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India demands from Pakistan death sentence judgment of Kulbhushan Jadhav

Jadhav was arrested in March last year, “for involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan”, according to a statement released by Pakistan’s armed forces.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2017 19:18 IST
Rezaul H Laskar
Rezaul H Laskar
New Delhi
Kulbhushan Jadhav,Kulbhushan Jadhav spy,Pakistan
Sartaz Aziz, foreign affairs adviser to Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, warned India to stop using rhetorical statements, saying “We should respect each others’ sovereignty.”(AFP file )

India on Friday sought copies of the charge-sheet against former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav and the judgment of the Pakistani military court that sentenced him to death on charges of espionage.

Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale demanded the documents when he met Pakistan foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua, with whom the envoy “strongly raised” the issue of Jadhav.

Bambawale “also sought consular access for the 14th time”, said a brief statement from the Indian high commission.

The Indian side conveyed to Pakistan that it would appeal against the death sentence given to Jadhav, who was hurriedly tried by a military court and sentenced to death in murky circumstances this week.

“I said two things to the foreign secretary – first of all, the Indian government’s demand is that the charge-sheet against Kulbhushan Jadhav and the military court’s ruling against him, we should be provided copies of these,” Bambawale told the media after the meeting.

“The second thing I told the foreign secretary was that we have sought consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav in writing 13 times in the past few months. We have got no reply to date and nor has consular access been given. We said he’s an Indian national and under international law, we should get consular access,” he added.

“We will definitely appeal against the judgement. Till we know what is in the charge-sheet and the verdict, how can we appeal?” Bambawale said.

Pakistan has turned down India‘s repeated demands for consular access to Jadhav on the ground that his was a case of espionage. India has maintained that consular access must be granted under international law.

Jadhav was reportedly arrested in Balochistan province in March last year “for involvement in espionage and sabotage activities against Pakistan”, according to a statement from the Pakistani military.

Addressing a news briefing at the Foreign Office on Friday, Pakistan’s foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz alleged Jadhav was “responsible for espionage, sabotage and terrorism” and had been tried “according to the law of the land in a fully transparent manner while preserving his rights”.

“Due process has been followed while proceeding against Mr Jadhav. All further action in this regard shall also be taken in accordance with our laws,” said Aziz, who read from a statement and did not take any questions.

Aziz also listed seven charges against Jadhav, including a string of attacks.

He trashed India’s claim that Jadhav was captured in Iran and asked India to stop issuing “rhetorical statements” against Pakistan over the issue. Indian statements could lead to diplomatic tensions, he added.

India has said if Pakistan goes ahead with the execution of Jadhav, it would be tantamount to premeditated murder.

First Published: Apr 14, 2017 16:18 IST