Pakistan to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Pakistan will grant consular access to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav according to its laws, Pakistan foreign ministry said in a late night statement.
The ministry also said that Kulbhushan Jadhav had been informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention on consular relations, Indian channel NDTV reported from Islamabad on Friday morning, reports BSS.

“Pursuant to the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Kulbhushan Jadhav has been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” the Pakistan foreign ministry statement said. “As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out,” it added.

However, India on Thursday called on Pakistan to immediately release Kulbhushan Jadhav, on death row following his conviction on charges of espionage, in view of the ICJ ruling, asking for a review of the formal Indian naval officer’s sentence. “Jadhav was innocent of the charges leveled against him and a forced confession without legal representation and due process wouldn’t change this fact,” said Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar while making a statement in both houses of parliament yesterday.

He said Jadhav continued remaining in Pakistan’s “illegal custody” after being sentenced on “fabricated charges”. The ICJ’s judgment is a vindication for India, Jadhav and all who believe in rule of law, he added. Besides, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar yesterday told a news briefing that India expect that Pakistan to implement the ICJ directives immediately without any further delay.

He said the verdict went in India’s favour on eight points cited by the ICJ, either through a unanimous decision or majority decisions by the 16- judge bench.
Kulbhushan 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 to ICJ, seeking a stay on his death sentence and further remedies.

A 16-member bench headed by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, by 15-1 votes ordered Pakistan on Wednesday to undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay, the NDTV reported.

In its 42-page order, the world 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 Kulbhushan Jadhav, the report said.