India on Friday accused Pakistan of failing to provide unimpeded consular access to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in the country on charges of espionage, ANI reported.
“Pakistan has consistently failed to address the core issues in the implementation of ICJ judgement in Kulbhushan Jadhav case in its letter and spirit,” Anurag Srivastava, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said during a virtual press briefing. “These issues pertain to the provision of relevant documents as well as providing unimpeded consular access to Kulbhushan.”
Earlier this month, the Islamabad High Court had constituted a larger three-member bench to hear the petition filed by the government to appoint a legal representative for Jadhav. The new bench includes Chief Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for September 3.
Last week, the foreign ministry had said that Pakistan has not reached out to India regarding the Islamabad High Court’s order for the appointment of a lawyer.
In July, India had accused Pakistan of blocking all legal remedies to Jadhav and accused the country of adopting a “farcical approach” to the case. On July 17, Pakistan had claimed it had offered to grant India consular access to Jadhav for the third time without the presence of a security guard. India had got the second consular access to Jadhav on July 16, but the officials who had gone to meet him alleged that they were not provided “unimpeded access” and that he was visibly under stress due to the presence of Pakistani officials at the meeting.
A Pakistani military court had sentenced Jadhav to death in April 2017 for allegedly spying for India. Jadhav’s execution was stayed after India moved the International Court of Justice against the verdict in May 2017. India had contended in the court in The Hague that the lack of consular access to Jadhav was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
In its July 2019 judgement, 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. Following the court’s judgement, Pakistan allowed India access to the former naval officer.