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Pakistan's consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav comes with rider

Pakistan has proposed that one of their officers must be present during the meeting between Jadhav and an Indian consular.

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | August 2, 2019 | Updated 11:19 IST
Pakistan's consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav comes with rider
Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by Pakistani military court on the charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

Kulbhushan Jadhav will be granted consular access by August 2, said Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal during his briefing on Thursday following a decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 18. "We have offered the Indian High Commission to avail consular access on this Friday. The reply from the Indian side is awaited," announced Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal during his briefing on Thursday.

However, Pakistan has laid off certain conditions before providing Indian High Commission to avail consular access for Indian Navy Officer Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by Pakistani military court on the charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.

Pakistan has proposed that one of their officers must be present during the meeting between Jadhav and an Indian consular. Additionally, a demand for CCTV cameras installation during the meeting has also been tabled by Pakistan.

However,  as per Article 36, 1 para (a) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) a consular officers should be "free" to communicate with nationals of the sending State (India) and to have access to them. Nationals of the sending State (Kulbhushan Jadhav) should also have the same freedom with respect to communication with and access to consular officers of the sending State (India).

Therefore, the conditions being laid down by Pakistan violate the spirit of "free" access to Jadhav.Although, Islamabad has scheduled the meeting of Jadhav with consular access

today at around 3 pm, but it  is unlikely that India would accept such a monitored meeting.

The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the ministry would not share any detail in public platform since they continue to engage Pakistan. "We are evaluating it in the light of the judgement of the ICJ, we will maintain communication with Pakistan in this matter through diplomatic channels," he added.

A 16-member bench headed by President of the Court, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, by 15-1, ordered Pakistan  to grant consular access to India without further delay.

Also read: Pakistan allows consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav after ICJ ruling

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