Pakistan on Wednesday ruled out giving India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former naval officer sentenced to death by a military court after being accused of espionage.
Islamabad’s position was conveyed to Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale when he met Pakistan’s foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua at the Foreign Office.
Janjua said “consular access cannot be provided to a spy”, according to state-run Radio Pakistan.
Bambawale repeated India’s demand for consular access to Jadhav. Janjua referred to “legal aspects” of the case and alleged Jadhav “was a serving Indian naval officer, who was involved in nefarious terrorist activities in Pakistan”.
The Indian envoy had sought the meeting to reiterate the demand for consular access to Jadhav, who was arrested more than a year ago. Pakistan has levelled seven specific charges against Jadhav, including fomenting unrest in Balochistan and Karachi and alleged involvement in a string of terror attacks.
Pakistan has so far not provided any evidence to back up the charges. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court following a secret trial and the sentence was confirmed by the Pakistan Army chief on April 10.
According to media reports, Bambawale again sought copies of the charge-sheet against Jadhav and the death sentence awarded by the military court. He also sought Jadhav’s medical report and visas for the Indian national’s family.
On April 19, a meeting between Bambawale and Janjua was rescheduled.
Pakistan has denied India’s request for consular access to 46-year-old Jadhav more than 13 times in the past year.
Bambawale last met Janjua on April 14 after India expressed concern about Jadhav’s fate.
India has said if Pakistan goes ahead with the execution of Jadhav, it would be tantamount to premeditated murder.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office has said judicial process was followed during Jadhav’s trial and that he was provided a lawyer in accordance with relevant laws and the Constitution. The Pakistan Army also released what was described as a “confessional video” of Jadhav after his arrest.