Upping the ante against India, Pakistan’s army ordered out on Monday consular admittance to Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a military court, days after New Delhi made a convincing case for access to the alleged spy on death row. Earlier, the Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull vacationed India and met with the business leaders and politicians for the purpose of furthering talks about striking a free trade deal between the two nations.
Jadhav 46, was bestowed execution by the Field General Court Martial past week, evoking a sharp reaction in India that warned Pakistan of consequences and destruction to bilateral ties if the “pre-meditated murder” was carried out. “Under the law, we cannot give consular access to Kulbhushan who was implicated in spying,” Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told reporters.
However, Indian executives in New Delhi maintained that there was no communication from Pakistan on the denial of consular access. Pakistan has denied India’s appeal for consular admittance to Jadhav over a dozen times in the past one year.
On Friday, Indian giant commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale met Pakistan foreign secretary Tehmina Janjua and demanded a certified copy of the charge sheet as well as the army court procedure in the Jadhav case, further seeking consular access to the retired Indian Navy officer. Approaching the media in Rawalpindi on Monday, Maj Gen Ghafoor said Jadhav was involved in anti-state activities, so he had to face court martial.
“It was the responsibility of the army (to apprehend and punish him). We have not compromised on it and awarded him punishment. We will not compromise on this issue in future also,” he said. He said all legal requirements were satisfied in the trial of Jadhav which resulted in his conviction. “The court combative is based on such evidence which cannot be refuted at any forum,” he said.
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He said the Indian man could appeal against the judgment in the Army appellate court and then to the army chief against the decision of the court of recourse. The spokesman said the convict could also file an appeal to the Supreme Court and the president of Pakistan. “We will uphold his conviction at every forum,” he said.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year subsequent he reportedly entered from Iran. It also required that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.” The Pakistan Army had also delivered a “confessional video” of Jadhav after his arrest.
However, India denied Pakistan’s contention and affirmed that the Pakistani authorities kidnaped Jadhav. India had acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the Navy but denied that he has any connection with the government.