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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India summons Pakistan deputy high commissioner

LiveMint logoLiveMint 19-04-2017 PTI

New Delhi: India on Wednesday summoned the Pakistan deputy high commissioner in connection with Kulbhushan Jadhav’s death sentence by a military court in Islamabad and made a fresh demand for consular access to the retired Indian Navy officer, two days after Pakistan army ruled out access to him.

Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner Syed Haidar Shah was called by the external affairs ministry which reiterated that Jadhav was innocent and false charges were framed against him, according to people aware of the matter.

The Pakistan diplomat 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.

Upping the ante, 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.

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The meeting between Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale and Pakistan’s foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua has been rescheduled on Wednesday and a new date would be announced later, an Indian High Commission official said.

People aware of the matter in the Pakistan foreign office had earlier said that Bambawale has sought a meeting with the foreign secretary. The meeting was expected this evening, they said. However, the Indian official said the meeting has been rescheduled and a new date and time is yet not known.

Bambawale was expected to discuss the issue of Indian prisoner on death row Kulbhushan Jadhav as India has been seeking consular access to its convicted citizen. Pakistan has denied India’s request for consular access to Jadhav over a dozen times in the last one year

Indian envoy Gautam Bambawale had met the Pakistan foreign secretary last week also and demanded a certified copy of the charge sheet and the army court order in the case, besides consular access to the retired Indian Navy officer.

“We definitely want to appeal against the judgement but we cannot do it unless we have the details of 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.

Expressing disappointment over Pakistan turning down India’s request for consular access to Jadhav, the Indian envoy had also said, “They have denied our request for consular access 13 times (in the last one year). “I have forcefully asked for consular access on the basis of the international law and on humanitarian grounds as he is an Indian national.”

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