Pakistan Provides Consular Access To Kulbhushan Jadhav

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Kulbhushan Jadhav – File Pic

Islamabad- Pakistan on Thursday provided consular access to Indian prisoner on death row Kulbhushan Jadhav, days after Islamabad claimed that he has refused to file an appeal in a court here against his conviction by a military court.

This was the second consular access to Jadhav. The first consular access was provided by Pakistan on September 2, 2019, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.

Jadhav, the 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017. Weeks later, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.

The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July last year that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.

“Two consular officers of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad were provided unimpeded and uninterrupted consular access to Commander Jadhav at 1500 hours, the FO said in the statement.

It also recalled that the mother and wife of Jadhav were allowed to meet him on December 25, 2017.

“Pakistan remains committed to fully implementing the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s judgment of 17 July 2019. It is hoped that India will cooperate with the Pakistan court in giving full effect to the said judgement, the statement said.

Last week, Pakistan’s Additional Attorney General Ahmed Irfan said that on June 17, 2020, Jadhav was offered to file an appeal in the Islamabad High Court for review and reconsideration of his sentence and conviction.

He said the Pakistan government promulgated an ordinance on May 20 to let the Indian government, Jadhav or his legal representative to file a review petition in IHC within 60 days. The ordinance would expire on July 19.

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran.

India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

In its 42-page order, the ICJ, while rejecting Pakistan’s objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, had 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 had “breached” the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which gives countries the right to consular access when their nationals are arrested abroad.

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Press Trust of India

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