Upping the ante against India, Pakistan’s army ruled out on Monday consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a military court, days after New Delhi made a strong case for access to the alleged spy on death row.
Jadhav, 46, was awarded death sentence by the Field General Court Martial last week, evoking a sharp reaction in India that warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out.
“Under the law we cannot give consular access to Kulbhushan who was involved in spying,” Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told reporters.
However, Indian officials in New Delhi maintained that there was no communication from Pakistan on the denial of consular access.
Pakistan has denied India’s request for consular access to Jadhav over a dozen times in the past one year.
On Friday, Indian high commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale met Pakistan foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua and demanded a certified copy of the chargesheet as well as the army court order in the Jadhav case, besides seeking consular access to the retired Indian navy officer.
Addressing the media in Rawalpindi on Monday, Maj Gen Ghafoor said Jadhav was involved in anti-state activities so he had to face court martial.
Major General Asif GhafoorIt was duty of the army (to apprehend and punish him). We have not compromised on it and awarded him punishment. We will not compromise on this issue in future also.
He said all legal requirements were fulfilled in the trial of Jadhav — which resulted in his conviction.
“The court martial is based on such evidence which cannot be refuted at any forum,” he said.