Pakistan grants India consular access to two alleged spies

Islamabad: Pakistan has granted India consular access to two Indian nationals who were arrested from Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and charged with espionage in 2020.

The meeting between Indian diplomats and the Indian nationals took place on Monday, sources said.

Though no statement was issued by the Pakistan foreign office, the sources confirmed the development.

Two Indian nationals, identified as Feroze Ahmad Lone and Noor Muhammad Wani, belong to the Gurez area in Kashmir, sources said.

Both Indian nationals were recently moved from the Gilgit-Baltistan prison to Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

Sharing details of the meeting, the sources confirmed that a three-member delegation of the Indian High Commission (IHC) in Islamabad met the two prisoners in Adiala jail, adding that officials of the Interior Ministry were also present during the meeting.

On the other hand, Indian media reports maintain that both Indian nationals had mistakenly crossed the border in November 2018.

The issue of consular access has a brief history of its own in terms of the Indo-Pak relations.

Kulbushan Jadhav, an Indian national, arrested by Pakistan in 2016 and sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage and terrorist activities; was denied consular access despite repeated requests by India.

Later, India took the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which directed Islamabad to grant consular access to Kulbushan Jadhav, voided his death sentence, and directed Pakistan to put Jadhav on trial in a civil court.

After the ICJ’s order, Indian officials were allowed to meet Jadhav under tight security on the premises of the Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad.


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