Kulbhushan Jadhav 'visibly under stress', Pakistan did not give unhindered consular access: India
New Delhi, July 16: India on Thursday issued a strong statement saying that the Pakistan officials with intimidating endeavour were present during consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, who had been arrested by Pakistan on alleged espionage charges and is languishing in jail.
''Pakistan's tactics of obstructive and insincere Consular Access to Indian National Kulbhushan Jadhav. India not given unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional access. Pakistani officials with an intimidating demeanour were present.''
"The consular officers were not given unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional access to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan," said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). "On the contrary, Pakistani officials with an intimidating demeanour were present in close proximity of Jadhav and Consular Officers despite the protests of the Indian side."
"It was also evident from a camera that was visible that the conversation with Jadhav was being recorded. He was visibly under stress and indicated that clearly to the Consular Officers. The arrangements did not permit a free conversation between them," it added.
"India has been requesting for an unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. On the basis of assurances provided our officials have proceeded for the meeting on Thursday," Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said.
"The arrangements did not permit a free conversation between them. The consular officers could not engage Jadhav on his legal rights and were prevented from obtaining his written consent for arranging his legal representation," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
In the light of these circumstances, the Indian officials concluded that the consular access being offered by Pakistan was "neither meaningful nor credible". They left the venue after lodging their protest.
"It is clear that Pakistan's approach to this matter continues to be obstructive and insincere. It has not only violated its assurance to the ICJ to fully implement the 2019 judgement, but also failed to act in accordance with its own Ordinance," the government also said.
Earlier, Pakistan said it provided consular access Jadhav. This was the second time Jadhav was allowed to meet Indian officials. The first consular access was given in September 2019.
Earlier in July, Pakistan had announced that it will give second consular access for Jadhav, inviting his father and wife to meet him. India has called for "unimpeded and unconditional" access, unlike what happened last time.
Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April 2017. Weeks later, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence. The ICJ, then, restrained Pakistan from executing him
In July last year, the Hague-based court ruled that Pakistan must undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay