The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it had received a proposal from Pakistan about consular access to former Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in the country on espionage and terrorism charges. Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the proposal was being evaluated in light of the International Court of Justice’s July 17 judgement, and added it would be in touch with Pakistani authorities.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said the ministry was working to grant consular access to Jadhav, and measures were being taken in accordance with the international court’s verdict, reported Dawn. Faisal said India was informed that Jadhav could be granted consular access on Friday.
Last month, Islamabad had agreed to grant consular access a day after the International Court of Justice concluded that it had violated the Vienna Convention in its treatment of Jadhav. The court found that Pakistan had breached international laws by not providing India consular access to the former Navy officer, and ordered Islamabad not to execute him at the moment. However, the court rejected India’s demands for Jadhav’s release, and instead said Pakistan would have to decide how to review his trial and conviction. Both India and Pakistan claimed the court’s verdict as their victories.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death in 2016. India moved the international court against the verdict in May 2017, after which his execution was stayed. India contended in the court in the Hague that the lack of consular access was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Article 36 of convention says consular officers have the right to visit a national of their country detained or taken into custody on foreign shores “to converse and correspond with him and to arrange for his legal representation”. India maintains that Jadhav was working on his private business in Iran when he was kidnapped by Pakistan.