New Delhi: As many as 30 Pakistan nationals facing charges of spying are languishing in Indian jails but none has been denied consular access whenever sought or sentenced to death penalty so far, said top South Block officials as relations between India and Pakistan hit a new low over a Pakistani military court awarding death penalty to former Indian Navy official Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Officials added that more than 265 Pakistani nationals are currently in Indian jails. New Delhi has allowed consular access to them but Pakistan disowned them, they said. In 2015, a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Mohammad Naved was arrested after an attack on a BSF convoy. He is facing trial before an NIA court in Jammu. However, Pakistan has refused to accept him as their national, said an official.
According to data available with the government, nearly two dozen Pakistan nationals caught on charges of smuggling were sent back to Pakistan in 2016 and 2017.
From 2014 to 2016, more than 250 Pakistani nationals were deported, according to a reply by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju in Parliament.
Pakistan executed Indian national Sheikh Shamim in 1999. In 2013, another Indian national Sarabjit Singh, who was sentenced to death for spying in Pakistan, died in jail after being attacked by fellow inmates.