‘No talks’, says Pak on Jadhav, rejects demand of unimpeded consular access
Pakistan has turned down India’s demand for “unimpeded consular access” to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on a death row, over the suspension of bilateral ties.
The neighbouring country had on Wednesday announced a slew of retaliatory actions in response to India’s decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, including the expulsion of the Indian envoy, suspension of bilateral trade and review of bilateral arrangements.
Pakistani sources said that talks on consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav “have ended as of now”. Pakistan had earlier allowed access with conditions that its officials will be present during the meeting, which will also be recorded.
India had sought consular access to Jadhav after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on July 17 that Pakistan had violated his rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and sought a review of his death sentence.
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India had rejected Pakistan’s offer for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav in its current form and officials said 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 that was conveyed last week, the Indian government asked the Pakistani side last Thursday to provide “unimpeded consular access” to Kulbhushan Jadhav “in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal”.
The access should also be “in light of the orders of the International Court of Justice (ICJ)”, the official added. The ICJ ruled last month that Pakistan had violated Jadhav’s rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and sought a review of his death sentence.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani security agencies in Balochistan in March 2016 and charged with involvement in spying and subversive activities. In April 2017, Pakistan announced he had been given the death sentence by a military court.
India rejected the allegations against Jadhav and said he was kidnapped by Pakistani operatives from the Iranian port of Chabahar, where he was running a business. In May 2017, New Delhi petitioned the ICJ, which stayed Jadhav’s execution. In its ruling on July 17, the ICJ said its stay of the death sentence should continue.