04:44 GMT02 December 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Given the Pakistani Government's posture in saying it will provide "consular access" to jailed Indian Kulbhushan Jadhav as per its laws, New Delhi responded by insisting on "full consular access". In 2017, Jadhav, 49, was given the death sentence by a Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism".

    India, however, claimed Jadhav is a former Indian navy officer and was kidnapped in, and taken from Iran.

    "We expect that full consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav should be granted at the earliest in full compliance and conformity with International Court of Justice judgement and the Vienna Convention," India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday during a weekly briefing.

    "We are in touch, and we have conveyed our demands for full consular access to the Pakistani side in this regard through our diplomatic channels," the Indian ministry's spokesperson added.

    Earlier in the day, Pakistan Foreign Ministry said the consular access will be given and (now) "work has been started on that".

    However, more clarity about Pakistan's meaning of consular access came last week when the ministry said it will grant consular access to Commander Kulbushan Jadhav "according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out".

    On 17 July, the International Court of Justice found Pakistan was "under obligation to cease internationally wrongful acts of a continuing character" for violating the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Pakistan had not allowed consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav despite Indian request of over dozen times since his arrest was announced in March 2016.

    The dispute over whether Pakistan will allow Indian officials to meet imprisoned Jadhav to converse in private, lies in the interpretation of the Vienna Convention, as it does not clearly spell out the nature of meetings.

    Paragraph 2 of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention 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 proviso, 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".

    If Pakistan allows the consular access as per their prison rule, it will depend on a case to case basis whether conversation would be private or not.

    In December 2017, Pakistan had allowed the family of Jadhav to meet him in jail as a humanitarian gesture, but the meeting was not private at all.

    Jadhav interacted with mother and wife only through an intercom, with five Pakistani officials present, and no physical contact allowed. The Indian Foreign Ministry had accused Pakistan of harassing the mother and wife of Jadhav during the meeting.


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