Kulbhushan Jadhav sentencing row: India ups ante against Pakistan, says he is 'innocent'

Upping the ante against Pakistan, the Government of India on Thursday accused Islamabad of arresting Kulbhushan Jadhav over false charges of spying as it vowed to bring him back.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017, 16:27 PM IST
 Kulbhushan Jadhav sentencing row: India ups ante against Pakistan, says he is 'innocent'

New Delhi: Upping the ante against Pakistan, the Government of India on Thursday accused Islamabad of arresting Kulbhushan Jadhav over false charges of spying as it vowed to bring him back.

Addressing a presser on the issue, MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said, ''Kulbhushan Jadhav has been falsely arrested in Pakistan. The establishment there has no proof of any wrongdoing by him. He is innocent''.

Pakistan has not shared with us any details about Kulbhushan Jadhav 's well-being or the location where he is presently being kept, Baglay said.

Attacking the Pakistani establishment, the MEA spokesperson said, ''So far Pakistan has denied all our requests for consular access. We have made at least 13 such requests before the Govt of Pakistan.'' 

Raising doubts over the credibility of Pakistan's legal system, Baglay said, ''The so called legal process done by Pakistan was opaque.''

"We are making all efforts to get him back but we can't reveal the steps that will be taken to achieve it. We are in touch with Pakistan through our High Commission on this immensely important issue," Baglay said.

India and Pakistan also have a bilateral agreement on consular access, Baglay said while adding, ''India had discussed Jadhav's kidnapping issue with Iran last year.''

Baglay, however, assured that the government of India will explore all options to bring Jadhav back.

The response from MEA came days after the government warned Pakistan that executing Jadhav will have serious "consequences" on the bilateral ties.

The death sentence awarded to Jadhav by a Pakistani military court after declaring him a "spy" echoed in both Houses of Parliament where all parties came together to condemn the "indefensible" verdict and pressed the government to take every step to help him.

In Parliament, the government as well as the Opposition, saw the capital punishment as an attempt to defame India and to deflect the attention of the international community from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a statement in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, asserting that India will go "out of the way" to ensure justice to Jadhav who is an "innocent kidnapped Indian".

Jadhav's execution will be taken by India as a "pre-meditated murder" and Pakistan should "consider its consequences" on bilateral relations, if it proceeds on this matter, Swaraj warned.