Pakistan offers India third consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

India claimed that environment of meeting with spy on July 16 was not ‘friendly’


Our Correspondent July 16, 2020
Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

A day after Indian diplomats walked out of the meeting with Kulbhushan Jadhav without even hearing him out, Pakistan on Friday offered another consular access to New Delhi.

In a TV interview, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday, had said that Pakistan was willing to provide another consular access to India without the presence of security personnel.

On Friday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui confirmed the development and said that Pakistan had informed India in writing, offering them to meet Jadhav for the third time.

The spokesperson said that the offer was made as “goodwill gesture” after India claimed that the environment of meeting with Jadhav on July 16 was not “friendly”.

New Delhi had objected to the presence of a security personnel during the meeting, although Pakistan had accepted all other demands such as arranging meeting without a glass partition and without audio or video recording.

The Indian High Commission was told that Pakistan was now willing to even remove the security personnel but the Indian government has yet to respond to the latest offer.

The government’s decision to offer another consular access to Jadhav raised many eyebrows with some opposition parties questioning why government was extending such facilities to a spy, who confessed to have been involved in terrorism.

A Foreign Office source explained that there were some legal formalities that Pakistan had to fulfil in order to implement the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision.

In July 2019, the ICJ ruled that Pakistan must grant consular access to India without any delay and at the same called for the “effective review and reconsideration” of the Jadhav’s case.

Commander Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016 in a counter-intelligence operation from Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military court a year later. His mercy petition had been pending before the army chief.

The source observed that India was being granted consular access to fulfil its obligations under an ordinance promulgated in May.

The ordinance provides Jadhav and Indian government a legal option to file a review or appeal before the Islamabad High Court within two months of the issuance of the ordinance.

Since the ordinance was issued on May 20, the deadline expires on July 20.

Jadhav had already refused to file a review but Pakistan wanted India to avail the option.

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