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‘Travesty of logic’, says Pakistan as it denies India consular access to Jadhav

Pakistan denied India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, claiming RAW had sent him to “disrupt the country’s peace”, and that he had “confessed to his crimes”.

world Updated: Jul 02, 2017 20:46 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Kulbhushan Jadhav,Pakistan,Foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria
The Inter Services Public Relations also said another “confessional video in which he (Kulbhushan Jadhav) can be seen accepting his acts of terrorism and espionage” has been released.(ISPR video grab)

Pakistan on Sunday denied India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, with its foreign office claiming that it was a “travesty of logic” to link his case to that of “common prisoners”.

The previous day, the two countries exchanged lists of prisoners in each other’s custody and New Delhi requested that it be provided consular access to Jadhav, an Indian national that Islamabad accuses of spying for intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). The external affairs ministry also released a statement saying that Pakistan is working to implement a two-way agreement and will implement the consular access agreement “in its true essence”.

However, the Pakistan foreign office rejected the ministry’s statement and said India was “suppressing facts” by calling Jadhav a civilian prisoner. A statement released by the foreign office claimed RAW sent Jadhav to Pakistan “to disrupt the country’s peace”, and that he had “confessed to his crimes”.

“Jadhav’s activities have affected the lives of many Pakistanis,” the statement read.

Foreign office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, terming the Indian attempt to equate Jadhav’s case with civilian prisoners and fishermen “a travesty of logic”, said: “Commander Jadhav is a serving Indian naval officer and sent to Pakistan by its intelligence agency for espionage, terrorism and subversive activities which resulted in loss of many innocent lives and damage to property.”

Claiming that Pakistan remains committed to implementation of the 2008 agreement on consular access between the two countries, Zakaria said Indian humanitarian claims appear “contrary to reality” in view of the “impossible conditions” imposed for medical visas for Pakistani patients.

“Under the directive of the prime minister (Nawaz Sharif), arrangements are being made for such treatments/operations to be carried out in Pakistan,” he added.

The agreement on consular access between Pakistan and India stipulates the exchange of comprehensive lists of each country’s nationals in the other’s jails twice a year — on January 1 and July 1.

“Pakistan has implemented the bilateral consular agreement in letter and spirit and is committed to ensuring that humanitarian cases are not held hostage to politics,” the foreign office statement said. “We expect India to reciprocate through action rather than rhetoric.”

Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016 during a counter-intelligence operation in Mashkel, Balochistan. A few weeks later, the Pakistan Army released a recorded statement in which he allegedly admitted to have been working for RAW to “stoke unrest and instability” in Pakistan.

India denies Jadhav was a RAW agent but admits he was a retired naval officer.

In a second confessional video released last month, Jadhav allegedly expressed remorse at the loss of innocent lives due to his activities. He also filed a mercy petition with Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, urging him to spare his life on compassionate grounds.

If the army chief rejects his appeal, Jadhav will still be able to file a mercy plea with the Pakistan president.

First Published: Jul 02, 2017 16:25 IST