Pak denies India consular access to Jadhav again

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 26 (ANI): Pakistan on Wednesday again denied India consular access to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who was awarded a death sentence by Islamabad military court for alleged espionage activities.

This is the 16th time that India has demanded consular access.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua categorically expressed her views to Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale, during a meeting in Islamabad, reports Radio Pakistan.

During the meeting, Bambawale also handed over a petition by the Jadhav's mother to the Pakistan Government for his release and expressed a desire to meet him.

"Pakistan was also requested to facilitate visas for Jadhav's mother and father. They wish to travel to Pakistan to meet him and also to personally file the petition and appeal. They have applied for necessary visas with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi," India's External Affairs Ministry release stated.

This comes a day after India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar met Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and made similar demands.

The Pakistan Army had earlier ruled out consular access to Jadhav, saying he is not eligible for it as per the laws.

"Kulbhushan is not eligible for consular access nor will be granted consular access," said Pakistan Armed Forces spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor.

He alleged that Jadhav, caught on anti-state activities, was trialed under court martial.

"This was purely an act by the Army to which the Army as an institution said we will not compromise on his sentence," he said.

Major General Ghafoor said Jadhav's death sentence process will move ahead as per the law, adding it will go in the applet court and the army shall wait for the verdict.

Jadhav was arrested in March last year in the restive Balochistan province and accused of being a Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) agent. (ANI)