Kulbhushan Jadhav case: Indian envoy's meeting with Pak's FS rescheduled
Islamabad, Apr 19: The meeting between Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale and Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua has been rescheduled and a new date would be announced later, an Indian High Commission official said on Wednesday.
Sources 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. Pakistan army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor has already rejected any chance of granting consular access to Jadhav who was sentenced to death for espionage and subversive activities.
On Friday, Bambawale met with the foreign secretary, showing increasing concern of India about the fate of Jadhav. He told media after his meeting on April 14 that he had asked for list of charges and authentic copy of verdict of military tribunal against Jadhav to launch appeal against his conviction. He also said that India was seeking consular access on the basis on international law humanitarian grounds.
FO in statement issued after the meeting said that the Foreign Secretary told Bambawale that during the period of trial of Jadhav, due judicial process was followed and he was provided a lawyer in accordance with relevant laws and the Constitution of Pakistan.
Jadhav was awarded death sentence by the Field General Court Martial last week, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the "pre-meditated murder" was carried out.
Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was "a serving officer in the Indian Navy."
The Pakistan Army had also released a "confessional video" of Jadhav after his arrest. However, India denied Pakistan's contention and maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped by the Pakistan authorities. India had acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the navy but denied that he has any connection with the government.