Kulbhushan Jadhav
In picture: Kulbhushan Jadhav.Twitter/Doordarshan News

The verdict of the International Court of Justice in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case clearly favoured India and was reported that way in the Indian and international press. However, the Pakistani media apparently have an altogether different narrative, catering to the domestic audience. Most newspapers in Pakistan ran headlines on Thursday that claimed Islamabad made a clean win in the case that grabbed international attention. 

On Wednesday, the panel comprising 16 judges at ICJ agreed with India's argument that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying consular access to Jadhav and ordered a stay of the execution. The panel also ordered Pakistan to have an "effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence" given to Jadhav.

However, ICJ didn't give a complete acquittal and order the release Jadhav, which India had demanded. The Pakistan media hanged on to this to portray a win for the government.  

Pakistan Today-headline

"ICJ rejects India's plea for Kulbhushan Jadhav's acquittal," a Pakistan Today headline read. The report suggested that the Pakistan military court violated the Vienna Convention.


Dawn newspaper reported that "it is not the conviction and sentence of Mr Jadhav which are to be regarded as a violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention."

This contrasts President of ICJ, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf's statement. "Pakistan deprived India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation," said the statement.


The DailyPakistan also reported that ICJ ruled that "Kulbhushan's conviction by Pakistan was not in contradiction to the Vienna Convention." It also said that "the international court announced that Pakistan had informed the Indian authorities about arrest of Kulbhushan on time."

The UN court noted that information regarding Jadhav's arrest was reported three weeks after his detention by Pakistani officials.

Even the Foreign Minister of Pakistan claimed that the judgement was a 'victory'.

While Indians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, welcomed the verdict, the outcome of the retrial in the case remains unclear, considering the poor state of India-Pakistan relations after the Pulwama attack in February.

The senior advocate representing India at the ICJ, Harish Salve, said that India can approach the ICJ again if suspicions arise. "If the ICJ verdict is disobeyed, we can take measures including by ways including sanctions. I'm sure Pakistan won't go that way. At least I hope so... If the trial by Pakistan isn't fair, we can go back to ICJ," he said.