India has been granted consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav for the first time after he was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in 2017. Mohammed Faisal, the spokesperson of Pakistan Foreign Ministry proclaimed that consular access for Jadhav was granted in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment and the laws of Pakistan. Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy Officer is being provided with consular access on September 2. This comes amidst tensions between India-Pakistan relations post the abrogation of Article 370.
On August 1, the Pakistan Foreign Office announced consular access. However, the meeting did not materialise as Pakistan wanted the presence of an officer from its side during Jadhav's meeting with the Indian officials. India, on the other hand, demanded unrestricted access to Jadhav under the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations. This announcement comes six months after differences between New Delhi and Islamabad surfaced with regards to India's stance of no restriction during the grant of consular access.
"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," Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted.
Faisal had earlier said that India and Pakistan were in contact on 'issue of granting consular access' to Kulbhushan Jadhav. On the same day, India made a statement asserting that 'immediate, effective and unhindered' consular access was to be attained and was in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels to achieve it. On July 17, ICJ asked Pakistan to make 'effective review and reconsideration' of the conviction of Jadhav. ICJ also urged to grant him consular access without further delay.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan back in 2016. He was accused of terrorism, spying and generating trouble in the state. ICJ asked Pakistan to delay the judgment on his sentence and grant him consular access. The ICJ also reminded Pakistan of provisions of the Vienna Convention that asserts a framework for consular relations between both the countries. It consequently directed Pakistan to review and rethink the decision of the death sentence.