By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan on Thursday said it would grant consular access to an alleged Indian spy in pursuant to the judgement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) .
On Wednesday, the ICJ had ruled that alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row, be treated under the Vienna convention asking Pakistan to provide him consular access, and continue to stay his execution.
In its 15-1 verdict delivered by the ICJ bench led by President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, however rejected India’s demands for acquittal, release and repatriation of Jadhav apart from annulment of military court conviction
"Pursuant to the decision of the ICJ, Commander Kulbushan Jadhav has been informed of his rights under Article 36, Paragraph 1(b) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations," a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.
"As a responsible state, Pakistan will grant consular access to Commander Kulbushan Jadhav according to Pakistani laws, for which modalities are being worked out," it added.
The ICJ had rejected Islamabad’s objections to the ICJ’s jurisdiction and admissibility of India’s application declaring that it had jurisdiction under Article I of the Optional Protocol to entertain India’s claims based on alleged violations of the Vienna Convention.
Jadhav — who Pakistan says was a serving officer in the Indian Navy — was arrested in March 2016 in Mashakel town, a few miles from the Iranian border. According to the military, he was using the Muslim name Hussein Mubarak Patel.
Officials accuse Jadhav of running a spy network for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency from the Iranian port of Chabahar.
Jadhav was later tried by a military court that sentenced him to death in April 2017 on espionage and terrorism charges. No date, however, was set for his execution, which would be by hanging.
According to the military, Jadhav had confessed before the court to having been tasked to “plan, coordinate and organize espionage/sabotage activities aiming to destabilize and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts of law enforcement agencies for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.”
New Delhi rejects Islamabad's charges declaring Jadhav a retired navy officer who was “kidnapped" from Iran, where he was doing his own business and his subsequent presence in Pakistan was never explained credibly.
India also threatened if the sentence against its citizen was carried out then it would be regarded as “a case of premeditated murder”.
New Delhi had moved to the ICJ, which stayed Jadhav's execution in July 2017.