A long-awaited meeting of Indian officials with Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row on charges of spying and terrorist activities in Pakistan and the former Indian Navy officer, ended inconclusively on Thursday after Pakistan refused to give them "unimpeded" consular access, the External Affairs Ministry said. According to the statement, consular access granted to Indian diplomats was not not conducive and Pakistani officials stationed at the prison were very intimidating.
"Consular Officers were not given unimpeded, unhindered & 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 Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
The MEA said that the Consular Officers could not engage Kulbhushan Jadhav on his legal rights and were prevented from obtaining his written consent for arranging his legal representation. "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 Ministry further said 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," the statement from MEA added.
In the light of these circumstances, MEA said the Indian Consular Officers came to the conclusion that the consular access being offered by Pakistan was neither meaningful nor credible.
Pakistan has been reluctant to actuively follow International Court of Justice's verdict that directed Pakistan grant full consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. He was handed a death sentence in 2017. The ICJ verdict came in the year 2019.
Even when Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother met him in Pakistan, the officials there refused to allow the mother-son duo to speak in Marathi, their mothertongue. A conversation in their mothertongue is a natural step for any mother and son. But such a permission was cruelly denied.
Pakistan has claimed that Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, has refused to initiate a review petition of his sentence and conviction.
(With ANI inputs)