Yesterday, India scored a big victory, despite irresponsible Indian journalism, in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. In a 15-1 verdict, the Court has granted India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. In addition, the court has also maintained the stay on his execution. The court has said that Jadhav’s death sentence should remain suspended until Pakistan reviews and reconsiders the conviction/sentence in light of Pakistan’s breach of Art 36(1) i.e. denial of consular access and notification. The lone judge who voted against the ruling in favour of India at the International Court of Justice was Pakistan’s Tassaduq Hussain Jillani.
Yesterday’s verdict of the ICJ is a big victory for India and an embarrassment for Pakistan which was denying consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav in contravention to international laws. At this point one should not forget how some media outlets had tried to push Jadhav towards the gallows. During the hearing on Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice, the Pakistani side had produced The Quint’s story on the Indian prisoner as definitive proof against India’s claims.
The Quint had published the highly objectionable article on January 06, 2018 and after a backlash had taken it down but Pakistan has repeatedly cited this article in their defence against India’s claims in Kulbhushan Jadhav case. In what read like a disastrously one sided and prejudiced piece, The Quint claimed that Kulbhushan Jadhav was an Indian spy, and a very bad one at that who was hired even after top RAW officials had rejected his candidature. Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan and was found with his Indian passport.
In The Quint’s golden words:
“The Clearest Evidence that Jadhav operated for the RAW came to the fore only after his cover – as a businessman, who would frequent Iran, especially Chabahar – was blown and he was captured by Pakistan, following which a former RAW chief, besides at least two other senior officers, called his Mumbai-based parents to “advise” them to not speak about their son’s case to anyone.
The Other evidence was the second passport, with the name Hussein Mubarak Patel, that he carried, which shows it was originally issued in 2003 and was renewed in 2014. The Second Passport was issued in Thane on 12 May 2014 and was due to expire on 11 May 2024.”
Apart from this obnoxious article which was originally published by The Quint and taken down only after it came under fire, the Pakistani advocate had also cited an article written by leftist Karan Thapar in The Indian Express in 2017. In that article, Thapar had questioned the stand of Ministry of External Affairs with regard to Kulbhushan Jadhav. He also quoted another journalist, Praveen Swamy. Swamy had written an article for Frontline in 2018. The article had contended, “it is impossible for India to deny he is who he says he is”. The article had also claimed that Jadhav was indeed an Indian spy. It is important to counter such irresponsible and shoddy journalism, where Indian journalists comment at the expense of Indian interests and fellow Indians’ lives, to gain temporary fame and relevance.
Therefore, even as we celebrate this big diplomatic victory against the terrorist country of Pakistan, we should not forget how media outlets like The Quint had ended up publishing obnoxious and self harming stories which were used by Pakistan in an attempt to push Jadhav towards the gallows. This was a classic example of disastrous journalism. It epitomises the kind of damage that can be caused by unprofessional journalism and shoddy manipulative reporting to the home country and its people’s interests.