New Delhi: India on Thursday said that it would continue to pursue “full implementation” of the judgment of the International Court of Justice on Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, but didn’t clarify if New Delhi had submitted a second consular access request to Pakistan.
On September 2, Indian deputy high commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia met Jadhav at an undisclosed location for about two hours, but under the supervision of Pakistani officials. India had said that Jadhav appeared to be “under extreme pressure”, but did not provide any more details. Indian government sources had told The Wire at that time that India felt that the ICJ order had not limited consular access to just one meeting, but that there could be more in the future.
During a regular media interaction in Islamabad on Thursday (September 12), Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal was asked if consular access for Jadhav was expected. “There is no other meeting,” Faisal replied. He also seemed to add in the livestream that India is “appreciating this”, but the audio is not clear to decipher the sentence.
The transcript issued by the Pakistan foreign office of the briefing differs from the video. “Regarding your third question, there is no second meeting planned. I cannot share any further details of the meeting between Commander Jadhav and Indian Consular Officer,” Faisal is reported to have said as per the official transcript.
However, Pakistan’s statement did not make it clear if India had asked for a meeting and if it had been rejected.
A few hours later, the Indian foreign ministry spokesperson also gave an ambiguous response.
“We will continue to try to have full implementation of ICJ judgement,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in answer to a question on India’s reaction to Pakistan ‘rejecting’ the second consular meeting.
He noted that India would continue to be in touch with Pakistan through diplomatic channels, and then said he couldn’t discuss the matter further in the media.
To another question, he admitted that the final report of the Indian deputy high commissioner had been received, but he refused to disclose its details at the media briefing.
Despite the heightened tensions over Kashmir, both India and Pakistan have been rather careful to lower the rhetoric and keep away negotiations from the media spotlight in the Jadhav case.
The reference to “full implementation” of the ICJ does not just mean more consular access. While the first part of the ICJ order had called for Jadhav to be provided consular access, the World Court had also ruled that Pakistan should provide “effective review and reconsideration” of Jadhav’s conviction and sentencing by “means of its own choosing”.