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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled in favor of Pakistan in the case brought to the Court by the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), regarding ‘Obligations concerning Negotiations Relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament’.

RMI had filed suits at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against all the nine states possessing nuclear weapons. However, in conformity with the Statute of the Court, only Pakistan, India and the United Kingdom had been asked to respond to the RMI’s suits since these countries recognized the jurisdiction of the court for certain specific issues at the time of their ratification of the Court’s Statute.

In its comprehensive written response to the ICJ, Pakistan had sought dismissal of the suit for lack of the Court’s jurisdiction to entertain the RMI’s claims and the inadmissibility of its application. Moreover, there was no dispute, let alone a legal dispute, that existed between the RMI and Pakistan. Therefore, RMI lacked the requisite standing to institute the proceedings.

The Court upheld the strong counter-arguments put forth by Pakistan. The decision of the Court is a vindication of Pakistan’s stance that its nuclear programme is a matter of its national defense and security which falls exclusively within its domestic jurisdiction.

05 October 2016

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