Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: Pakistan Denies Second Consular Access to India

News18.com

New Delhi: Pakistan has denied India second consular access to former Navy commander Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a military court on the basis of extracted confession of "espionage and terrorism" following a closed trial in April 2017, news agency ANI has reported.

"There would be no second consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav," ANI quoted Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal as saying.

Following the first consular access on September 2, India had said that Jadhav seemed to be under "extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative" supporting the charges slapped on him.

India's Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia had met Jadhav in a sub-jail for over an hour after Islamabad granted consular access to him in line with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) directions.

The meeting between the senior Indian diplomat and Jadhav was the first since he was arrested on charges of alleged espionage three years ago. According to Pakistani media, the venue of the meeting was not divulged due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Following the meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that while India was still awaiting 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".

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said the consular access was a part of the binding obligations of Pakistan, as ordered by the ICJ, to ensure "effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence awarded to Jadhav through a farcical process".

Jadhav was allegedly "arrested" from Balochistan by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016. In April 2017, he was sentenced to death by a military court, after which India approached the ICJ.

Pakistan has claimed that Jadhav was arrested after he entered the country from Iran. India has, however, rejected Pakistan's claims and has always maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped when he was in Iran on a business trip.

In its July 17 verdict, the ICJ had directed Pakistan for continued stay on the death sentence of Jadhav and to provide him consular access.

India had declined the earlier offer of consular access to Jadhav as Pakistan had set some conditions, like insisting that it will have its own person present during the meeting between Indian officials and Jadhav.

Pakistan had refused to allow Indian officials to meet Jadhav ever since his "arrest".