Pakistan on Sunday again rejected India’s demand for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, saying it would be a “travesty of logic” to link his case with Indian civilian prisoners languishing in Pakistani jails.
India yesterday had sought consular access to the 46-year-old Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death in April by Pakistan’s Field General Court Martial for “involvement in espionage and sabotage activities.”
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement today that “the Indian attempt to equate Commander Jadhav’s case with civilian prisoners and fishermen is a travesty of logic.”
It claimed Jadhav was a serving Indian Navy officer “and was sent to Pakistan by its intelligence agency RAW for espionage, terrorism and subversive activities which resulted in loss of many innocent lives and damage to property.”
Pakistan has dismissed India’s consular access request to Jadhav more than 15 times. And India has accused Pakistan of repeatedly violating the Vienna Convention by doing so. India moved the International Court of Justice against Jadhav’s death penalty and the ICJ on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing the death sentence.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he was dealing with his business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
Both countries also exchanged lists of nationals lodged in the jails of the other country, in consistent with the provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access between both the neighbouring countries.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in this statement stated that, “India remains committed to addressing on priority all humanitarian matters with Pakistan, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen. In this context, we await from Pakistan confirmation of nationality of those in India’s custody who are otherwise eligible for release and repatriation.”