India seeks full consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav at the earliest

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NEW DELHI:India on Thursday sought full consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan following his conviction of alleged involvement in espionage, in line with a recent judgement of the International Court of Justice and international conventions.

On July 17, the UN’s main court ruled Pakistan had violated Jadhav’s rights to consular access and called for a review of the death sentence given to him by a military court at an appropriate forum of Islamabad’s choice. The ICJ gave the verdict in response to India’s petition challenging the death sentence.

“There has been a favourable judgement from the ICJ in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav. We expect that full consular access to Jadhav should be granted at the earliest in full compliance and conformity with the ICJ judgement and the Vienna Convention (on Consular Relations),” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told a news briefing.

“We are in touch with the Pakistani side in this regard through diplomatic channels and as and when there is an update, we will let you know,” he added.

Kumar refused to answer questions on whether Pakistan would again send Jadhav’s case to a military court, describing it as “speculative”.

Pakistan had earlier said it would “proceed as per law” and reiterated its allegations that Jadhav was involved in espionage and terror acts.

In response to another question regarding Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks at an interaction at a Washington-based think tank on Tuesday that some 40,000 trained militants were based in Pakistan, Kumar said this was a “glaring admission by the Pakistani leadership”.

Noting that this wasn’t the first time Pakistan has “owned up to the presence of training camps and terrorists” on its soil, including those who are sent to India to perpetrate acts of terror”, he said the world community too is aware of this.

“Since the prime minister has acknowledged that terrorists are being trained and sent to Kashmir to fight, it is time for them to take credible and irreversible action against terror camps which exist in areas which are under the control of Pakistan,” Kumar said. “We feel that half-hearted steps to please the international community…won’t do.”