Pakistan to grant consular access to Kulbushan Jadhav

The ministry said that Jadhav had been informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention on consular relations.

Updated - July 19, 2019 09:24 am IST

Published - July 19, 2019 01:18 am IST - New Delhi

One-on-one:  Kulbushan Jadhav’s wife and mother meeting him in a Pakistani prison in December 2017.

One-on-one: Kulbushan Jadhav’s wife and mother meeting him in a Pakistani prison in December 2017.

A day after the International Court of Justice at The Hague urged Pakistan to grant consular access to  death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav, Islamabad on Friday declared that Mr. Jadhav will be granted the right to get in touch with the diplomats and officials from India.

“Pursuant to the decision of the ICJ, Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav has been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1 (b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out,” stated a press release from the Office of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Hours before this decision by Islamabad, India emphatically said that Pakistan needs to obey the  verdict of ICJ .   Pakistan can immediately grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav acting upon the multiple pending requests on the matter from India, said a diplomatic source. The comment came a day after the International Court of Justice at The Hague pointed out  in its verdict that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention by not granting consular access to the former Indian navy official who was given a death sentence by a Pakistani military court in 2017.

“Pakistan already has several formal requests from us regarding consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. We hope they act on these requests now without delay,” said a diplomatic source indicating that there is no need for a fresh request from India for getting access to Mr Jadhav.

India made several submissions to Pakistan for allowing Indian officials to visit  Kulbhushan Jadhav in custody that did not get a positive response from Islamabad till the  verdict from ICJ. The diplomatic source said that a Pakistani response to the pending requests from India will be desirable as further delay in this matter is not acceptable given the majority verdict at the ICJ.

Earlier, reiterating the India's stance, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar said at the weekly briefing that Pakistan should comply to the directive of ICJ and provide consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav without “any further delay”.

ICJ in its 42-page verdict on 17 July had instructed Pakistan not to carry out the death sentence handed to Mr. Jadhav and urged Islamabad to review and reconsider the sentence.  “Islamic Republic of Pakistan deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation, and thereby breached the obligations incumbent upon it under Article 36, paragraph 1 (a) and (c), of the Vienna Convention,” said the ICJ in a press release following the verdict.  India’s lead counsel  had Harish Salve had stated on Wednesday that he expects Pakistani lawyers to defend Mr Jadhav in the court of law in Pakistan.

Pakistan maintained that Mr. Jadhav did not carry his authentic Indian passport while entering its territory and alleged that he carried a fake travel document that depicted his name as ‘Hussain Mubarak Patel’ and that he was responsible for acts of sabotage inside Pakistan.

In response, Mr. Kumar on Thursday said that it was time for Pakistan “to act” and help Indian consular officers to go and meet Mr. Jadhav who has not been seen for months. Mr. Jadhav was last seen in December 2017 when his mother and wife had travelled to Pakistan to see him at the time of Christmas.

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