Days after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) slammed Pakistan for continually denying consular access to former Indian officer Kulbhushan Jadhav and asked it to reconsider as well as review its conviction of death penalty, Pakistan has now agreed to grant consular access to Jadhav in accordance with Pakistani laws, the Pakistan Foreign Office stated.

The statement is in line with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweet that hailed ICJ’s decision and simultaneously called for Pakistani laws to look into the matter.

The official confirmation came midnight in which Pakistan foreign office said it has informed Jadhav of his rights to consular access under the Vienna Convention. It also said Pakistan will grant consular access to Jadhav according to Pakistani laws only.

Further, the statement read that Pakistan will grant consular access to Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav as per Pakistani laws for which modalities were being worked out. India, on Thursday, had asked Pakistan to act forthwith when it comes to consular access to Jadhav.

The World Court on Wednesday had ruled in favour of India by a vote of 15:1 judges who supported India’s appeal that Pakistan has breached the Vienna Convention. Upholding India’s stance, the ICJ directed effective review and reconsideration of Jadhav’s conviction and death sentence by the military court. Though it dismissed India’s appeal that sought for civil court proceedings, instead of the military court in Pakistan.

In 2017, a Pakistani military court sentenced him to death after he was denied consular access. Pakistan military chief Qamar Javed Bajwa also endorsed the sentence. In the same year, India moved to the ICJ in the Hague for seeking justice. The country strongly rejected Pakistan’s spy theory, saying he was kidnapped from Iran’s Chabhar city by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. In December 2017, Pakistan allowed Jadhav’s wife and mother to meet him.

India had made three points at the ICJ for securing the release of Jadhav. First, Pakistan denied consular access to the former Indian Navy officer and violated the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Second, Islamabad did not inform New Delhi immediately after he was arrested. Third, Pakistan did not inform Jadhav of his consular rights.

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Himakshi Panwar