Amid row over Kulbhushan Jadhav, India cancels maritime talks with Pakistan

A delegation led by Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency (MSA) was to visit New Delhi April 16-19 to discuss issues related to fishermen and search and rescue operations.

Amid tensions over death sentence being awarded to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, India has called off maritime security dialogue with Pakistan, scheduled for early next week.

A delegation led by Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency (MSA) was to visit New Delhi April 16-19 to discuss issues related to fishermen and search and rescue operations.

According to reports, the Ministry of Defence has not given clearance for the delegation's visit.

The development comes amid tension between the two countries over Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, being awarded death sentence by a Pakistani military court. India has said if Jadhav were to be executed, it will be considered as a "premeditated murder".

A day after Pakistan's military court pronounced a death sentence to former Indian Navy officer Kulbushan S Jadhav, India warned the neighbor country of consequences to bilateral ties if they proceed further.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said: "I would caution the Pakistan government to consider the consequences for our bilateral relationship if they proceed on this matter."

There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Kulbhushan Jadhav. This is an act of premeditated murder, Swaraj further said.

The Minister also assured the House that India would 'go out of the way to save him'. "Will go out of the way to save him, wo poore Hindustan ka beta hai," she had tweeted.

Earlier on Friday, former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said Pakistan is playing a "dangerous game" in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

"Pakistan is playing a dangerous game. Pakistan should understand that if India starts retaliating then it does not have the power to fight back, whatever they may project themselves to be," the Goa Chief Minister told the Doordarshan in an interview which was aired on Friday evening.

"But, we want peace. We do not want provocation. So they should send Jadhav back," he said.

(With inputs from PTI)