Pakistan has once again offered India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav. According to Pakistani media reports, this time, the meeting will happen without the presence of security personnel.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has been quoted as saying that a note verbale has been sent to the Indian high commission in keeping with India’s demand. India is yet to respond to the offer.
"They had objected over the presence of security officials during the meeting; we are willing even to remove those officials. If India wants another access, then our offer is open. If they (India) want to meet him tonight or tomorrow, we are ready," The Express Tribune has quoted Qureshi as telling a news channel on Friday.
India was granted consular access to Jadhav on Thursday. But it was not “unimpeded, unhindered and unconditional’’ as Pakistan promised, the ministry of external affairs said.
“The arrangements did not permit a free conversation between them,’’ Anurag Srivastava, MEA spokesperson, had said. In a strongly worded statement, the MEA dubbed Pakistan’s consular access as “insincere’’.
The interview was recorded and Jadhav was “visibly under stress’’ and “indicated that clearly to the two officials,” according to the ministry of external affairs.
This is not the first time India objected to the manner in which consular access was provided by Pakistan. In September 2019, when the high commission officials were granted access, the meeting was recorded and a Pakistani official was present. India had lodged a strong protest then too.
In May, Pakistan issued an ordinance to review the sentence awarded by the military court, as directed by the International Court of Justice. Jadhav has 60 days to file the review petition in Islamabad High Court. His refusal to file the petition does not prevent India filing a petition. The deadline to file the petition will end on Monday.
The two officials could not engage Jadhav on his legal rights, and were “prevented from obtaining his written consent for arranging his legal representation,’’ the statement read.
Meanwhile, the relationship between the two countries continued to deteriorate as India summoned the Pakistan's charge d'affaires to lodge a strong protest over the death of three civilians, including a child, in an "unprovoked ceasefire violation'' on Friday night in the Krishna Ghati sector in Jammu and Kashmir. In a statement, the MEA said this year alone 21 Indians have been killed and 94 injured in over 2,711 "unprovoked ceasefire'' violations by Pakistani forces.