Ten days after Pakistan granted India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav for the first time since he was detained in 2016, it said that there was no plan to permit such a meeting again.
On September 2, India’s Acting High Commissioner in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia met Jadhav, the Indian national sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court, in the presence of Pakistani officials following a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
On Thursday, responding to a question on granting consular access to Jadhav again, Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said: “There is no other meeting planned.”
India responded cautiously, with Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar saying they will continue to try for “full implementation of ICJ judgement”. He said they are in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels.
ICJ box and J&K shadow
The granting of consular access was an obligation under the International Court of Justice’s ruling. Now that it has been adhered to once, Islamabad has hardened its position in the wake of the strained relationship with India over the J&K situation.
According to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, the first consular access meeting was recorded, but there was no restriction on the language of conversation between Jadhav and Ahluwalia. In December 2017, when Jadhav’s mother and wife had met him in Islamabad, they were prevented by Pakistani officials from speaking in Marathi, their mother tongue.
After the meeting on September 2, New Delhi had said that Jadhav appeared to be under “extreme pressure” to support Islamabad’s “false narrative” in his case.
Pakistan has accused Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, of espionage while India has maintained that he was running a business in Iran from where he was abducted and illegally taken to Pakistan.