Going to ICJ on IOK not possible: Farogh Naseem

Law minister says Pakistan and India have not signed any agreement in this regard

Saqib Virk September 13, 2019
Barrister Farogh Naseem. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem has said the Kashmir issue cannot be taken to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – as the government had earlier hinted – because Pakistan and India have not signed any agreement in this regard.

After India’s August, 5 illegal move to strip the Occupied Kashmir (IOK) of its special status, Prime Minister Imran Khan had hinted at taking the Kashmir issue to the ICJ.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had also announced formally during his talk with senior journalists at the Foreign Office that Pakistan will take the issue to the ICJ. However, after that there has been a complete silence on part of the government on the issue.

The Express Tribune asked Farogh Naseem as to why Pakistan has not approached the ICJ. Is Pakistan still in the process of consultations or there is any legal hindrance? Is there any way that the Kashmir issue can be solved sans interference of the United Nations (UN)?

“A single party cannot go to the ICJ directly unless both the parties agree. However, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) or the General Assembly (UNGA) can refer the issue to the ICJ. And they can refer the case to the ICJ as an issue of human rights violations,” Naseem said

The minister claimed that legally Pakistan is no way on the back foot in case of Kashmir. “The way prime minister raised the issue has made the world support us,” he said.

To a question about the legal and political options available to Pakistan, the law minister said the UN also has political courts. “The issue will be further raised in UNSC and UNGA. We hope that the amount of hard work put in by the ministries of law and foreign affairs will make it a success,” he said.

Elaborating on strengths of the case, he said the UNSC has its resolutions on Kashmir issue and India is not accepting them. India has committed many human rights violations including use of pallet guns and now Pakistan has a strong case.

“We are just saying that Kashmiris should be given right to self-determination in accordance to the UN resolutions. India has been violating human rights in Kashmir for decades.

He said India is no longer a secular country. “It is India of RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh]. India’s unconstitutional step is a test case for the Indian Supreme Court as its judgment will show how much independent Indian judiciary is.

Prime Minister Azad Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider Khan told The Express Tribune that his government had decided to go to the ICJ but it was not possible until the other party agrees. “Consultations are under way on this issue in the Kashmir committee. It is a sensitive issue and we would not act in haste.”

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Senator Sirajul Haq was also asked to comment on the situation. He said the government had promised to go to the ICJ but now it is taking U-turn. “This government thinks that taking U-turns is a specialisation. We should not expect much from this government,” he added.


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