India asks Pakistan for ‘unimpeded’ consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

New Delhi: 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 ruling by the International Court of Justice in his case, official sources said on Friday.

Earlier this week, Pakistan sent India a proposal offering consular access to Jadhav on Friday. 

On Thursday, India sent a communication to Pakistan making 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. 

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. 

There were reports that Pakistan had put some conditions to grant consular access to Jadhav. 

One of the conditions reportedly was the presence of a Pakistani official when the Indian prisoner is allowed to meet Indian officials as part of the consular access.

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.

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.

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