Pakistan has rejected India's demand for "unimpeded consular access" to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a day after downgrading diplomatic ties with India over the latter's "unilateral" decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of special status and bifurcate in two Union Territoris (UTs). According to a report published in The Hindustan Times, talks on consular access for Kulbhushan Jadhav "have ended as of now".
On July 17, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had directed Pakistan to grant India consular access to its citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, who is facing death penalty in Pakistan on the charges of terror and spying.The ICJ had ruled that by not allowing India to communicate with Jadhav, Pakistan vioalted the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Following the ICJ's decision, Pakistan had agreed to grant India access to Kulbhashan Jadhav with conditions that its officials will be present during the meeting, which will also be recorded on tape. However, India rejected Pakistan's offer and demanded uninterrupted consular access to Jadhav "in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal".
The decision to refuse consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav came a day after Pakistan announced several deplomatic measures in protest against India's "unilateral" decision on Kashmir.
Pakistan had Wednesday announced to downgrade diplomatic ties with India and suspended bilateral trade. At the National Security Committee meeting, chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, it was also decided to recall Pakistani High Commissioner to New Delhi.
The decision from Pakistan came in response to India's move to remove part of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir a significant automony. The central government also devided the state in two Union Territories (UTs) - Jammu and Kashmir with its own legislature like Delhi and Ladakh without legislature like Chandigarh.
Pakistan, which illegaly occupied a part of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 when the state's ruler decided to join India after Independence and claims all of it, had condemned and rejected the Indian government's decision and vowed to exercise "all possible options" to counter India's "illegal" and "unilateral" step.