Kulbhushan Jadhav, on a death row in Pakistan for alleged spying, met his wife and mother with a glass screen in between

Do you think Pakistan has dishonoured its international commitment to grant consular access to Jadhav?

Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who is on death row in Pakistan for alleged spying has been denied consular access for 16 times in a row in the last one year despite India’s request. Pakistan had recently stated that it granted the consular access to Jadhav, but Indian officials downplayed the claim. Pakistan said that Jadhav was given a “fair trial”, and also claimed that his passport bore a Muslim name – something they allege India has refused to explain.

Pakistan has denied India consular access to Jadhav 16 times. This has been seen as egregious violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. India contended that Pakistan should have provided the consular officers’ access to Jadhav. As per the Article 94 of the UN Charter, all members of the UN have to comply with the ICJ decisions in cases in which they are parties. Both India and Pakistan have signed and ratified this. An “Optional Protocol” to Vienna Convention on Consular Relations also exists for compulsory settlement of disputes. In contentious case, the court’s judgements remain final and the UN Council can compel the states to follow court’s ruling but there are several problems with its enforcement.

Pakistan’s denial of ICJ’s order to provide consular access contributes in the sinking of bilateral relations to its lowest point. Pakistan faces the prospect of falling between two stools in Jadhav case as a violation of International Law cannot be mitigated by inconspicuous access to family members.

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