India evaluating Pakistan offer on consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav
Pakistan offered India consular access to former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav-- who is on a death row in Pakistan on allegations of spying--on the orders of the International Court of Justice on Thursday. The Indian government is yet to respond to the offer.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told media on Thursday that “a proposal” from Pakistan had been received and was “being evaluated” in the light of the ICJ verdict and a response to Islamabad’s proposal will be sent through “diplomatic channels,” he refused to get into the modalities in his interaction with media.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) had on July 18, ruled that Pakistan had violated former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s right to consular access and called for a review of the death sentence handed to him by a military court at an appropriate forum of Islamabad’s choice.
The ICJ ruling was seen as a significant victory for India’s efforts to prevent the execution of the 49-year-old. UN’s principal court ruled that a continued stay of Jadhav’s death sentence was an “indispensable condition” for an effective “review and reconsideration” of his conviction.
Noting the review could be done in various ways, ICJ had left the “choice” to Pakistan. The court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, had added that the review must be unconditional and lead to a result. It also called on Pakistan to take all measures for an effective review, including “enacting appropriate legislation”. India had petitioned ICJ in May 2017, which had then stayed Jadhav’s execution.
Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani security agencies in Balochistan on March 3, 2016, and charged with involvement in spying and subversive activities. In April 2017, Pakistan announced that Jadhav had been given the death sentence by a military court.
India denies the allegations against Jadhav and maintains that he was kidnapped by Pakistani operatives from the Iranian port of Chabahar, where he was running a business.
Spokesperson for External Affairs Ministry, Raveesh Kumar had noted that ICJ upheld India’s stance that Pakistan was in “egregious violation” of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and was under an obligation to inform Jadhav without further delay, of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him.