Pakistan on Thursday said it was in contact with India on the matter of providing access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who was captured and sentenced to death in Pakistan for allegedly being a spy, PTI reported. Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal made the announcement at a media briefing in Islamabad.
On August 1, India’s Ministry of External Affairs had said it received a proposal from Pakistan to grant consular access to Jadhav. The access was to be granted the next day, but this did not materialise due to differences between the two sides on the terms of the access.
In July, the International Court of Justice concluded that Pakistan 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.
Faisal, at his media briefing, also said that teams from both India and Pakistan will resume talks on the Kartarpur corridor project on Friday, Dawn reported. “The technical meeting on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is being held on 30 August 2019 at Zero Point,” Faisal said. “Pakistan remains committed to completing and inaugurating the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor as announced by our prime minister and as planned.”
New Delhi and Islamabad laid the foundation stone last November. The corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab with the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in the Kartarpur area of Pakistan’s Narowal district. The corridor will allow Indian Sikh devotees to travel to the pilgrimage site without visas.
Tensions between the two countries had surged after the Indian government abrogated special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, and converted the state into two union territories. Pakistan, in response, downgraded diplomatic lies with India, cut off trade relations and sent back the Indian high commissioner to Islamabad.
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