Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022

Pakistan To Provide India Consular Access To Kulbhushan Jadhav Today

Kulbhushan Jadhav, 49, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of 'espionage and terrorism' in April 2017.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national, who is on death row in Pakistan. (file photo)

India will be granted consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav in accordance with Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday, amid increasing tensions between two nations after the Centre's decision to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Jadhav, 49, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" in April 2017. Following the verdict, India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seeking a stay on his death sentence and further remedies.

Earlier, Pakistan had offered consular access on August 1, 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.

Last July, the ICJ ruled that Pakistan review the death sentence awarded to the Indian national.

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.

The ICJ upheld India's stand that Pakistan had "breached" the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which gives countries the right to consular access when their nationals are arrested abroad.

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he reportedly entered from Iran.

However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.