India seeks unimpeded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Pakistan was asked to provide consular access to him by ICJ on July 17.

Updated - August 02, 2019 06:55 pm IST

Published - August 02, 2019 02:04 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. PTI PTI

Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. PTI PTI

India on Friday sought an unimpeded consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, death row prisoner in Pakistan.

This comes a day after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) declared that it was evaluating Pakistan’s proposal to grant diplomatic access to him.

Pakistan was asked yesterday to provide unimpeded consular access to Jadhav, in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal in the light of the orders of the ICJ [International Court of Justice]. Their response was awaited, said a source familiar with the discussion conducted through diplomatic channels. 

While Pakistani reports suggested that consular access was to be granted to Indian diplomats at 3 p.m. on Friday, India had declined to confirm the time and date of the meeting. 

Sources said India had not yet set a deadline for Pakistan’s response. “They offered us consular access to Jadhav on Friday. In response, we have sent a note verbale conveying our position,” said the source hinting that the negotiation on securing normal consular access is expected to continue.

Pakistan was asked to provide consular access to Mr. Jadhav by the ICJ on July 17. In a judgement that was seen as a setback to Pakistan's trial of him, the ICJ asked for consular access to him "without further delay.” It found  violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by Pakistan not granting consular access to him.

Article 36 clearly states that diplomats of the “sending State” should be “free” to communicate with the national in custody during a meeting. It means that an enabling environment for conversation should be created during such a meeting.

On Thursday, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar refused to disclose the modalities of the Pakistani proposal for consular access even as it was understood that Pakistan was following its own methods in granting Indian diplomats access to Mr. Jadhav

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