New Delhi: In accordance with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict delivered on July 17, Pakistan has said it will provide Consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav on Monday, September 2. Jadhav, a former naval officer has been sentenced to death by a military court on charges of ‘espionage and terrorism’. Notably, this will be the first time that Jadhav (49) will be given consular access.
A tweet from Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had said that Jadhav will be given consular access ‘in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgement & the laws of Pakistan’. “Consular access for Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer and RAW operative, is being provided on Monday, 2 September 2019, in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgement & the laws of Pakistan,”Faisal had said in a tweet yesterday.
Though there were no immediate reports from Ministry of External Affairs, but reports claimed that the MEA has clearly stated that anything short of “unimpeded” and “unrestricted” consular access to Jadhav will not be acceptable to India.
On August 1, Pakistan had offered consular access to Jadhav but with conditions – that one Pakistani official would be present alongside. On August 2, India had asked Pakistan to provide “unimpeded consular access” to Jadhav, in an environment “free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal”, after Islamabad said it has sent a proposal to New Delhi allowing consular access to the Indian national.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) July 17 ruled in favour of India and affirmed Jadhav’s right to consular access. It had also slammed Pakistan for breaching obligations incumbent upon it under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
“Court finds that Pakistan deprived India of the right to communicate with and have access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation, and thereby breached obligations incumbent upon it under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” said ICJ in its verdict.
In 2017, a Pakistani military court had declared Jadhav as guilty of terrorism and espionage and sentenced him to death. India had urged the ICJ to annul Jadhav’s death sentence, by saying that the verdict by a Pakistani military court was based on a “farcical case” and failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process. Pakistan, on the other hand, maintained that since Jadhav is an Indian spy who illegally entered Pakistan, he was not entitled to consular access.