India on Friday responded to Pakistan's proposal for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national jailed on false charges in the neighbouring country. The External Affairs Ministry on Thursday confirmed receiving a proposal from Pakistan for consular access to Jadhav.
According to sources, in response to Pakistan, India had on Thursday asked to provide unimpeded consular access to Jadhav. India has sought an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal. India is currently awaiting the response of Pakistan.
"Pakistan has been asked yesterday to provide unimpeded consular access to Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav, in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal, in the light of the orders of the ICJ. Their response in now awaited," said India.
The development comes nearly a fortnight after Pakistan agreed to grant consular access to Jadhav, a decision it took a day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) held the country guilty violating the Vienna Convention.
“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. As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Commander Kulbushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out,” Pakistan`s Foreign Office had said in an official statement on July 19.
In a big setback for Pakistan, the ICJ had on July 18 suspended Jadhav's death penalty and stated that it violated the Vienna Convention by not granting India consular access to him. The UN Court also directed Pakistan to review the conviction and sentencing of Jadhav.
In its judgement, the ICJ upheld India's claim that Pakistan is in egregious violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations on several counts by 15-1 votes. The ruling comes as a big diplomatic win for India, which has categorically rejected Pakistan's allegation that Jadhav is a spy.
Jadhav, 49, was kidnapped from Balochistan by Pakistani security forces in March 2016 om false allegations that he allegedly entered the country. On March 25, 2016, the then Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry had informed the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad of Jadhav`s "arrest." Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on April 11, 2017.
India approached the ICJ against Pakistan on May 8, 2017, "for egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963" in the matter. New Delhi alleged that Pakistan is in breach of Article 36(1) (b) of the Vienna Convention, which obliged Pakistan to inform India of the arrest of Jadhav "without delay".