The abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 A took Pakistan by surprise. Pakistan did not foresee the step by India and is expected to react. As a first step, Pakistan expelled Indian envoy and suspended trade ties with India. Further, Pakistan is expected to reaffirm the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It is expected to up its ante in the international diplomatic circle. Pakistan has also banned all advertisements featuring Indian artistes and sale of Indian movies within its geographical boundary.
Pakistan is expected to go all out in diplomatic offensive. It had already exhausted its call for a special session of the UN Security council. There was lukewarm response from the UN Security Council and other diplomatic circles.
Pakistan hopes that the suspension of the bilateral trade will pinch India as about 76 percent of the total bilateral trade volume consists of Indian exports to Pakistan. Moreover, the Indian exports to Pakistan have been increasing at about 5 percent year-on-year.
Pakistan will now exercise its other options against India. Let us try to evaluate its other options.
Pakistan had already exhausted its option of appealing to UN Security Council for an emergency meeting. There was a lukewarm response from the UN Security Council. As of now, China is the only country that is supporting Pakistan. Pakistan will now play a victim because of the action or inaction from the UN Security Council. It will try to play a prejudice card among other nations.
As another option, Pakistan may even try to reach United Nations General Assembly raising it as a situation that can destabilise the peace in the region.
Simultaneously, Pakistan will also try to escalate it to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) through the UN Security Council. The ICJ may then indicate interim measures for protection of the rights of one of the parties. Both the parties may raise preliminary objections before the ICJ. ICJ, consisting of 15 judges, will moderate and decide the disputes in accordance with international law reflected in conventions, treaties, custom and judicial decisions. The court proceedings can be in the form of written or oral proceedings. Post the judgement, either party can seek a revision if the court had made the judgement without taking any major facts into consideration. Pakistan already had a recent bad experience in ICJ against India in the Kulbushan Jadhav case. Hence, it will be interesting to see how Pakistan moves ICJ through the UN Security Council.
Simultaneously, Pakistan may even send special envoys to its friendly nations and try to portray its position before them. Pakistan may plead to isolate India for its actions on J&K.
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However, Indian diplomatic maneuvers were really good. India had already taken all counter measures and briefed all current members of the UN Security Council, which include five permanent members and ten non-permanent members. India had categorically stated that Kashmir was an internal matter and within the ambit of the Constitution. India should also call all foreign diplomats in Delhi and brief them about the situation and tell them that the situation in J&K is under control and no action has been taken which is extra-territorial or extra-judicial. All action has been taken within the framework of Indian Constitution. India can also gradually reduce its military strength in the region. India should also have its strong response ready in case Pakistan rakes the matter up in UN Security Council or other international forums.
K Satish Kumar is a keynote speaker, author, the Global Head of Legal and Chief Data Protection Officer of Ramco Systems. Among the many awards he has received, the coveted are ‘Top 50 Legal Leaders 2019’ by Legal IP Gorilla in Singapore, ‘GC PowerList India 2018’ by London-based Legal 500 and ‘Legal Counsel of the Year 2018’ by INBA. He is actively involved in many pro bono activities through Chennai Lawyers. The author can be reached at
email@example.com. The views expressed are personal.