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India rejects Pakistan’s offer of consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav with riders, demands unimpeded access

Pakistan had grudgingly offered to grant India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav on Thursday. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar acknowledging the proposal said India is examining Pakistan's proposal.

A day after Pakistan offered partial consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav, India today rejected the proposal asking Islamabad to offer full consular access to him. Sources said that Indian government, in its response on Thursday evening, asked Pakistan to provide “unimpeded consular access” in an “environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal, in the light of the orders of the international court of justice(ICJ).”

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands had directed Pakistan to stay Jadhav’s execution and allow him consular access. Based on ICJ’s verdict in a 15-1 decision on July 17, Pakistan had on July 30, sent its proposal to India but with 2 riders attached. One that Pakistani security personnel will be present during the meeting and second there will be CCTV cameras present in the room.

According to article 36 of the Vienna Convention, “Consular officer shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them.” The first rider by Pakistan is in clear violation of the Vienna Convention.

After Pakistan grudgingly offered to grant India consular access to Jadhav, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had acknowledged the proposal. He said India was examining Pakistan’s proposal in the light of ICJ’s judgement relating to Jadhav’s case.

“We have received a proposal from Pakistan. We are at this point of time evaluating the proposal in light of the judgement of the International Court of Justice. We will maintain communication with Pakistan in this matter through diplomatic channels,” added Kumar during a weekly media briefing.

The Pakistani proposal had suggested a meet between Indian diplomat with Jadhav on Friday at 3 pm IST, which did not take place. During his weekly presser on Thursday, Pakistan spokesperson, Mohammad Faisal said, “We have offered the Indian High Commission to avail consular access on this Friday.”

The Pakistani proposal for this partial consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav came 14 days after India scored a major diplomatic victory at the ICJ on July 17 when the International Court of Justice had ruled in India’s favour in his case.

The court unanimously found that it has jurisdiction in the case and it rejected Pakistan’s objections to the admissibility of India’s application. It found that India’s application was indeed admissible.

The court also ruled that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by not informing Jadhav about his rights under the convention and by not informing the Indian Consular officials in Pakistan about his arrest.

The ICJ said Pakistan deprived India of its right to have access to Jadhav, to visit him in detention, and to arrange for his legal representation. The court ordered Pakistan provide Jadhav with an effective review and reconsideration of his conviction and sentence.

 

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