Islamabad: Two days after the International Court of Justice in its verdict found that Pakistan has acted in breach of the obligations incumbent on it under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Islamabad on Friday agreed to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.
“Pakistan will grant consular access to Commander Kulbushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out.” the foreign office said in statement on late Thursday.
The ministry also said that Mr Jadhav has been ‘informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.’
Earlier on Wednesday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stayed Jadhav’s execution stating that it should remain suspended ‘until Pakistan effectively reviews and reconsiders the conviction or sentence in light of Pakistan’s breach of Article 36 (1), that is, denial of consular access and notification.’
With the ICJ verdict, India’s legal battle for seeking justice for Jadhav managed to provide some relief in getting consular access which was repeatedly denied by Pakistan.
The ICJ’s verdict was welcomed by all senior leaders across the nation. “We welcome today’s verdict in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Truth and justice have prevailed. Congratulations to the ICJ for a verdict based on extensive study of facts. I am sure Kulbhushan Jadhav will get justice. Our Government will always work for the safety and welfare of every Indian.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in a tweet.
Jadhav, 49, was allegedly arrested on March 3, 2016 by Pakistan and India was informed later on March 25. Pakistan claims that Jadhav was a spy and serving Indian Navy officer, while India has stoutly denied this by asserting that Jadhav was a former navy officer doing business at Iran’s Chabahar port and was kidnapped by Pakistani agents. His military trial took place and he was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017.
India first approached the ICJ on May 8, 2017, over Pakistan’s violation of provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 by repeatedly denying it consular access to Jadhav.
India’s pleadings, made before ICJ by senior advocate Harish Salve, focused on the fact that the Jadhav trial was held in a military court which was only quasi-judicial and hence lacked internationally recognized procedures and Pakistan violated the Vienna convention on consular access.
Apart from asking that the ICJ direct Pakistan “to release the convicted Indian national forthwith”, India had also asked for his safe passage which was rejected by ICJ.