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'Travesty of logic' to link Kulbhushan Jadhav with civilian prisoners, says Pakistan

India TV News Desk Islamabad 02 Jul 2017, 20:15:18 IST
India TV News Desk

Pakistan today said that it was "travesty of logic" to link the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav with civilian prisoners, as it again rejected India's request to grant consular access to its national sentenced to death by a military court. In a statement, Pakistan's Foreign Office said, "Indian attempt to equate Commander Jadhav's case with civilian prisoners and fishermen is a travesty of logic." 

The FO remarks came a day after the two countries exchanged a list of prisoners lodged in each other's jails. According to the list Pakistan shared with India, at least 546 Indian nationals, including nearly 500 fishermen, are languishing in jails in that country. 

"Commander Jadhav is a serving Indian Naval officer and sent to Pakistan by its intelligence agency RAW for espionage, terrorism and subversive activities which resulted in loss of many innocent lives and damage to property," the FO said. 

It also accused India of ‘suppressing’ facts by calling ‘spy’ Jadhav a ‘common prisoner’. The foreign office claimed RAW sent Jadhav to Pakistan “to disrupt the country’s peace”, and that he had “confessed to his crimes”.

It said Pakistan remains committed to the implementation of the 2008 Agreement on Consular access, which stipulates the exchange of comprehensive lists of nationals of each country in the other country's jails twice a year on January 1 and July 1. 

Pakistan has implemented the bilateral consular agreement in letter and spirit and is committed to ensuring that humanitarian cases are not held hostage to politics, it added. 

"We expect India to reciprocate through action rather than rhetoric," it said. 

The Foreign Office said that five Indian nationals who completed their sentence were repatriated on June 22.

"In contrast, 20 Pakistani civilian prisoners who have completed their sentence still await repatriation, while consular access to 107 Pakistani fishermen and 85 civilian Pakistani prisoners is also pending," it said. 

It said that two juvenile Pakistanis - Ali Raza and Babar Ali - who inadvertently crossed the border in July 2016, despite orders of the Indian courts, were repatriated after a year’s delay on June 5, 2017.

“Indian humanitarian claims appear contrary to reality in view of the impossible conditions imposed for medical visas for Pakistani patients,” it claimed. Under the directive of the Prime Minister, arrangements are being made for such treatments/operations to be carried out in Pakistan, it added.

Yesterday, Ministry of External Affairs India had asked Pakistan to grant full and early consular access to Jadhav as the two countries exchanged a list of prisoners lodged in each other's jails.

Jadhav was in April sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and sabotage activities. India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the death penalty. The ICJ on May 18 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav.