New Delhi: Even though India got consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, yet it was not unconditional and Pakistani officials with an intimidating demeanour were present in close proximity of Jadhav, the Ministry of External Affairs alleged on Thursday. Also Read - Pakistan Court Forms 2-member Bench to Hear Kulbhushan Jadhav's Case
Issuing a statement, the MEA said that the consular officers were not given unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. “On the contrary, Pakistani officials with an intimidating demeanour were present in close proximity of Jadhav and Consular Officers despite the protests of the Indian side,” the MEA said. Also Read - India to Issue Visas to Hindus, Sikhs in Afghanistan Who Want to Come Amid Rising Attacks on Them
“It was also evident from a camera that was visible that the conversation with Jadhav was being recorded. He was visibly under stress and indicated that clearly to the Consular Officers. The arrangements did not permit a free conversation between them,” the MEA said. Also Read - Pakistan Has Blocked All Avenues For Remedy in Kulbhushan Jhadav Case, Alleges India
The MEA further added that in the light of these circumstances, the Indian Consular Officers came to the conclusion that the consular access being offered by Pakistan was neither meaningful nor credible. After lodging a protest, they left the venue.
“It is clear that Pakistan’s approach to this matter continues to be obstructive and insincere. It has not only violated its assurance to the International Court of Justice to fully implement the 2019 judgement, but also failed to act in accordance with its own Ordinance,” it said.
Earlier in the day, the MEA said its officials have proceeded for a meeting with Indian death row convict Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan and that it will assess the situation following a report from them.
“India has been requesting for an unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. On the basis of assurances provided our officials have proceeded for the meeting on Thursday,” Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said.
The 50-year-old retired Indian Navy officer was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017. Weeks later, India approached the ICJ against Pakistan for denial of consular access to Jadhav and challenging the death sentence.
The Hague-based ICJ ruled in July last year that Pakistan must undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.