As reports emerged that the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav was to stall peace talks with India, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has told the army chief that the meeting with Sajjan Jindal was part of back-channel talks. Jindal had met with Sharif and this is said to have angered the Pakistan army chief, General Qamar Bajwa.
The army chief is understood to have told Sharif that during such talks issues relating to Jadhav could not have been discussed. Sharif told the military leadership that Jindal had the backing of Indian authorities for the meeting aimed at reducing bilateral tensions.
General Bajwa made it clear to Sharif that during such talks the case of Jadhav could not have been discussed. It may be recalled that Jadhav was sentenced to death by Pakistan on the ground that he was an Indian spy. The International Court of Justice at The Hague has however stayed the execution.
Last week, it was reported that the Jindal-Sharif meeting was aimed at opening up back-channel talks. When the army in Pakistan realised that Jadhav's issue was discussed, it immediately sped up the process and ordered his hanging. Sharif claimed before the army chief that the talks were not related to Jadhav, but were aimed at reducing tension between the two countries.