Pak wanted India to accept role

Jadhav sentencing: Islamabad says NSA was responsible for plan

Pak wanted India to accept role

Pakistan wanted India to acknowledge the “complicity” of its top security officials with former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, in carrying out “espionage and sabotage” in the neighbouring country.

Islamabad last month signalled that it could accept New Delhi’s request for consular access to Jadhav, if India acknowledged that its senior officials, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, had planned and monitored his operations to destabilise Pakistan, sources in New Delhi told DH.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs conveyed the proposition to the High Commission of India in Islamabad in a communiqué dated March 21. It also sought New Delhi’s assistance for investigations against Jadhav, who is in the custody of the Pakistan Army since March 2016.

Jadhav has been accused of working for India’s external espionage agency, Research and Analysis Wing, to foment trouble in Pakistan. Islamabad had charged that Jadhav had been in touch with Doval and top officials of RAW, an allegation which New Delhi had dismissed.

“Earlier this year, the Pakistan government sought our assistance to obtain evidence and other materials for the investigation process,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday.

“In doing so, they levelled ridiculous charges against senior Indian officials who had no connection to this issue.”

Islamabad again reached out to New Delhi with the same proposal on Monday, just hours after announcing that a military court had awarded death sentence to Jadhav for his involvement in “espionage and sabotage” in Pakistan.

“To make matters even more absurd, three hours after the death sentence was announced, the Indian High Commission (in Islamabad) received an official communication from the foreign ministry of Pakistan reiterating the Pakistani proposal for conditional consular access,” Swaraj said, adding: “That tells us a lot about the farcical nature of the proceedings which have led to an indefensible verdict against an innocent kidnapped Indian”.

Islamabad had turned down 13 requests made by New Delhi between March 25, 2016, and March 31, 2017, to give the High Commission of India in Pakistan consular access to Jadhav.

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