Tuesday, January 19, 2021

After ICJ Ruling, Pakistan ‘Officially’ Grants Consular Access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

A day after the ruling of International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan on has officially declared to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.

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The announcement was made by Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement in which it said the decision to grant consular access to Indian Naval officer was taken in line with the ICJ decision.

“Pursuant to the decision of the ICJ, Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav has been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Commander Kulbushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out,” said the brief statement.

The UN-affiliated ICJ, based in The Hague, on Tuesday, ruled that Pakistan cannot deny India consular access to its national Jadhav while rejecting its other requests such as annulment of military court’s verdict and release of Jadhav. The government by granting consular access has fulfilled the ICJ’s decision.

As per the allegations of Pakistan, Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested in an intelligence-based operation in March 2016 from Balochistan after he crossed the border from Iran. He was travelling on a fake name but original Indian passport.

In a recorded video statement, he later confessed of working for RAW and involved in subversive activities both in Balochistan and Karachi, a claim rejected by India. New Delhi said Jadhav was pressurized to give these statement and requested Islamabad for consular access which was rejected that time.

In April 2017, the military court had sentenced Jadhav to death for his involvement in espionage and subversive activities. He later filed a clemency petition before army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. His mercy plea was still pending before him.

Meanwhile, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for not granting consular access to Jadhav. Pakistan repeatedly denied consular access requests based on its interpretation of the bilateral agreement that did not extend the consular facility to spies.

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