Indian envoy meets Pak Foreign Office official over Kulbhushan Jadhav’s consular access

New Delhi today hoped that Islamabad will ensure the right atmosphere for a free and fair meeting in keeping with the letter and spirit of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) orders, Indian government sources said earlier.

Written by September 2, 2019 11:43

New Delhi: India’s Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan, Gaurav Ahluwalia reached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday morning to hold a meeting with its spokesperson Mohammad Faisal over the grant of consular access to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

The meeting between Ahluwalia and Faisal is underway.

New Delhi today hoped that Islamabad will ensure the right atmosphere for a free and fair meeting in keeping with the letter and spirit of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) orders, Indian government sources said earlier.

“India has been seeking consular access to Kulbushan Jadhav for the last three years. The matter of denial of consular access was taken to ICJ by India. The court gave a unanimous decision in favour of India. Today, after victory in the ICJ, India will be proceeding for consular access to Jadhav,” they said.

“India’s Charge d’Affaires, Gaurav Ahluwalia, will be meeting Jadhav. We hope that Pakistan will ensure the right atmosphere so that the meeting is free, fair, meaningful and effective in keeping with the letter and spirit of the ICJ orders,” government sources said.

Pakistan on Sunday announced it will grant consular access to the retired Indian Navy officer, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistan military court on the basis of extracted confession of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.

The access will be provided in line with the verdict of the ICJ delivered on July 17.

“Consular access for…Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav is being provided on Monday 2 September 2019, in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ (International Court of Justice) judgment & the laws of Pakistan,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted.

On August 30, India reiterated that it sought “immediate, effective and unhindered” consular access to Jadhav and was in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels.

“We are in touch with the Pakistani side through diplomatic channels. You are aware that based on the judgment of the International Court of Justice we have asked for immediate, effective and unhindered access. Let us see the kind of response we receive from the Pakistani side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said in a weekly media briefing.

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In a major diplomatic victory for India, the ICJ, in July, had asked Pakistan to comply with the Vienna Conventions and provide consular access to Jadhav and to ensure “effective review and reconsideration of his conviction and sentences”.

Pakistani security forces claim Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan, even as he was kidnapped from Iran, where he owned a cargo business.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on April 11, 2017.

India, on May 8, 2017, approached the ICJ against Pakistan “for egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963” in the matter.

New Delhi said that the use of military courts for the trial of civilians is violative of due process standards of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and also of the minimum standards recognised as principles of international law.

The Indian national was even denied the right to be defended by a legal counsel of his choice.

India contended that it was not informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan had failed to inform the former naval officer of his rights. (ANI)