India asks Pakistan for ‘unimpeded’ consular access to Jadhav

Kulbhushan Jadhav, India, Pakistan, consular access, International Court of Justice, The Federal, English news website
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017

India has asked Pakistan to provide “unimpeded” consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav in an environment free from the “fear of intimidation” and reprisal, in sync with the International Court of Justice’s ruling in his case, official sources said on Friday (August 2).

India sent a communication to Pakistan on Thursday, virtually turning down Islamabad’s conditional offer of providing consular access to Jadhav on Friday afternoon.

Around three days ago, Pakistan offered India consular access to Jadhav. The offer came two weeks after the Hague-based ICJ ordered Pakistan to grant consular access to Jadhav without further delay.

India’s communication to Pakistan on Thursday made clear its position that the consular access must be “unimpeded” and should be in the light of the judgement by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Official sources said Pakistan’s response to India’s communication is now awaited.

Also Read: ICJ verdict in Jadhav case complete vindication of India’s stand: MEA

“Pakistan has been asked yesterday (Thursday) to provide unimpeded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal, in the light of the orders of the ICJ. Their response in now awaited,” said a source.

The External Affairs Ministry on Thursday said it was evaluating Pakistan’s offer of granting consular access to Jadhav in the ICJ judgement in the case. Pakistan had put a set of conditions for the consular access which included presence of a Pakistani official when Indian officials meet Jadhav.

India has been maintaining that Jadhav must be given “full consular access” as laid out in the ICJ verdict.

Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017 following which India had moved the ICJ.

Also Read: Pakistan to handle Jadhav case as per law: PM Imran Khan

Following the ICJ order, India has asked Pakistan to grant full consular access to Jadhav at the earliest in “full compliance and conformity” of the world court’s verdict.

In its 42-page order, the court, while rejecting Pakistan’s objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, held that “a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review” of the sentence of Jadhav.

The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court’s decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India. The ICJ upheld India’s stand that Pakistan is in egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, on several counts in the case.