External Affairs

Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: India Postpones Maritime Talks, Pakistan Compiles New Dossier

Meanwhile, the minister of state for external affairs V. K. Singh has reiterated that the Indian government was considering all steps to get access to Jadhav.

India and Pakistan flags being lowered at the Wagah border. Credit: Jack Zalium/Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

India and Pakistan flags. Credit: Jack Zalium/Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

New Delhi: The case of Kulbhushan Jadhav continues to remain at a boiling point. While India has postponed talks between the coast guards, Pakistan is apparently compiling a new dossier for the international community on the Indian national accused of being a RAW spy.

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency officials were scheduled to hold talks with the Indian coast guard in Delhi on April 17, but the current situation has led New Delhi to call off the talks, the Times of India reported today (April 15).

The decision comes after Pakistan had announced on April 10 that Jadhav had been sentenced to death for espionage. The announcement came just over a year after Islamabad first revealed that he was in their custody. India strongly protested saying that the trial was “farcical” and that if the sentence was carried out, it would be termed as “premeditated murder”. India and Pakistan differ not only over Islamabad’s narrative that Jadhav is a RAW agent, but also on whether he is a serving officer and on his mode of travel into the Pakistani territory.

On Friday, India asked for consular access to Jadhav for the 14th time, but the request has not yet been accepted. The Indian high commissioner Gautam Bambawale also asked for a copy of the judgment of the Field General Court Martial and the chargesheet.

Meanwhile, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan prime minister’s foreign affairs advisor, released a long statement giving details about the charges against Jadhav. He also said that consular access had not been provided as India had not responded to the letter of assistance for help in the investigation and access to certain Indian officials.

India’s dialogue process with Pakistan has been stalled since the attack on the Pathankot air force base in January 2016.

Last month, India sent its officials to the meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission in Islamabad. During the meeting, World Bank officials had mooted that water resources secretaries could meet in Washington from April 10 -13 to find a resolution over the dispute mechanism. India, however, had conveyed its reluctance to accept those dates in March itself – so failure for top water resource bureaucrats was not related to the Jadhav case.

While Pakistan has not yet given a copy of the judgement, it will apparently be part of a new dossier on Jadhav, which will be handed over to the United Nations and ambassadors in Islamabad, Pakistani newspaper The Nation reported.

“This new dossier is to be based on the early testimonial as well as statements given in front of the court by Jadhav. Pakistan has collected fresh evidences on Indian involvement inside Pakistan to spread anarchy and militancy, sources stated,” according to the report.

Meanwhile, the minister of state for external affairs V. K. Singh reiterated that the Indian government was considering all steps to get access to Jadhav.

Pakistan government has denied consular access to Jadhav despite India trying for 13 times. We are trying everything to get access to Jadhav,” he told reporters at a seminar on nationalism.

Meanwhile, there has not been any statements from India or Pakistan on Saturday about the retired Pakistan army soldier, who reportedly went missing near the India-Nepal border two days before Jadhav’s death sentence was publicly revealed. Pakistan officials had pointed fingers at India saying that he had been “lured” by foreign intelligence agencies, but Indian diplomats – in Delhi and in Islamabad – have told the media that they don’t have any information.