Pakistan to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav today
In a tweet, the Pakistani Foreign Office said this was being done in line with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict.Updated: Sep 02, 2019 06:07 IST
Pakistan on Sunday said it has granted India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav and Indian officials will be allowed to meet him on Monday.
In a tweet, the Pakistani Foreign Office said this was being done in line with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict. The ICJ on July 17 said Pakistan has violated Jadhav’s rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and sought a review of his death sentence.
Pakistan announced a military court has sentenced Jadhav to death in April 2017 a year after it said he was arrested from Balochistan in March 2016 and charged with involvement in spying and subversive activities.
India has rejected the allegations against Jadhav saying he was kidnapped from the Iranian port of Chabahar, where he was running a business. In May 2017, New Delhi petitioned the ICJ.
Pakistan’s move to grant the consular access comes as ties between India and Pakistan are at historic low over the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status a lockdown in the region.
Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India and suspended bilateral trade in response to the curfew in Jammu and Kashmir.
India last month effectively turned down Pakistan’s offer for consular access to Jadhav in its current form. Officials told HT that New Delhi has asked Islamabad to provide “unimpeded” contact with the Indian national on death row.
In response to Islamabad’s conditional offer of consular access, the Indian government asked the Pakistani side to “provide unimpeded consular access” to Kulbhushan Jadhav “in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal”. The access was asked in light of the orders of the ICJ.
HT last month reported that Pakistan attached several conditions to its offer, including the presence of its officials during a meeting between Jadhav and Indian officials and the use of audio and video devices to record the conversation. This was the reason why the Indian side had insisted on the meeting being held in an environment free from intimidation and reprisal.
The concept of consular access entails officials of one country being able to meet a prisoner in a foreign country without being overheard.