Islamabad: Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale on Wednesday filed an appeal with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in connection with the Kulbhushan Jadhav case.
Bambawale met the Pakistan Foreign Secretary to reiterate demand for consular access to Jadhav, who has been awarded death sentence by the Islamabad military court.
“I met the Pakistan Foreign Secretary today and filed the appeal which is to be done within 40 days for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. I requested for the early release of Jadhav,” Bambawale told the media here.
The Pakistan Army had earlier ruled out consular access to Jadhav, saying he is not eligible for it as per the laws. “Kulbhushan is not eligible for consular access nor will be granted consular access,” said Pakistan Armed Forces spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor. He alleged that Jadhav, caught on anti-state activities, was trialed under court martial.
“This was purely an act by the Army to which the Army as an institution said we will not compromise on his sentence,” he said. Major General Ghafoor said Jadhav’s death sentence process will move ahead as per the law, adding it will go in the applet court and the army shall wait for the verdict.
Asserting that Jadhav was sentenced on undeniable evidence, Major General Ghafoor said the Pakistan Army will defend their case with all resources in light of the undeniable evidence if questioned on any of the forum.
The Pakistan Army had earlier said there will be ‘no compromise’ on the issue of death sentence awarded to Jadhav.
Jadhav was awarded death penalty on April 10 in an unprecedented decision that sparked a diplomatic spat between the two hostile neighbours.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had earlier warned Islamabad that it risked damaging bilateral ties with New Delhi if it went ahead with the execution of Jadhav.
Jadhav was arrested in March last year in the restive Balochistan province and accused of being a Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) agent. India has, however, so far categorically denied such charges.