New Delhi: Press briefing by the ministry of external affairs on former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who is on death row in Pakistan.
MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay, first lays out the facts.
The MEA says Kulbhushan Jadhav is a kidnapped, innocent Indian. He was a retired officer of the Indian navy.
Both these facts were told to Pakistan a year ago, when his custody, his illegal custody, came to our knowledge.
He was kidnapped and taken to Pakistan in March last year and has been there since.
We have made 13 requests for consular access to Pakistan, but has been denied each time.
We don’t know where he is being held, we don’t know his condition. Pakistan has not informed us of any of these.
The government sent a demarche to the Pakistan envoy. The demarche said, “The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Shri Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him. It is significant that our High Commission was not even informed that Shri Jadhav was being brought to trial.”
Some points made by Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj in her statement to Parliament on April 11, needs to be repeated here.
swaraj said the charges against Jadhav, who was doing business in Iran and was kidnapped and taken to Pakistan, are “concocted” and the trial against him was “farcical”, leading to an “indefensible verdict”.
The government considers this to be a premeditated murder because of the lack o consular access despite 13 attempts.
The foreign minister has said she is in touch with his parents and family.
His name his Kul (family) bhushan (ornament), but the sentiments of the entire nation is behind him. The govt has said it will do everything possible to get him back.
We have not seen his passport. But What type of a spy would carry his own passport on an espionage mission, which is what Pakistan claims he is. There is no truth behind these claims.
To put any condition on consular access is to deny consular access.