Pakistan grants consular aid to Indian facing death penalty

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan on Monday granted rare consular access to an Indian man facing the deal penalty after being convicted of spying. The case has been a source of friction between the nuclear-armed neighbors as tensions have escalated in recent weeks over the disputed Kashmir region.

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The foreign ministry said it allowed an Indian diplomat in Islamabad to meet with Kulbhushan Jadhav, in compliance with a July order from the International Court of Justice.

At the time, the United Nations' highest court ordered Pakistan to stay the Jadhav's execution. He was arrested in 2016, and a military tribunal sentenced him to death a year later.

Anti-India sentiment has grown in Pakistan since New Delhi moved to downgrade Indian-controlled Kashmir's special status last month and imposed a security lockdown and communications blackout on the region, which is majority Muslim.

Kashmir is split between Pakistan and India and claimed by both in its entirety.

In New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Monday that while India awaited a comprehensive report, it was clear that Jadhav "appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan's untenable claims."

New Delhi, he said, would decide a further course of action after receiving a detailed report from its diplomat in the Pakistani capital and determining the extent of conformity to the ICJ directives.