New Delhi: After being slammed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, a chastened Pakistan — in a press statement from Islamabad issued after midnight (IST) on Friday — announced its decision to grant consular access to Jadhav, adding that the imprisoned former Indian naval officer has “been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention”.
New Delhi had made it clear on Thursday that it expects Islamabad to immediately grant India consular access to Jadhav. Pakistan had repeatedly refused India consular access since 2016 to Jadhav and India had pointed this out to the ICJ when it took the case to Court in May, 2017.
In the press statement issued after midnight, Islamabad said, “Pursuant to the decision of the ICJ, (former) 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.”
It may be recalled that a Pakistani military court had on April 10, 2017, sentenced Jadhav to death on charges of “espionage and sabotage”. Islamabad had claimed that Mr Jadhav was “apprehended by Pakistan law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 after he illegally crossed over into Pakistan” and that he had been engaging in “espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilising and waging war against Pakistan”.
But New Delhi had consistently rubbished these claims as false and baseless. India had argued that Mr. Jadhav was ‘kidnapped from Iran, where he was carrying on business after retiring from the Indian Navy, and was then shown to have been arrested in Balochistan” on 3 March 2016 ...”.