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Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet Indian officials on September 2

Pakistan will provide consular access to alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav on Monday, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Sunday.

Ministry Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted: “Consular access for Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer and RAW operative, is being provided on Monday 2 September 2019, in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgement & the laws of Pakistan.”

Dr. Faisal added that Commander Jadhav remains in Pakistan’s custody “for espionage, terrorism and sabotage.” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had confirmed the news earlier in the day.

After the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan agreed to provide consular access to Mr. Jadhav, 49, who was arrested in Balochistan province in March 2016. He was sentenced to death in April 2017.

“Commander Jadhav remains in Pakistan’s custody for espionage, terrorism and sabotage,” he said.

 

India said on August 29 it had asked for “immediate, effective and unhindered” consular access and was in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels.

However, Mr. Faisal’s tweets on September 1 didn’t say if the access was unhindered as demanded by India.

On August 1, the Pakistan Foreign Office said Mr. Jadhav would be granted consular access the next day. However, the meeting, which was scheduled for 3 p.m. on August 2, did not materialise amid differences between India and Pakistan on the terms of the access.

On July 17, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence and grant consular access to India without further delay.

One of the conditions put by Pakistan reportedly was the presence of a Pakistani official when Mr. Jadhav is allowed to meet Indian officials. India rejected it, insisting that the access be “unimpeded” and be in the light of the ICJ judgment.

Pakistan says its security forces arrested Mr. Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016, after he entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

(With inputs from PTI) 

Source: thehindu.com

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