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India accepts Pakistan's offer of consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

A source said, "We hope that Pakistan will ensure the right atmosphere so that the meeting is free, fair, meaningful and effective in keeping with the letter and spirit of the ICJ orders."

India accepts Pakistan's offer of consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav
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New Delhi: India accepted Pakistan's offer of consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav on Monday. India's Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan Gaurav Ahluwalia will meet Jadhav for approximately two hours. Incidentally, India has been seeking consular access for him for the last three years.

A source said, "We hope that Pakistan will ensure the right atmosphere so that the meeting is free, fair, meaningful and effective in keeping with the letter and spirit of the ICJ orders."

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Jadhav, 49, was kidnapped from Balochistan by Pakistani security forces on March 2016, on false allegations that he was an Indian spy. India's multiple requests for consular access had been rejected by Pakistan for which the ICJ held the country guilty of violating the Vienna Convention.

Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal in a tweet on Sunday had said, "Consular access for Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer and RAW operative, is being provided on Monday 2 September 2019, in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgement & the laws of Pakistan."

Pakistan had first sent the proposal for consular access on July 30 but India had rejected it since it was partial consular access and Sunday's proposal was for the second time.

Calling Islamabad to provide full consular access for Jadhav, India in its response asked Pakistan to provide "unimpeded consular access" in an "environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal, in the light of the orders of the international court of justice(ICJ)".

Pakistan's proposals had two riders--one that Pakistani security personnel will be present in the meet and there will be CCTV cameras present in the room.

According to the Vienna Convention, article 36, "Consular officer shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending state and have access to them" and the fact a Pakistani officer will be present means Pakistan is contravening the convention. 

The Pakistani proposal for consular access to Jadhav came after New Delhi got a major diplomatic victory at the ICJ.

On July 17, in its verdict, President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said, "The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is under an obligation to inform 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 Court declared that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav without further "delay of his rights." The court unanimously found that it had jurisdiction in the case and by a vote of 15-1, pronounced its verdict, with the sole dissenting Judge being Ad Hoc Judge Tassdduq Hussain Jillani was is the former Chief justice of Pakistan.