Kulbhushan Jadhav: India seeks "immediate, effective and unhindered" consular access

Vikash Aiyappa

New Delhi, Dec 07: India said it has asked for "immediate, effective and unhindered" consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav from Pakistan and was in touch with the neighbouring country through diplomatic channels on the matter.

After Pakistan had said in September that second consular access to Jadhav would not be granted, India had asserted that it will keep trying for full implementation of the verdict by the International Court of Justice in his case.

"On Kulbhushan Jadhav, we are in touch with the Pakistani side through diplomatic channels. Would not like to disclose what is the nature of discussion on this matter at a public forum," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said when asked about any development on second consular access to Jadhav.

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"We have requested immediate, effective and unhindered consular access from Pakistan in light of the ICJ judgement and we will see where it goes. But, yes there is some communication that is going on between India and Pakistan on this issue," he said.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. Weeks later, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and to challenge the death sentence.

In its verdict in the case on July 17, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to undertake an "effective" review of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and asked it to grant consular access to him without further delay.

Charge d' Affaires at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia met Jadhav on September 2 after Pakistan granted consular access to the retired Indian Navy officer following a directive from the ICJ.

After the meeting, the MEA had said Jadhav appeared to be under "extreme pressure" to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan's untenable claims in his case.

Asked about Mumbai terror attacks trial in Pakistan, Kumar said, "We all know who the perpetrators of the attack were. We all know who the mastermind is. We are also aware that the mastermind of this attack is roaming freely, he is enjoying Pakistan's hospitality."

Verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav eased Indo-Pak tensions: ICJ chief

"We are also aware of the link this attack had to the elements within the Pakistani establishment. There is a certain responsibility they have, they have an international obligation to take action. You are also aware that we have shared all the evidence with them. Now it is the responsibility of Pakistan to take action," he said.

Pakistan has shied away from in the past from taking action citing different excuses which of course is not working internationally and among the global community there is a feeling that Pakistan is not serious in taking action against those who are involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, he said.

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