NEW DELHI: India on Thursday said that it was evaluating a Pakistan proposal of facilitating consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav in the light of the recent verdict by the International Court of Justice.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesman Raveesh Kumar confirmed in New Delhi that Pakistan has sent a proposal to India for facilitating consular access to Kulbhushan, but said the reply will be given through diplomatic channels.
Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017 following which India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seeking a stay on his death sentence.
“Pakistan has informed the Indian High Commission here and will await a response”, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said in Islamabad. The move comes after the ICJ ordered Pakistan on July 17 to undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.
The ICJ had in its 42-page ruling said that Pakistan had “breached” the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which gives countries the right to consular access when their nationals are arrested abroad.
Pakistan had claimed that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he reportedly entered from Iran.
India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.
There were reports that Pakistan has put a condition that a Pakistani official will have to be present when Jadhav is given consular access.
“I do not think this is the appropriate forum for me to get into the kind of modalities,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in reply.