INDIA Vs PAKISTAN At ICJ’s Door – Down The Memory Lane


Saheli Dey: There is a saying that history repeats itself. History has always repeated itself. Wherever one looks, one finds that every single happening in one way or the other has a history, a past. Considering any section, starting from India’s internal relations to India’s bilateral relation with its neighbours, each has its own history.

ICJ Stays Kulbhushan Jadav Death Sentence

Relation between India and Pakistan has been a trending topic since decades. It is gaining momentum with each passing day. Efforts to make peace between the 2 nations have been futile. These futile attempts have also been etched in the pages of our history books. Present scenario states that the history at present has gained great speed to march towards its untimely yet ultimate end. Though the future is always unpredictable, yet it hints at their growing rivalry.

India won big at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan last week when it had stayed the execution of the Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan. But this is not the first time India has argued at the ICJ. History points out that 3 times India was involved in The Hague court with Pakistan. Based on a report by The Times of India, the following instances from history have been pointed out:


Indian Prisoners of War (POWs) captured during 1965 war

Under the International Civil Aviation Convention and the International Air Services Transit agreement, Pakistani civil aircraft had ‘civil overfly’ rights over Indian territory. That means, its civil aircraft were allowed to fly over Indian territory.

In 1965, due to hostilities between India and Pakistan, such overflights were briefly discontinued. However, by February 1966, the two countries decided to restart ‘civil overfly’. In 1971, after an Indian plane was hijacked, New Delhi retaliated by banning overflights by Pakistani aircraft. Pakistan alleged that India was in breach of the two treaties and submitted a complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). India, however, maintained that despite restarting ‘civil overfly ‘in 1966, the two treaties themselves were never revoked, and the provision of ‘civil overfly’ was since 1966 only allowed as a part of a ‘Special Regime’.

Pak Bound By ICJ’s Stay On Jadhav’s Execution: Legal Experts

India therefore appealed to the ICJ, saying the ICAO has no jurisdiction in the matter because the treaties in question were not revived. India also argued that the ‘dispute could be resolved without reference to any treaties and therefore lay outside the competence of ICAO’.

The ICJ ruled that the ICAO did have jurisdiction in the matter, but also pointed out that there were irregularities within the civil aviation organisation.


Pakistan instituted proceedings against India on charges of genocide against 195 Pakistani nationals who were held as Prisoners of War (POW) in Indian custody.

On December 11, 1971, India had called upon the Pakistani forces in erstwhile East Pakistan to surrender to the Indian Army

Indian Soldier supervises the unloading of Pakistani Soldiers captured.

,assuring them they would be treated with respect. That led to many Pakistani army personnel surrendering.

Pakistan, however, withdrew the case from ICJ in December 1973, citing negotiations with India.


A Pakistani naval aircraft with 16 people on board was shot down by the Indian Army for violating Indian airspace. The incident took place in the Rann of Kutch area in August 1999, just a month after the Kargil war ended. Pakistan took India to the ICJ

Kargil War, 1999

claiming that it had breached several obligations under the United Nations charter. Pakistan also asked for compensation from for India’s ‘unjustified action’, both for the aircraft and for the heirs of those killed. The case was however dismissed by the ICJ, which said it has no jurisdiction in the matter.

History helps us to learn from our mistakes. Let us pledge for a nice beginning for both the nations. Let us hope – in this case, history never repeats itself. Let us hope to see the light on everyone’s face. Let us hope for uniting both the nations. Lets hope Indian soldiers and Pakistani army jawans spend peaceful nights with their family.

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