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Pakistan Grants Consular Access To Indian Facing Death Penalty

Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan in 2016. (file photo)
Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan in 2016. (file photo)

Pakistan has granted consular access to a former Indian naval officer sentenced to death for spying in a case that has caused tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

The Foreign Ministry said it allowed an Indian diplomat in Islamabad to meet with imprisoned Kulbhushan Jadhav on September 2 in compliance with a July order from the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The ICJ ruled that Pakistan had breached Jadhav's rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by not allowing Indian diplomats to visit him in jail or assist him during his trial at a military court.

A spokesman for the Indian Foreign Ministry said Jadhav "appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan’s untenable claims."

Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan, the scene of a decades-long conflict between security forces and separatists. He was convicted of planning espionage and sabotage and sentenced to death, sparking outrage in India.

New Delhi has contested Pakistan's claim that Jadhav was a serving officer of India's navy and a spy.

Tensions have soared between the two countries in recent weeks following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move last month to revoke the autonomy of its portion of the disputed Kashmir region.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal, AP, AFP, Dawn, and dpa