India asks Pakistan for certificate on Kulbhushan Jadhav's health condition

Kulbhushan Jadhav has been sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan.

New Delhi: External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday that India has sought from Pakistan a certificate on the health condition of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that the well being and state of Jadhav's health was a "matter of great concern" to India as the former Indian Navy officer has been in Pakistan's custody for more than a year on charges of espionage.

"We haven't seen, we haven't met (Jadhav). He has been in Pakistan's custody for more than a year. So the well-being and state of health of Jadhav is a matter of great concern. We have asked Pakistani government earlier also, and yesterday our High Commissioner (to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale) made a request on providing a report on his medical condition. So we await Pakistan's response," Baglay said, as per PTI

Yesterday, India had handed over to Pakistan an appeal by the mother of retired Indian Navy officer, sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan, to the appellate court, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.

The appeal on behalf of Jadhav was given to Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua by Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale, who also handed over a petition by Jadhav's mother seeking the Pakistan government's intervention for his release and expressing the desire to meet him.

Bambawale, who met Janjua, also made a fresh request for consular access to Jadhav, the external affairs ministry had said in a press release in New Delhi.

This was the 16th request for access.

However, Pakistani media had reported that Janjua had turned down Bambawale's demand saying, "access under (bilateral) agreement is meant for prisoners and not for spies."

Pakistan has earlier rejected India's request for consular access to Jadhav 15 times.

The external affairs ministry had also said yesterday that the Indian envoy had also "handed over an appeal by the mother to the Court of Appeal, on behalf of Jadhav, who continues to be in detention in Pakistan on concocted charges."

In the petition, Jadhav's mother has made a request for the intervention of the Pakistani government for his release and expressed the desire to meet him, it had said.

As per the appeal system in Pakistan, a death row convict has to move an appellate court within 40 days of the pronouncement of the verdict.

"Pakistan was also requested to facilitate visas for the mother and father of Jadhav. They wish to travel to Pakistan to meet him and also to personally file the petition and the appeal. They have applied for necessary visa with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi," the ministry had added.

It was the second time that Bambawale had met Janjua in connection with the naval officer's case.

On April 14, Bambawale had met with the Pakistan foreign secretary and expressed India's concern regarding the whereabouts and health condition of Jadhav.

He had told the media that after his meeting that he had asked for a list of charges and an authentic copy of the verdict of the military tribunal against the retired officer to launch an appeal process against his conviction.

Jadhav was given death sentence by the Field General Court Martial earlier this month, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the "pre-meditated murder" was carried out. 

(With PTI inputs)