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Pakistan to give Jadhav consular access: FO

Updated July 19, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: In an important announcement, the Foreign Office said on Thursday that consular access would be granted to Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian spy sentenced by Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism.

It said that as a responsible state Pakistan would grant consular access to Jadhav according to the country’s laws, for which modalities were being worked out.

The FO in a press release said that pursuant to the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Commander Jadhav had been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Conven­tion on Consular Relations.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the ICJ judgement in the Jadhav case, and said Pakistan would proceed in the matter as per law.

In a tweet, Mr Khan said: “Appreciate ICJ’s decision not to acquit, release and return Commander Kul­bhushan Jadhav to India.”

He said the serving Indian naval commander was guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan and action would be taken against him in accordance with law.

The Hague-based court on Wednesday rejected India’s request for acquittal, release and return of Commander Jadhav. However, the ICJ asked Pakistan to provide consular access to him under the Vienna Convention.

In its verdict that followed proceedings lasting about two years, the UN’s top court did not accept India’s contention that Jadhav was entitled to ‘restitutio in integrum’ (restoration to original position) and turned down its request to annul the decision of a military court.

Instead, it ruled that Pakistan by means of its own choosing could undergo an effective review and reconsideration of the sentence awarded to Jadhav.

Commander Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016 in a counter-intelligence operation in Balochistan. A military court awarded him death sentence on April 10, 2017 following his confession that he had mounted operations for India’s Research and Analysis Wing to conduct terrorist activities on Pakistani soil.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2019