Congress dismisses reports of ICJ intervention in Kashmir, says Pakistan is ‘highly mistaken’

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Amid reports that Pakistan is considering moving the International Court of Justice to settle what it calls a long-standing issue over Kashmir with India, the Congress on Monday said the UN’s top court’s interference in the matter would not be a practical move and that Islamabad was “highly mistaken” over the issue.

“A long-pending issue like Kashmir is not one to be solved by the ICJ. This is not practical, since the two cases (the other being Kulbhushan Jadhav case) are very different from one another,” Congress leader PC Chacko was quoted as saying by ANI.

Commenting on the Jadhav issue, the Congress leader said,”In the matter of execution of Kulbhushan Jadhav, India had no choice but to approach the ICJ, since consular access itself was denied.” Asserting that the Kashmir issue can only be resolved through the means of a bilateral agreement, Chacko said, “In this context, if Pakistan thinks the Kashmir issue can be raised at the ICJ, Pakistan is highly mistaken.”

Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs had maintained that Kashmir is an issue of “terrorism” and that India wants to resolve it bilaterally with Pakistan, while dismissing a multilateral dialogue over the issue. It also reiterated that Kashmir is an integral part of India and there can be no discussion over it.

Tensions have been high in Kashmir since last July, when security forces killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, which led to widespread protects across the Valley, killing at least 80 people.

Recently, the Kulbhushan Jadhav case renewed rivalry between both the countries. On Thursday, the ICJ had provisionally stayed the execution of the Indian national, who was awarded death sentence by a Pakistan military court on charges of espionage. According to reports, Pakistan is set to send an ad-hoc judge to the ICJ while a legal team would also be formed to assist counsel in the ICJ for Pakistan, Khawar Qureshi.

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