Pakistan to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav tomorrow

Islamabad: The Pakistan foreign ministry on Sunday announced that Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav will be granted consular access on Monday (September 2).

Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, in a tweet, said that Jadhav, a retired Indian naval officer will be provided consular access on Monday in line with “Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgement and the laws of Pakistan.”

 

This comes days after India sought “immediate, effective and unhindered” consular access to Jadhav while saying that it was in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels.

“We are in touch with the Pakistani side through diplomatic channels. You are aware that based on the judgement of the International Court of Justice we have asked for immediate, effective and unhindered access. Let us see the kind of response we receive from the Pakistani side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said in response to a query.

The military court of Pakistan in April 2017 had sentenced Jadhav, a former Navy officer, to death on charges of “espionage and terrorism”.

In May 2017, India knocked on the doors of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the Pakistan military court’s order, arguing that New Delhi was not informed about his detention for a long time. India also alleged, “egregious violation” of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to Jadhav.

In July this year, ICJ asked Islamabad to carry out an “effective review and reconsideration” of Jadhav’s conviction. The court also asked Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav and observed that in not providing the same despite repeated requests from him, Islamabad violated the Vienna Convention.

In February hearing, which lasted for four days, both India and Pakistan had submitted their detailed pleas and responses to the ICJ.

India had put forward two important issues before the ICJ – breach of Vienna Convention on consular access and the process of resolution. On the other hand, Pakistan, in its submission said, “India’s claim for relief must be dismissed or declared inadmissible.”

Pakistan claims that Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he reportedly entered from Iran, while India maintains that the retired Navy official was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests.

Pakistan has several times rejected India’s plea seeking consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access

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