Consular access to Jadhav sought again

Consular access to Jadhav sought again

New Delhi, Islamabad exchange list of prisoners

Consular access to Jadhav sought again
India has once again asked Pakistan to grant consular access to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, whom a military court in the neighbouring country has put on a death row.

New Delhi and Islamabad on Saturday exchanged lists of Pakistani and Indian prisoners in each other’s jails, in accordance with the provisions of the 2008 bilateral agreement on consular access. India used the opportunity to once again request Pakistan to grant “full and early” consular access to Jadhav, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

The MEA added that India reiterated to Pakistan its request for consular access to Hamid Nehal Ansari, who hails from Mumbai, but had been arrested in Pakistan in 2012 after he had illegally entered the country from Afghanistan.

“India again requested Pakistan to grant full and early consular access to Indian nationals lodged in the custody of Pakistan, including Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Gopal Baglay, spokesperson of the MEA, said.

“India once again requested Pakistan for the early release and repatriation of Indian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen along with their boats, whose nationality has been confirmed by India,” said Baglay.

Islamabad in March 2016 had announced the arrest of Jadhav from Balochistan in Pakistan. He has since been in the custody of the Pakistan Army. New Delhi’s repeated requests to grant consular access to him was turned down by Islamabad.

A military court in Pakistan in April awarded him death sentence after convicting him of being involved in espionage and sabotage in that country. India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) challenging Pakistan's decision to decline its requests for consular access to him. The ICJ had passed an interim order asking Pakistan not to execute Jadhav till the court decided on the plea by India.

Ansari purportedly entered Pakistan to meet a woman he had met on social media. He was convicted of espionage by a court in Pakistan and sent to prison for three years. He  was attacked by inmates of the Peshawar Central Prison and was injured at least thrice.
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