After a second consular access given to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan on Thursday, 16 July, India , hit back saying the Indian officers were not given unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional access to the former Indian Navy officer currently in Pakistan’s custody.
In the second consular access to Jadhav, two consular officers of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad met Jadhav at 3 pm, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Pakistani officials with an “intimidating demeanour” were present in close proximity of Jadhav and consular officers despite the protests of the Indian side, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
“It was also evident from a camera that was visible that the conversation with Jadhav was being recorded. He was visibly under stress and indicated that clearly to the consular officers. The arrangements did not permit a free conversation between them,” the MEA said.
“The Consular Officers could not engage Kulbhushan Jadhav on his legal rights and were prevented from obtaining his written consent for arranging his legal representation,” the MEA alleged.
The MEA was informed by the officers that the access being offered by Pakistan was neither meaningful nor credible and that they left the venue after lodging a protest.
“It is clear that Pakistan’s approach to this matter continues to be obstructive and insincere. It has not only violated its assurance to the International Court of Justice to fully implement the 2019 judgement, but also failed to act in accordance with its own Ordinance,” the MEA said.
The development comes just days before the 20 July deadline for Jadhav to file the review petition for reconsideration of his death sentence and conviction.
“Pakistan provided second consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav at the Indian request today. Two consular officers of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad were provided unimpeded and uninterrupted consular access to Jadhav at 1500 hrs,” a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Ministry earlier said.
Pakistan’s Additional Attorney General Ahmed Irfan on 8 July had announced that Jadhav has refused to file a petition for review.
India had slammed Pakistan’s claims and called them “a farce that has been in play for the last four years”. India alleged that Jadhav has been coerced into not filing a review petition against his conviction.
Previously, Jadhav was granted consular access in September 2019, after the directions of the Intenational Court of Justice (ICJ).
Jadhav, a retired naval officer, was arrested by Pakistan on 3 March 2016 and accused of being an Indian spy and a terrorist. He was tried by a military court, convicted and sentenced to death in early 2017. India took Pakistan to the ICJ over the case.
“We have been pursuing through diplomatic channels full and effective implementation of the ICJ judgment in the case of Kulbushan Jadhav. The media statement made by Pakistan today in the case seeks to mask its continuing reticence to implement ICJ judgment in letter and spirit,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said on 8 July.
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