India accepts Pakistan offer of consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, hopes for 'free, fair' meeting

WION Web Team New Delhi Sep 02, 2019, 10.45 AM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo: Kulbhushan Jadhav with his mother. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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The matter of denial of consular access was taken to ICJ by India. The court gave a unanimous decision in favour of India.

India has accepted Pakistan's offer of consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav. India's Deputy High commissioner at the mission in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia will be meeting Jhadav for approximately two hours. 

It will be recalled that India has been seeking consular access for him for the last 3 years.

Also read-  Big win for India: ICJ grants consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Sources aware of the development said, "We hope that Pakistan will ensure the right atmosphere so that the meeting is free, fair, meaningful and effective in keeping with the letter and spirit of the ICJ orders."

Watch: India accepts Pak offer of consular access to Jadhav, Indian representative to meet him

This is the second time when Pakistan has offered consular access for abducted Kulbhushan Jadhav.

In a tweet, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, said, "Consular access for Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer and RAW operative, is being provided on Monday, September 2, 2019, in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgment and the laws of Pakistan."

Pakistan had first sent the proposal for consular access on July 30 but India had rejected it since it was partial consular access.

Calling Islamabad to provide full consular access for Jadhav, India in its response asked Pakistan to provide "unimpeded consular access" in an "environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal, in the light of the orders of the international court of justice(ICJ)".

Pakistani proposals had two riders - one that Pakistani security personnel will be present in the meet and there will be CCTV cameras present in the room.

According to the Vienna Convention, article 36, "Consular officer shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them" and the fact a Pakistani officer will be present means Pakistan is contravening the convention. 

The Pakistani proposal for consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav after New Delhi got a major diplomatic victory at the ICJ.

On July 17, in its verdict, President of the International Court of Justice Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said,"The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav without further delay of his rights and to provide Indian consular officers access to him in accordance with Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations"

The Court declared that Pakistan is under an obligation to inform Jadhav without further "delay of his rights." 

The court unanimously found that it had jurisdiction in the case and by a vote of 15-1, pronounced its verdict, with the sole dissenting Judge being Ad Hoc Judge Tassdduq Hussain Jillani was is the former Chief justice of Pakistan.