New Delhi: Over 10 days have passed since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague asked Pakistan to give consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav but New Delhi is yet to receive an official word from Islamabad on a date for the meeting.
Jadhav, 49, was arrested in March 2016 by Pakistani authorities and sentenced to death in April 2017.
“Pakistan will have to come back with dates. India’s request for consular access has been pending with them for long. It will have to adhere to the (ICJ’s) verdict,” a senior official told ThePrint, requesting anonymity.
The official also said that India will not be making any further request for a consular access to Jadhav, who had been sentenced to death on “espionage and terrorism” charges by a Pakistani military court.
On 17 July, the ICJ had stated that Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, by failing to inform Jadhav of his right to communicate with the Indian consular post.
No official word
After the ICJ’s verdict, Pakistan had assured that it will comply with it. A day after the ruling, Islamabad said Jadhav had been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention. The Pakistan foreign ministry had stated that “modalities are being worked out” to grant him consular access.
However, no official word on a meeting with Jadhav has arrived since.
Sources in the Pakistani government told ThePrint that “Islamabad was in touch with the Indian High Commission to coordinate details” regarding consular access to Jadhav.
Pakistan, the sources also said, has been “acting reluctant” since India refused to initiate talks with it despite several requests by the Imran Khan-led government for resumption of dialogue between the two nations.
Pre-conditions for consular access?
According to official sources, Pakistan has put certain “pre-conditions” to give consular access to Jadhav. Islamabad has also refused to make it clear if the country plans to shift the case from the military court to a civil one.
In a media briefing last week, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that the Indian government is expecting to get full consular access to Jadhav in compliance with the Vienna Convention. The ministry also said that the government is in touch with Pakistani authorities in this regard.
“Pakistan will have to give access. But the neighbouring country will do it when it is ready. The country may not have seen it as an urgency. But I am sure both sides are working towards it,” said T.C.A. Raghavan, director general, Indian Council of World Affairs and former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan.
India had last made a request for consular access to Jadhav on April 2017, which was the 16th application made to Pakistan. It is when Islamabad failed to respond even then that India filed a case at the ICJ in May 2017.