India concerned over Kulbhushan Jadhav’s health, seeks details of trial
New Delhi: India has sought from Pakistan details of the appeal process in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in which it has made 15 attempts to get consular access to the Indian national given death sentence by a military court there.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said India was “concerned” as it has no information about the location or the condition of Jadhav, who Pakistan says was in their custody.
Noting that the ministry had “called in” the Pakistan deputy high commissioner on Thursday, he said Pakistan has been asked to provide details of the trial against Jadhav.
“Pakistan claims there has been legal proceedings against Jadhav. If there has been any proceedings against (him), we would, officially, like to see details of those proceedings,” Baglay said.
India would also like to know how it can proceed in the case, and asked Shah about various options available in Pakistani legal system, Baglay said, noting that India is still awaiting a response to its demands for consular access and details of the trial proceedings against Jadhav.
“Yesterday also we asked for consular access to Jadhav and in the past we made 13 such requests,” Baglay said, adding it was important given the nature of charges levelled against the retired Indian Navy officer.
“We don’t know anything about Jadhav’s location or condition in Pakistan. It is a matter of concern for India. We are concerned about his health and whereabouts,” he maintained.
Asked about the US NSA’s statement on Pakistan, he said, “We have noted the comments. They are similar to our longstanding views. We have a similarity of approach with the US on this.”
The US NSA during his visit to Pakistan had asked Islamabad to “confront” terrorism in all its forms.
On reports that Pakistan will present a dossier on Jadhav with evidence of his alleged spying activities, Baglay merely said that in past also Pakistan has attempted to “misinform” the international community. India had also reiterated that Jadhav was innocent and false charges were framed against him when the Pakistan deputy high commissioner was summoned.
Shah was also told that not giving consular access to Jadhav amounted to violation of human rights as well international norms as the two countries have a bilateral agreement on consular access. Pakistan army had on Monday ruled out consular access to 46-year-old Jadhav, days after India had made a strong case for access to the Indian prisoner on death row.
Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale had met the Pakistan foreign secretary last week and demanded a certified copy of the charge sheet and the army court order in the case, besides consular access to the retired naval officer.
“We definitely want to appeal against the judgement but we cannot do it unless we have the details of the charges and a copy of verdict. So, my demand was that the details of the charge sheet and a copy of the verdict be provided to us,” Bambawale had said after the meeting.