Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on Monday rejected New Delhi’s claim that Islamabad is violating a bilateral pact by not giving consular access to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court.
Basit, in an interview with Press Trust of India (PTI), said, “As per the bilateral pact on consular access, cases pertaining to political and security issues, will be decided on merit, indicating that consular access cannot be taken for granted.”
The high commissioner also dismissed India’s stand that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran, saying that he was caught in Balochistan and has been convicted of espionage.
He also revealed that Jadhav had travelled to Pakistan for several years and was carrying two Indian passports, including a fake one.
The envoy also hit back on New Delhi’s claim that position that the spy’s trial was ‘farcical and done in a hush-hush manner’, saying that Jadhav was tried in a military court because it was not possible to try him in a civilian court.
Basit also said, “So far decision [Jhadav’s execution] has been taken strictly in accordance with the law of the land and as per the bilateral agreement of 2008 [with India]. We have not breached anything. We are proceeding as per our laws as well as bilateral obligation and commitment.”
The high commissioner also told PTI, that Jhadav can appeal his sentence, saying, “Jadhav can always go to an appellate court and if the verdict is upheld then he can file a mercy petition to the army chief and prime minister.”
When asked whether his family could meet him, Basit said it was ‘too premature’ to comment on the matter.
To a question about the abduction of the Colonel (retd) Mohammad Habib being abducted by Indian authorities near the Indo-Nepal border, the envoy said Pakistan is in touch with the Nepalese government regarding his whereabouts.