Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death: Indian envoy to meet Pakistan foreign secretary

New Delhi: Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale will be meeting Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua in connection with the case of retired Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been given death sentence by an army court.

File photo of Kulbhushan Jadhav. Image courtesy: News18

File photo of Kulbhushan Jadhav. Image courtesy: News18

According to sources, Bambawale is expected to raise the issue of consular access to Jadhav as Pakistan has rejected 13 of India's requests for the same in the last one year.

Apart from diplomatic options, India will also explore legal remedies permitted under Pakistan legal system including Jadhav's family appealing against the verdict.

Earlier on Thursday, the external affairs ministry said that India has no information on retired Indian Navy officer Jadhav's location in Pakistan or his condition, noting that it is in touch with the government in Pakistan on this "immensely important" issue.

Asserting that the whole country's sentiment is with Jadhav, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the government will not spare any effort in securing justice for the "kidnapped innocent" Indian national but refused to divulge details.

The 46-year-old Jadhav has been awarded death sentence by a Pakistani military court on charges of alleged "espionage and sabotage" activities.

Baglay criticised the Pakistan government for not sharing Jadhav's location and details of his condition, adding that the international norm is consular access, and India and Pakistan have a bilateral agreement on consular access.

He also referred to India's demarche to Pakistan where it was clearly conveyed that given the circumstances of the case which includes kidnapping of Jadhav, absence of any credible evidence to substantiates the concocted charges against him, farcical nature of the proceedings against him and denial of consular access to him, the people and the government of India will consider this as a "premeditated murder"

"The Parliament of India has spoken in one voice, the whole country's sentiments are with Jadhav... The government is trying its best to ensure justice to Jadhav. At the moment, we are engaged in achieving this objective but I would not like to speculate on the future steps, specifically," the spokesperson said.

The government is in touch with Pakistan through the Indian High Commission on this "immensely important" issue, he added.

Baglay said Jadhav is an innocent Indian who is a retired officer of the Indian Navy and these two things were conveyed to Pakistan in March, 2016 when the issue of his "illegal custody came to our attention".

The issue has triggered fresh tension in Indo-Pak ties and India has warned Pakistan of the "consequences" Jadhav's hanging could have on their ties and vowed to go "out of the way" to save him amid pervasive outrage in the country.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 14, 2017 19:10:29 IST

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