New Delhi: The external affairs ministry on Wednesday summoned Syed Haider Shah, Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner to India, and reiterated its position that formal naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was an innocent Indian national framed by the neighbouring country.
The ministry also raised its demand for consular access to Jadhav during the meeting. India has so far made 14 requests for gaining consular access to Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for espionage and sabotage.
According to sources, Shah was told that not according consular access to Jadhav amounted to violating principles of international law. Ministry officials also pointed at the fact that the two countries had signed a bilateral pact that provided for such a facility.
On Tuesday, Pakistan officials said a retired army officer from the country was lured to Nepal with promises of employment before being captured by Indian intelligence agents. New Delhi hopes to use him to secure Jadhav’s release, they alleged.
Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations, and Jadhav’s death sentence has further strained bilateral ties. India has denounced Jadhav’s trial as a farce, insisting he was abducted from Iran and that his subsequent presence in Pakistan was never credibly explained.