Pakistan on Thursday said that it had no plans to provide consular access to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav for a second time, NDTV reported. On September 2,India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan Gaurav Ahluwalia had met Jadhav in Islamabad.
Jadhav is on death row in Pakistan on espionage charges.
“There would be no second consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said at a daily news briefing.
In response to Faisal’s remarks, India’s External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “We will keep trying that judgement of [the] International Court of Justice is fully implemented. We would like to remain in touch with the Pakistani side through diplomatic channels,” he said, according to ANI.
Consular access was first offered to Jadhav early in August, but New Delhi insisted on “effective and unhindered” reach to the former navy officer instead. A month later, Ahluwalia met Jadhav, following which the Ministry of External Affairs said that he appeared to be under extreme pressure to “parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan’s untenable claims”. A report on the two-hour-long meeting was not released.
It was also the first time an Indian diplomat was allowed consular access to Jadhav.
The former Navy official was sentenced to death in 2016 in Pakistan. His execution was stayed after India moved the international court against the verdict in May 2017. 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 the convention mandated that consular officers had 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”.
New Delhi maintains that Jadhav was working on his private business in Iran when he was kidnapped by Pakistan. In July, the International Court of Justice had concluded that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention in its treatment of Jadhav and ordered Islamabad not to execute him at the moment.
Pakistan to impose $20 service charge for Kartarpur visit
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s foreign ministry also said that it would charge $20 as a service fee for a visit by pilgrims to the Kartarpur corridor. “Pakistan will charge $20 per person as service fees, not entrance fees, for Kartarpur Corridor,” The Indian Express quoted Faisal as saying.
The corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur. The spokesperson said that the service charge was meant to cover 10% to 15% of the costs, which was a small part of the expenditure, Faisal added, according to Hindustan Times.
India and Pakistan had failed to come to a mutual agreement after the third rounds of talks concluded earlier this month. Pakistan had insisted on charging a service fee for allowing pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, a proposal that India had then rejected.
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.