Pakistan grants Consular Access to Jadhav

Following the verdict given by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which castigated Pakistan for denying India consular access to imprisoned former Indian naval officer Kulbhusan Jadhav, Pakistan has now granted India consular access to Jadhav.

What is consular access?

  • As per Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, “all consular officers shall be free to communicate with nationals of the sending State and to have access to them.”
  • This includes all foreign nationals who have been arrested or detained.
  • It stipulates that all arrested nationals will be given notice “without any delay” who informs of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of the cause of their arrest.
  • A consular officer shall have the unquestioned right to visit a national of the sending State who is in prison, custody or detention and should be able to talk and correspond with him without any harassment and to arrange for his legal representation.

What is the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations?

The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 is an international treaty which has been ratified by 180 states. It defines a framework for consular diplomatic relations between sovereign states. A consul is a high ranking official who operates out of an embassy in another country. He/she is mainly responsible for(1) protecting the interests of his fellow citizens in the host country, and (2) improving the economic relations between the two states.

 

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