<b>Spy’s eye:</b> Taking on a rogue state
The order of International Court of Justice (ICJ) calling upon Pakistan not to execute the former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, pending its final decision in the matter, has completely exposed that lawless country before the world community. Jadhav abducted by Pak intelligence from the Iran side of Pak-Iran border was charged with the entire range of crimes from espionage, sabotage to terrorism and awarded death sentence by an opaque military court in a highly dubious manner – characteristic of an Army-ruled dispensation. Throwing out Islamabad’s argument that the UN’s top legal body did not have jurisdiction in the case, ICJ in a terse directive ruled that Pakistan “shall inform the court of all the measures taken in implementation of the order.” Pakistan’s immediate response to this loss of face was that ‘status quo’ of the case was not affected and that the matter will be ‘taken to its logical conclusion’.
ICJ verdict is a huge development demonstrating a new level of determination of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only to confront Pakistan on the issue of cross border terrorism but also chase it in the international forums to nail it down as a rogue regime. Arun Jaitley, India’s Defence Minister, put it pithily by saying that “this order, though interim, is a very serious indictment of the kind of mockery that exists in Pakistan in the name of judicial system.”
India came off very strong in its presentation before the International Court both on facts and points of law and as Harish Salve, India’s brilliant advocate puts it – the Judges connected with India’s case in a way that did not happen with the other side. ICJ proceedings would provide an effective instrument of domination to India in regard to the foreign and defence policies towards Pakistan. This has been achieved because of the political will of the Modi government that stands in sharp contrast with the weak, ambiguous and compromising approach showed by the earlier regime in the sphere of national security in general and the stern handling of a rogue neighbour, in particular.

It is not surprising that Pakistan has brought Sartaj Aziz to the fore to use some desperate ploys once again to make up for its clear defeat at Hague. Aziz has asserted that domestic jurisdiction will prevail, denied that the ICJ had ordered consular access to Jadhav and gone to the extent of declaring that the international court ‘can not nullify the death sentence’. The Pak envoy in Delhi has at the same time, hastened to say that Pakistan is complying with ICJ order on Jadhav’s sentence. Pakistan is smarting under the failure of its street level tactics to measure up to the strategic soundness of India's Pak policy under Prime Minister Modi, in and outside the battlefield.
In Kashmir Pakistan could not have its way with the help of infiltrated terrorists and therefore tried to use the cost-effective method of hiring stone pelters to create the impression of a “popular revolt” in the valley. It has tried to answer the successful initiative of India in raising the issue of suppression of Baluchistan, by enacting the drama involving Kulbhushan Jadhav. The artificiality of case against Jadhav is established by the bracketing of charges of espionage and terrorism against him. This is a made up mix since a ‘spy’ aims at accessing ‘state secrets’ of the target country while a terror agent reaches out to potential recruits for organising acts of violence there. The half-baked operators of Pak army wanted Jadhav to symbolise all forms of covert offensive that India was allegedly launching against Pakistan. The international exposure of the deep state of Pakistan gives India a reason to go all out to nail the former and be prepared to give it an appropriate blow militarily for any misadventure attempted by it in the time to come.
India need not be deterred by Sino-Pak axis as China is basically using it for its own geo-political strategy in its pursuit of the economic route to become a super power. If Indo-US relationship rests on a shared perception of threat to the democratic order from the rise of Islamic militancy in the Muslim world, Pakistan will not be able to manoeuvre the Trump regime any more. Pakistan has desperately tried to influence some American policy makers to overlook the terror fomented by Pak agencies in Kasmir and support the idea of resumption of Indo-Pak talks. Its reliance on its paid supporters in Hurriyat and the self-appointed peaceniks who went to the length of suggesting that India should invite Pakistan for talks to prevent law and order incidents, has not helped.
Pakistan army looks upon resumption of talks as a means of achieving party with India. It is amusing that one response to ICJ order in Kulbhushan Jadhav case is a statement from the Pak attorney general claiming that Pakistan attended ICJ hearing because it believed that “the only way to resolve all outstanding issues is through peaceful means”. Clearly even Jadhav’s case was not one of catching a spy but creating an event to pressurise India for talks. This finally confirms that Pakistan is to be dealt with on a note of sternness as an incorrigible rogue next door. Invoking precedents of the past when India did try to take the path of consideration for a neighbour, is irrelevant. Our Pak policy has to be determined by the ongoing conduct of Pakistan as an adversary.
It is not a day too soon that the Centre has launched a probe into the finances of Hurriyat leaders who have been known to have taken money from Pakistan to carry out the enemy’s designs in Kashmir.

This was being allowed so far because the parties in the Valley heavily banked on separatists for their politics and played games with the Centre to stay in power. None of this can be permitted any more. The coalition government in the state must reach out to the people directly and not through the stakeholders of Pakistan. The force of law should be brought to bear against gun wielders and planners of stone pelting. Army must promptly retaliate against any ceasefire violation and double up its counter-terror operations in close collaboration with intelligence agencies. Police and para military should get the better of those instigating disorder. The State has the staying power to crush the anti-national elements propping up on the support from beyond our borders.

(The writer is a former Director IB)
DC Pathak