Islamabad: Paksitan’s army on Monday ruled out consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, days after India had made a strong case for the access to the former Navy officer, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court last week. The sentence evoked a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out. Pakistan has denied India’s request for consular access to Mr Jadhav over a dozen times over the course of one year.
“Under the law, we cannot give consular access to Kulbhushan,” claimed Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor.
However, Indian officials in New Delhi maintained that there was no communication from Pakistan on the denial of consular access.
On Friday, Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale had met Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and demanded a certified copy of the chargesheet as well as the army court order in the Mr Jadhav’s case, besides seeking consular access to the retired Indian navy officer.
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Addressing the media in Rawalpindi, Mr Ghafoor claimed that Mr Jadhav was involved in anti-state activities.
“It was duty of the army (to apprehend and punish him). We have not compromised on it and awarded him punishment. We will not compromise on this issue in future also,” he said.
The Pakistani official claimed all legal requirements were fulfilled in the trial of Mr Jadhav which resulted in his conviction.
“The court martial is based on such evidence which cannot be refuted at any forum,” he claimed.
Mr Ghafoor said Mr Jadhav can appeal against the judgement in Pakistan’s army appellate court and then to the army chief against the decision of the appellate court. The spokesperson further said Mr Jadhav can also file an appeal to Pakistan’s Supreme Court and President.
“We will defend his conviction at every forum,” he said.
Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Mr Jadhav from Balochistan on March 3 last year and alleged that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.” The Pakistan Army had also released a “confessional video” of Mr Jadhav after his arrest.
However, India denied Pakistan’s contention and maintained that Mr Jadhav was kidnapped by the Pakistan authorities.