On August 1, Pakistan Foreign Office said the retired Indian Navy officer on death row will be granted consular access. (File Photo)
In a major setback for Kulbhushan Jadhav, Pakistan today ruled out second consular access to the Indian national. Dr Mohammad Faisal, Spokesperson, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs conformed the news. The development comes almost a fortnight after Islamabad gave consular access to India and allowed senior envoy to meet Jadhav. On September 3, India had formally accepted Pakistan’s offer for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. India's Charge d'affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia met the former navy officer. In a statement after the September 3 meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that Jadhav appears to be under extreme pressure to parrot Pakistan's false narrative. "While we await a comprehensive report, it was clear that he appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pak’s untenable claims. We"ll decide a further course of action after receiving a detailed report from our Charge d’ Affaires and determining the extent of conformity to the ICJ directives," the ministry said.
On September 2, Islamabad had said that ‘in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations’, the officials have decided to grant consular access to India. Jadhav was arrested in Pakistan’s restive province of Balochistan in 2016 and is accused of terrorism, spying, and fomenting trouble in the region. He was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in 2017.
However, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) based in The Hague, Netherlands, directed Pakistan to stay his execution and allow him consular access, in a 15-1 decision on July 17.
On August 1, Pakistan Foreign Office said the retired Indian Navy officer on death row will be granted consular access the next day.
However, the meeting, which was scheduled for 3 pm on August 2, did not materialise amid differences between India and Pakistan on the terms of the consular access to Jadhav. Earlier, Faisal said Pakistan and India were in contact on the "issue of granting consular access" to Jadhav.
On July 17, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay. One of the conditions put by Pakistan reportedly was the presence of a Pakistani official when Jadhav is allowed to meet Indian officials as part of the consular access.
India did not agree to the condition, making clear its position that the consular access must be "unimpeded" and should be in the light of the judgement by the ICJ. Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.