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Pakistan to provide consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

02 September, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will provide consular access on Monday to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav who is being held on charges of espionage and terrorism, the Foreign Office said on Sunday. Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal announced the decision via a post on Twitter.

"Consular access for Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer, and RAW operative is being provided on Monday, September 2, 2019, in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgment and the laws of Pakistan," he wrote.

"Commander Jadhav remains in Pakistan’s custody, for espionage, terrorism, and sabotage," he said in another tweet.

The Hague-based International Court of Justice on July 17 had rejected India’s request for acquittal, release, and return of Commander Jadhav. However, the world court asked Pakistan to provide consular access to him under the Vienna Convention.

Following the verdict, the FO had announced 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.

On August 1, Pakistan had formally approached the Indian government with an offer to grant consular access to Jadhav.

The FO spokesperson had said in a weekly briefing that day that work was being done on granting consular access to Jadhav and that measures in this regard were being taken in accordance with the ICJ's decision.

Speaking in New Delhi that same day, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar had confirmed that they had received a proposal from Pakistan.

"We have received a proposal from Pakistan. We are evaluating the proposal in the light of [the] ICJ judgement," The Economic Times had quoted him as saying.

Kumar had said India will "maintain communication with Pakistan in this matter through diplomatic channels".

On Thursday, Kumar had told the media that both sides were in touch regarding Jadhav through diplomatic back channels but said he could not divulge details.

"Pakistan and India remain in touch about Kulbhushan. Let's see what Pakistan says," Kumar had said.

Jadhav — a serving commander of the Indian Navy associated with Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan on allegations of espionage and terrorism.

In his subsequent trial at a military court, Jadhav had confessed to his involvement in terrorist plots.

The spy was subsequently sentenced to death in 2017. However, India insisted that Jadhav was not a spy and said he was kidnapped from Iran.

On April 10, 2017, Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa had endorsed the death penalty for Jadhav. In June 2017, the Indian spy had filed a mercy petition against the death penalty, in which he again confessed to his involvement in terrorist activities.

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