India’s home minister on Thursday once again threatened his country will go to any extent to ‘ensure justice’ for self-confessed RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav.
“We will go to any extent to ensure justice to Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Times of India quoted Rajnath Singh as saying on the sidelines of a Central Industrial Security Force event in New Delhi. “External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has already made the country’s stance clear. Whatever she had said in parliament remains unchanged,” he added.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for India’s external affairs ministry claimed Pakistan had not communicated where or in what condition Jadhav is being kept in.
“We don’t know where he is. What his condition is, we have no clue,” Times of India quoted Gopal Baglay as saying. The spokesman said “any conditions Pakistan may attach to consular access to Jadhav equate to no access,” adding that the absence of consular access will mean Jadhav’s death sentence, if carried out, will be regarded as ‘premeditated murder’ by Indians.
“We need to verify how this gentleman got to Pakistan; we don’t know the circumstances of his presence in Pakistan. For that we need to meet him,” Baglay said.
Jadhav was arrested on March 3 last year during a counter-intelligence operation in the Mashkel area of Balochistan. A few weeks later, the army released his recorded confessional statement in which he admitted he had been working for India’s premier spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), to stoke unrest and instability in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan and Karachi.
The spokesman once again admitted Jadhav is a retired Indian Navy officer, but claimed he was an ‘innocent Indian’.
The statements by the Indian minister and external affairs spokesman came a day after the United Nations declined to take a position on the death sentence handed to the self-confessed Indian spy.
“We are not in a position to judge the process … [and] have a position on this particular case,” UN Secretary General’s spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Wednesday while responding to a question asked by an Indian journalist. He reiterated the call for dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.