ISLAMABAD     -    Pakistan has told India that Islamabad will not allow regular meetings with convicted spy Kulbushan Jadhav as requested by New Delhi.

Senior government officials said Pakistan had granted consular access to the Indian spy under the International Court of Justice order and also allowed his family to meet him in the recent past.

“India, however, wants a regular access which is not possible. Even the ICJ did not ask us to allow such meetings,” a senior official told The Nation on Friday.

Another official said Pakistan had asked India to make the atmosphere “conducive” for any “friendly requests.”

“With the ongoing bloodshed in Kashmir, how can we make friendly gestures,” he said, citing diplomatic contacts.

Pakistan had granted consular access to Jadhav in September as directed by the ICJ. Months earlier, a meeting with his family was arranged.

Jadhav, a serving commander of the Indian Navy associated with Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing, was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan on allegations of espionage and terrorism.

In his subsequent trial at a military court, Jadhav had confessed his involvement in terrorist plots. The spy was sentenced to death in 2017. The Indian spy later filed a mercy petition against the death penalty. The ICJ, after being approached by India, ordered a stay in his execution through an interim order.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Dr Mohammed Faisal said: “Consular access for Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer and RAW operative, was provided in line with Vienna Convention on Consular relations, ICJ judgement and the laws of Pakistan.” He added: “Commander Jadhav remains in Pakistan’s custody, for espionage, terrorism and sabotage.”

In July, the ICJ had rejected remedies sought by India, including annulment of military court decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India but asked Pakistan to grant consular access to Jadhav. It also directed to give him the option of review in sentence.

Islamabad said that the ICJ verdict in Jadhav’s case was a victory for Pakistan. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that ICJ verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case had vindicated Pakistan’s stance.

This week, ICJ President Judge Abduylqawi Yusuf appreciated Pakistan’s role in implementing the July 17 judgement of the international court in full.

A statement issued by ICJ President Judge Abduylqawi Yusuf, said that Pakistan implemented the international court’s July 17 verdict in letter and spirit.

The president said: “The communication received by the court on August 1, 2019 stated that Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav had been immediately informed of his rights under the Vienna Convention and that the consular post of the High Commission of India in Islamabad had been invited to visit him on 2 August 2019.”

On July 12, Dr Faisal said Pakistan fought the legal battle in Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav case very well.