New Delhi: India on Monday got the first consular access to Kulbhushan Jhadav. India's Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia met Jhadav at a sub jail for two hours starting 12 noon, Pakistan time.
The Indian diplomat found Jhadav under 'extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan's untenable claims', according to a release issued by Ministry of External Affairs.
MEA in its release said, "Consular access is a part of the binding obligations of Pakistan, as ordered by the ICJ, to ensure effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence awarded to Jadhav through a farcical process."
The Pakistani foreign ministry said that the meeting happened in the 'presence of officials of Government of Pakistan' and while there was 'no restriction on the language of communication', the entire meet was recorded and this was conveyed to the Indian side.
A comprehensive report will be sent by the Indian Mission in Islamabad to the Ministry of External Affairs and on the basis of the report by Indian DHC Ahluwalia, New Delhi will determine the next course of action and if the meet conformed to the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) directive.
The Pakistani proposal for consular access for Jadhav came after New Delhi got a major diplomatic victory at the ICJ on 17th July. The world court had asked Pakstan to 'provide Indian consular officers access to him in accordance with Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.'
New Delhi had called on Islamabad to provide full 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).'
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to the mother of Jadhav on and briefed her about the developments and Monday's meet is the first of the many consular access meets that are expected to happen in the future.
Pakistan's second proposal for consular access was announced on Sunday. Islamabad had first sent the proposal for consular access on 30th July but India had rejected it since it was partial consular access.
India maintains that Jadhav was abducted by Pakistani agencies from Iran, and New Delhi was first informed about his custody by Pakistani authorities on 25th March 2016, after which in 2017, Islamabad announced that military has awarded death sentence to him.
(Additional reporting by Anas Mallick in Islamabad)