In a latest development to the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, India was granted consular access by Pakistan. The consular access to Jadhav comes amid intense tensions between India and Pakistan. The tensions between the two countries became particularly high after India decided to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and revoke the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate it into two union territories.
On August 7,2019 Pakistan went ahead and expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria after it downgraded the diplomatic ties with India due to the Kashmir conundrum.
But finally, the Pakistan government agreed to give India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav on Sunday and India accepted the offer on Monday.
Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav?
Kulbhushan Jadhav is a national of India. The Pakistani government alleges that he had been arrested in Pakistan’s Baluchistan area in 2016 on charges of terrorism and spying for India’s intelligence wing RAW.
On the contrary, the Indian government maintains that Khulbhushan was ‘kidnapped’ from Iran and that his presence in Pakistan has never been explained properly.
The Indian government recognised Jadhav as a former naval officer but denied any current links with him and asserted that he had been abducted from Iran.
On April 10,2017, Jadhav was given the death sentence by the Pakistan government. It was in July 2017 that the International Court of Justice stayed the execution order by the Paksitan government and asked it to await the final judgement on the case.
In July 2019, the court also rejected India’s appeal for Jadhav’s release and asked Pakistan to suspend the execution order. It also ordered Pakistan to review the entire process of his trial and provide India with consular access.
A Prolonged Fight for Consular Access
A prolonged fight between India and Pakistan has finally resulted in Pakistan offering India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia met with Jadhav. It is still not known whether the consular access session was unhindered as demanded by India. One of the conditions that was put forward by Pakistan was that during the consular access, a Pakistani official should be allowed to remain present. India didn’t agree to this and asked for an ‘unimpeded’ consular access in accordance with the judgement of the ICJ.