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Pakistan Grants Consular Access To Alleged Indian Spy After ICJ Ruling

FILE: Kulbhushan Jadav met his wife and mother in Islamabad in December 2017.
FILE: Kulbhushan Jadav met his wife and mother in Islamabad in December 2017.

Pakistan says it has granted consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer sentenced to death for spying, following a decision this week by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The United Nations' top court, based in The Hague, ruled on July 17 that Pakistan should provide an "effective review" of the case and added that a "continued stay of execution" of Jadhav was needed for that to happen.

The court ruled that Pakistan had breached Jadhav's rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by not allowing Indian diplomats to visit him in jail or assist him during his trial at a military court.

"Pakistan will grant consular access to Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws for which modalities are being worked out," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement late on July 18.

Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan, the scene of a decades-long conflict between security forces and separatists. He was convicted of planning espionage and sabotage and sentenced to death, sparking outrage in India.

India then appealed to the ICJ, arguing that Pakistan had violated Jadhav's rights by denying him access to consular officials, and won an injunction to stay Jadhav's execution.

Pakistan argued that based under a bilateral treaty between the nations it was not obligated to allow diplomatic assistance for people suspected of being spies or terrorists.

Pakistani considered the ICJ ruling a favorable outcome overall, as the court did not order the acquittal and release of Jadhav.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Dawn