Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi termed the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav “a victory for Pakistan”, but maintained that Pakistani experts would minutely review the decision.

Addressing a media briefing yesterday after the ICJ verdict, the Pakistan foreign minister said: “Jadhav will remain in Pakistan, and will be treated in accordance with Pakistani laws.”

He also noted that ICJ did not uphold India’s claim for acquittal and release of Jadhav and it is up to Pakistan to decide on the case. The words — “means of its own choosing” — are important in the verdict as it indicates confidence on Pakistan’s legal system, he emphasised. Qureshi added that ICJ did not dismiss Pakistan’s military court’s decision and that Jadhav already had the right to appeal his conviction under Pakistan’s law.

He stressed that Jadhav had himself confessed of espionage and terrorism, which was the reason why Pakistan did not grant him consular access. However, he added that Pakistan respects international law.

Speaking to Gulf News, Barrister Taimur Malek, an international legal expert, said: “The ICJ has demonstrated judicial restraint and avoided international judicial activism by denying some of India’s requests and at the same time asking Pakistan to review and reconsider Jadhav’s case.” The important point to note, he said, is that “the ICJ has given Pakistan the freedom to do this review and reconsideration based on its own domestic laws and through its own means.”

Commenting on the verdict, Pakistani political analyst, Imtiaz Gul, advised Pakistan to react with full responsibility and sobriety. Terming the ICJ decision a positive sign for Pakistan, he said: “This is high time for Pakistan to turn this judicial victory into a diplomatic win.”