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Indian official meets death row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Sep 2: India’s Charge d’affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia met Indian death row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav after Pakistan granted consular access to him “in line with the International Court of Justice judgement” delivered in July.
Jadhav, a former naval officer sentenced to death in Pakistan over allegations of spying and terrorism.

The meeting between Ahluwalia, India’s Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan, and Jadhav began at about 12.56 local time and lasted for about two hours.

This is the first time India got access to Jadhav since his arrest by Pakistani security forces in March 2016. Pakistan claimed Jadhav was arrested from the restive Balochistan province after he entered the region from Iran.

India has maintained that Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer was illegally abducted by Pakistan from Iran,where he was running a business. He was sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism by a military court in April 2017.

“We hope that Pakistan will ensure the right atmosphere so that the meeting is free, fair, meaningful and effective in keeping with the letter and spirit of the ICJ’s orders,” ANI had earlier reported citing government sources.

 India challenged the decision of a death sentence to Jadhav in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. The ICJ brought a stay of Jadhav’s execution and asked Pakistan to review the death sentence awarded to him.

The International Court of Justice had in July accepted India’s argument and asked Pakistan to comply by the Vienna convention and asked Pakistan to provide consular access to Jadhav and also review his death sentence.

Government was hopeful  that Pakistan will ensure right atmosphere so that the meeting is free, fair, meaningful and effective in keeping with the letter and spirit of the ICJ’s orders.

A tweet from Pakistan’s foreign office on Sunday said India will be given consular access to him on Monday “in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgement & the laws of Pakistan”.

Earlier, Pakistan had offered consular access on August 1, but with conditions – that one Pakistani official would be present alongside.

On August 2, India had asked Pakistan to provide “unimpeded consular access” to Jadhav, in an environment “free from the fear of intimidation and reprisal”, after Islamabad said it has sent a proposal to New Delhi allowing consular access to the Indian national.

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