A day after India termed the second consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav as “neither meaningful nor credible,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Islamabad is willing to provide a third meeting with Mr Jadhav, according to the Pakistani media.
Pakistan on Thursday provided a second consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a 50-year-old Indian national, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of alleged “espionage” in April 2017.
The Indian government said the second access was “neither meaningful nor credible,” and Mr Jadhav appeared “visibly under stress”.
“The Consular Officers were not given unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional access” to Kulbhushan Jadhav, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in Delhi on Thursday.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has now said that Pakistan is willing to provide another consular access to India, reported Pakistan’s The Express Tribune.
“They (India) had objected over the presence of security officials during the meeting, we are willing even to remove those officials. If India wants another access then our offer is open. If they (India) want to meet him tonight or tomorrow, we are ready,” the Pakistani newspaper quoted Mr Qureshi as telling a local news channel.
However, there was no official confirmation, neither from India nor from Pakistan whether the decision was conveyed to New Delhi.
India approached the International Court of Justice against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.
The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July last year that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.
The first consular access under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 was earlier provided by Pakistan on September 2 last year.
Though Pakistan Foreign Ministry had assured India that the consular access on Thursday would be unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional, it turned out that the arrangements of the meeting were not in accordance with the assurances made by Islamabad, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Kulbhushan Jadhav from Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran – a claim that India rejects.
India maintains that Kulbhushan Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.