India has been requesting Pakistan to grant it consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer who is imprisoned by Pakistan on charges of being a spy. What is consular access and on what grounds is Pakistan denying it?
Consular access refers to ability of a person to have access to consulate or embassy officials of his own country, while he is in a foreign host country. It has been signed into a global agreement under the following treaty.
Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963
- an international treaty that creates a framework for consular relations between independent countries.
- consular access implies ability of the citizens of a country to have communication with the diplomats and officers of their country while held in a foreign location.
- 180 parties (as of March 2019)
- image from wikipedia (green shows parties to the agreement, red shows non-signatories):
Pakistan denies India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that the convention is not applicable to spies, a charge which India denies.
More related information:
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961
- An international treaty that defines a framework for diplomatic relations between countries, and to create an environment where diplomats can work freely with any coercion, threat or harassment by the host country.
- It mentions privileges and immunities of diplomatic missions. For example, diplomats can’t usually be arrested for any crime in the host country.
- It is the cornerstone of modern international relations.