Apr 292017

Pakistan’s high commissioner in New Delhi has effectively ruled out providing India consular access to self-confessed spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. In an interview with Times of India, Abdul Basit said Islamabad will follow domestic laws, not the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963 (VCCR), in deciding whether to entertain India’s plea or not. The envoy also made a strong pitch for starting the December 2015 Composite Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) which, he insisted, was the right way of addressing even India’s concerns on cross-border terrorism, including the delay in Mumbai trial and lack of progress in Pathankot airbase attack case. Basit blamed India for the delay in Mumbai trial saying that progress was linked to the need for Pakistan authorities to examine 24 Indian witnesses. India has requested for consular access to Jadhav on 16 occasions. Basit, however, said the Vienna Convention, to which Pakistan is party, cannot get precedence over domestic laws. Pakistan has sufficient evidence against Jadhav: Abdul Basit “He was arrested on March 3 last year. He faced trial for both espionage and sabotage. And conviction was announced. There was nothing arbitrary or whimsical about it. Even Pakistanis guilty of such offences are sentenced to death,” he pointed out. “The Vienna Convention doesn’t take precedence over our domestic laws. We do have a bi-lateral agreement on consular access which clearly stipulates that in such security-related cases, access would be decided on merit. Frankly speaking, India knows what we’re talking about. This is not at ordinary case,” he said. The [Read More…]

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