deals

Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.

For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.

The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.

Interesting finds

While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!

Small shopping

If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.

Check-out process and payment options

Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.

Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of and not by the Scroll editorial team.