Kulbhushan Jadhav case: The Ministry of External Affairs said that it was also evident from a camera that was visible that the conversation with Jadhav was being recorded.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India on Thursday said that the consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav offered by Pakistan was neither meaningful nor credible. It said that consular officers were not given unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. “On the contrary, Pakistani officials with an intimidating demeanour were present in close proximity of Jadhav and Consular Officers despite the protests of the Indian side,” news agency ANI quoted MEA as saying.
The Ministry of External Affairs also said that it was also evident from a camera that was visible that the conversation with Jadhav was being recorded. “He (Jadhav) was visibly under stress and indicated that clearly to the Consular Officers. The arrangements did not permit a free conversation between them,” the MEA said.
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New Delhi further said that the Consular Officers could not engage Kulbhushan Jadhav on his legal rights and were prevented from obtaining his written consent for arranging his legal representation. “In the light of these circumstances, the Indian Consular Officers came to the conclusion that the consular access being offered by Pakistan was neither meaningful nor credible. After lodging a protest, they left the venue,” the MEA said.
Earlier today, Pakistan claimed that it had given “unimpeded and uninterrupted” consular access to Jadhav. “Two consular officers of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad were provided unimpeded and uninterrupted consular access to Commander Jadhav at 1500 hours,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.
The access to Jadhav, the second in as many years, came just ahead of the July 20 deadline for him to file a review petition. In 2019, the International Court of Justice had directed Islamabad to review the death sentence handed to Jadhav by its military court. The top international court had also directed Pakistan to grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Following the directions from the ICJ, Pakistan granted first consular access to Jadhav in September 2019. India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia had then met Jadhav at a sub-jail in Islamabad. But the meeting happened in the presence of Pakistan officials. This time, India had asked for uninterrupted and unimpeded meeting with retired Indian Navy officer Jadhav.
Pakistan claims that it had arrested the Indian national from Baluchistan where he entered from Iran. However, New Delhi maintains that Jadhav was abducted by Taliban and was handed over to its intelligence agency. Islamabad also informed India weeks after it abducted Jadhav in March 2016. A year later in 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death on the charges of ‘espionage’ and ‘terrorism’ by a military court.