Indian officer meets Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan for first timeLast updated on Sep 02, 2019, 01:50 pm
For the first time since he was imprisoned by Pakistan, former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was allowed to meet an Indian officer on Monday.
India's Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan, Gaurav Ahluwalia, met Jadhav in Pakistan, a day after Islamabad offered consular access.
Pakistan gave consular access to Jadhav after it was ordered to do so by the International Court of Justice.
Pakistan violated Vienna Convention, said ICJ
Pakistan violated the Vienna Convention of 1963 by not allowing consular access to Jadhav since 2016, the year he was arrested.
In 2017, a military court sentenced him to death on espionage charges, prompting India to go to ICJ. Eminent lawyer Harish Salve represented India at the court.
In July, the top judicial body understood India's stand and directed Pakistan to do the needful.
Pakistan's first consular access offer was rejected by India
Meanwhile, in early August, Pakistan had offered consular access, which essentially meant India could talk to Jadhav to understand how he's being treated there and support him legally.
But the conditions weren't favorable as Islamabad expressed a desire to keep its officials during the meeting as well as record it.
India denied the first offer but accepted the second one after "studying it".
Both countries discussed atmosphere of the meeting
While India was adamant on its stand that it doesn't appreciate that someone would attend the meeting or film it, Pakistan cited its own laws before making the offer.
"The rights referred to in Paragraph 1 of this Article shall be exercised in conformity with the laws and regulations of the receiving state," Pakistan said earlier, citing the same Vienna Convention it violated.
After ICJ verdict, Pakistan surprisingly rejoiced
Even after ICJ categorically told Pakistan that it can't keep a foreign national in prison and deny consular access; and said it should review its decision to award a death penalty, the country rejoiced after the verdict.
Prime Minister said Jadhav carried out crimes against his countrymen.
Pakistan remained happy that Jadhav wasn't "released" and said the judgment was a "blow for India".
Indo-Pak relations nosedived in recent weeks
Notably, Ahluwalia met Jadhav at a time when Indo-Pak tensions have peaked. Pakistan has been trying hard to gain global support over what it calls a violation of human rights in Kashmir.
Pakistan managed to get a closed-door meeting at UNSC on India's decision to rescind Article 370. However, except its all-weather ally China, almost all countries underscored Kashmir was India's internal matter.