Pakistan allows Indian officials to meet Jadhav tomorrow

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Shafaqna Pakistaan: Pakistan has granted India with consular access to convicted spy Kulbhushan Jadhav in line with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict, said Foreign Office spokesperson in a statement on Sunday.

Jadhav is on a death row in Pakistan for his involvement in terrorist activities after he was arrested in Balochistan in 2016 and subsequently sentenced to death by a military court.

The FO said the Indian officials will be allowed to meet the convicted spy on Monday in the light of the Vienna Convention.

The decision to allow consular access to Jadhav comes at a time when ties between India and Pakistan are at historic low over the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status. Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India, suspended bilateral trade among other measures in response to a month-long curfew in Kashmir and human rights violations committed by Indian troops in the occupied region.

On Aug 3, India refused Pakistan’s offer for consular access to Jadhav in its current form, saying Islamabad must provide “unimpeded” contact with the Indian spy on death row.

India had refused to meet the spy under current circumstances, seeking “unimpeded access” to the national.

The Indian government had asked the Pakistani side to “provide unimpeded consular access” to Kulbhushan Jadhav “in an environment free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal” said the report.

The two sides are currently engaged in negotiations on consular access in view of the complex diplomatic and legal issues involved.

India had expressed concerns over the meeting conditions, especially the presence of Pakistani officials during a meeting between Jadhav and Indian officials.

“This will ensure Jadhav can speak to the Indian officials freely and not be afraid of any possible reprisals,” the report quoted anonymous official as saying.

Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016 and charged with involvement in spying and subversive activities. In April 2017, he was sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan. India denies that he was a spy.

In May 2017, New Delhi petitioned the ICJ, which stayed Jadhav’s execution. In its ruling on July 17, the ICJ said its stay of the death sentence should continue and directed Pakistan to allow consular access to the convicted spy. However, it turned down India’s request to acquit the sleuth.