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Indian consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav COMMENT

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12 Punto 14 Punto 16 Punto 18 Punto presents comment of Dr. Monish Tourangbam, Indian Senior Assistant Professor at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal Academy of Higher Education about the first meeting between an official from the Indian high commission in Islamabad and the Indian detainee Kulbushan Jadhav'.

India’s approach to the Kulbhushan Jadhav case has been largely vindicated with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict, to stay the execution order on Jadhav and to allow consular access, which had been previously denied by Pakistan. While speaking to the media, the Official Spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar said, “The Charge d’ Affaires, High Commission of India in Islamabad, met Shri Kulbhushan Jadhav.” According to him, India will be deciding on “a further course of action after receiving a detailed report from” the Charge d’ Affaires “and determining the extent of conformity to the ICJ directives”. Jadhav has been in Pakistan’s custody, accused of indulging in espionage in Pakistan’s territory. Pakistan has often attempted to malign India, accusing it of fomenting instability in Balochistan. Jadhav’s, a retired Indian Naval officer, the case clearly reflects Pakistan’s intention to dent India’s image as a responsible actor in the international system.

India has been arguing based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations that Jadhav was entitled to access to Indian consular services, and the ICJ judgment has vindicated India’s position. Jadhav’s trial carried out in secrecy in a Pakistani military court has been dismissed by India as a sham, minus any modicum of a free and fair trial. India’s position and demands on the Jadhav case have been well within the norms and practices of civilized diplomatic relations among sovereign countries. Repeated request for consular access to Jadhav by India was denied by Pakistan. Pakistan has relented only after the ICJ judgment. No chance whatsoever had been given to the detainee to seek a counsel of his choice and there was a long delay in communicating Jadhav’s case to the Indian High Commission in Pakistan. The circumstances and charges under which Jadhav was arrested and the secret trial in a Pakistani military court and the death sentence handed out, has been exposed now. The ICJ has overwhelmingly supported the rights of the detainee and hence vindicated what India has all along been arguing. Following the consular access provided, it remains to be seen how it affects Pakistan’s approach to the case, and how Indian diplomacy will approach this case with the Pakistani establishment and the wider international community.

2019.09.03 / 17:07
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