Pakistan to ‘grant consular access to Commander Kulbushan Jadhav’: MoFA

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Pakistan would grant consular access to Kulbushan Jadhav in accordance with the country’s laws, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release issued late Thursday.

“Pursuant to the decision of the ICJ, Commander Kulbushan Jadhav has been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” the press release read.

“As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Commander Kulbushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out,” it added.

The move came a day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced that India’s submission pertaining to the acquittal and release of Kulbhushan Jadhav could not be upheld and that his conviction and sentence were not to be regarded as a violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.

“As regards India’s claim based on the Vienna Convention, the Court considers that it is not the conviction and sentence of Mr. Jadhav which are to be regarded as a violation of the provisions of the Vienna Convention,” the verdict read.

The ICJ on Wednesday had also allowed India consular access to Jadhav and called on Pakistan to review and reconsider his conviction and sentence.

According to the ICJ, Pakistan had deprived India the right to communicate and have access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, to visit him in detention, and to arrange for his legal representation and thereby breached the obligations under Article 36, paragraph 1 (a) and (c), of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

“Article 36 states that foreign nationals who are arrested or detained be given notice without delay of their right to have their embassy and consulate be notified of the arrest and have consular officers visit them.

“Islamic Republic of Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Mr. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him in accordance with Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” the verdict added.

Further, it called on Pakistan to provide, by the means of its own choosing, effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav.

An Indian Navy officer working for Indian covert agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Commander Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan after he entered into Pakistan from Iran. He was tried in a military court that sentenced him to death for espionage and subversive activities.