Hours after Pakistan announced its decision to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the Narendra Modi government’s decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir, top diplomat Syed Akbaruddin on Tuesday said that India was ready to fight its regional rival in any arena of its choice.
“Every country is entitled to use every course available to them. We have different approaches too. If they would like to tackle us in different arenas, we will address it in that arena. This is an arena of their choice. They tried once, but they did not succeed,” Mr Akbaruddin, who is India’s permanent representative in the United Nations, told NDTV.
He was referring to the recent face-off between India and Pakistan in the ICJ over the death sentence handed to former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav on charges of “espionage and terrorism” two years ago. In its verdict delivered last month, the world court asked Pakistan to make an “effective review and reconsideration” of the death penalty and grant Mr Jadhav consular access as demanded by India.
Pakistan’s cause faced another defeat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday, when “all-weather ally” China pushed for closed-door consulations on the Kashmir issue. However, the hour-long event ended without any outcome or statement from the world body, dealing a huge blow to Pakistan’s efforts to internationalise the issue. India maintains that its decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcate it into two union territories is a “strictly internal matter”.