Pakistan is compelling Kulbhushan Jadhav to convey a version of events that will help Islamabad’s case against him, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday. India’s official statement came after Pakistan allowed an Indian diplomat to meet Mr Jadhav according to the July 17 verdict of the INternational Court of Justice (ICJ).
Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar, declared that India will decide the future course of action in the case after a detailed report from the Charge d’ Affaires of High Commission of India in Islamabad who met with Mr Jadhav, and said, “..it was clear that Shri Jadhav appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan’s untenable claims.”
India maintains that Kulbhushan Jadhav is a former navy official of India and was running a legitimate business in the Iranian port of Chabahar from where he was abducted by the Pakistani security agencies and their collaborators. Pakistan however continues to claim that he remained in government service and handed him a death sentence for alleged acts of sabotage and terrorism.
The official statement maintained that Pakistan had committed “egregious violation” of the Vienna Convention, 1963 that allows for prompt consular access in such cases. India had been demanding consular access to Mr Jadhav since his arrest in 2016. Before the actual meeting between Mr Jadhav and Gaurav Ahluwalia, Indian Charge d’ Affaires, MEA had urged Pakistan that the consular access to be granted to Kulbhushan Jadhav should be free and without restrictions.
India called upon Pakistan for “effective review and reconsideration” of the death sentence of Mr Jadhav which was given by a military tribunal in Pakistan. India termed the trial “farcical” and expressed commitment to ensure that Mr Jadhav is brought back home to his family in Mumbai.
External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar briefed Mr Jadhav’s mother after the consular official concluded his meeting. Pakistan had declined to give consular access to Mr Jadhav earlier though his mother and wife were allowed to meet him in December 2017. India had complained about the restrictive conditions of that meeting and had urged Pakistan to provide unhindered consular access to assess Mr Jadhav’s well being.
Following Monday’s meeting, Pakistan claimed that it had provided “unimpeded” and “uninterrupted” consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. “Consular access was provided at 1200 hours and lasted for two hours, in the presence of officials of the Government of Pakistan. On Indian request, there was no restriction on the language of communication,” a press release from Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson said.