Kulbhushan Jadhav row: India seeks health condition certificate of ex-Navy officer; MEA waits for Pakistan’s response

Uddipta Das
Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested from Iran by Pakistan, which later claimed that he was arrested in Balochistan. India has maintained its position that he was in Iran for a business-related purpose and he was kidnapped by Pakistan agencies.

New Delhi, April 27: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday sought from Pakistan a certificate on the health condition of ex-Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court. This on the part of India is part of its several attempt to garner information about the present condition of Jadhav, who was nabbed reportedly in march 2016 by the Pakistan army when he was allegedly trying to enter Pakistan via Iran.

The Kulbhushan Jadhav row resurfaced almost after a year of his alleged arrest when a military court in Pakistan sentenced him to death on charges of espionage and carrying out subversive activities. India has been continuosly trying to get some information on the condition of Jadhav but that has been blocked by Pakistan. Even India’s 14 requests to get consular access to Jadhav was declined by the Pakistan forces. As per Pakistan Bhushan is a Research & Analytical Wing (R&AW) agent and as per their rulebook, the punishment for a spy is death. they also charged him with acts of terror and said his arrest makes it quite clear that India propagates terrorism in Pakistan soil.

Now that India is seeking a certificate of Jadhav’s healthcare it in a way reiterates the whole question if Jadhav is even alive? This was the concern of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament and former home secretary RK Singh, who said that he feared that it is highly probable that Pakistan has already tortured and killed Jadhav and the whole death sentence award was perhaps a facade. And the deckining of the consular access to India for 14 times in a way points to what RK Singh speculated. Only after the health condition certificate that India has sought is received and is proven to be genuine then one can be sure if Jadhav is actually alive.

Kulbhushan Jadhav is an ex-Navy officer, who after his premature retirement settled in Iran with a business of his own. Indian authorities suspect that it is also possible that Jadhav was actually picked up from Iran itself. Also, while India has accepted the fact that Jadhav was an ex-Navy officer, they have denied the charges of him being a R&AW agent.