New Delhi: In a fresh move, Pakistan has turned down India’s request for ‘unimpeded’ consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, saying the meeting between him and the Indian diplomats will take place on the conditions set by Islamabad.
In its note verbale issued on August 3, Pakistan foreign office informed India that the meeting between Indian foreign office representatives and Mr Jadhav will take place as per law and regulations of Pakistan, which means Pakistani officials will be present during the meeting. The meeting will be recorded in a CCTV and sound recorder as well.
Sources told this newspaper that Pakistan has conveyed to India that its demand for “unimpeded” consular access to Mr Jadhav was “inappropriate” and access will be based on “existing diplomatic norms between India and Pakistan”. Pakistan has further said that such the process does not violate the Vienna Convention.
Section 2 of Article 36 of Vienna Convention with regard to consular access says: “The rights referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be exercised in conformity with the laws and regulations of the receiving state, subject to the provision, however, that the said laws and regulations must enable full effect to be given to the purposes for which the rights accorded under this article are intended.”
In accordance to the order of International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 17, Pakistan had on August 1 offered India consular access to Mr Jadhav to be held on August 3 in which it had set out several conditions for the meeting.
India had the same day responded to Pakistan, asking it to provide “unimpeded” consular access to Mr Jadhav, “in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal”, in the light of the orders of the ICJ.
“The consular access to Mr Jadhav will be given similar to the way India gives such access to Pakistan. Indian officials present at the meeting and Pakistan too will reciprocate in the same manner,” said a source in the Pakistani government. He added that providing consular access in presence of officials has been the set norm between the two sides.
“So there is no reason why Mr Jadhav should be given special status in this regard,” sources said adding that Islamabad will not make any compromise on this matter.
Meanwhile, in what seems to be fall out of the abolition of Article 370 in J&K, Pakistan on Monday refused to handover two Indian prisoners to the Indian side who have completed their prison sentence. Officials refused to give much details but Pakistani announced “re-viewing bilateral arrangements” with India.