Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court, appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot Pakistan's false narrative, the External Affairs Ministry said on Monday. The statement came hours after India accepted consular access to Jadhav and a Charge d’ Affaires, High Commission of India in Islamabad, met him in the prison.
"While we await a comprehensive report,it was clear that he appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pak’s untenable claims. We"ll decide a further course of action after receiving a detailed report from our Charge d’ Affaires and determining the extent of conformity to the ICJ directives," the ministry said.
In a statement issued after Indian diplomat's meeting with Jadhav, the MEA said that the government remains committed towards ensuring that the former Navy officer receives justice at the earliest and returns safely to India. Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has spoken to the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav and briefed her of today's developments.
"Today’s consular access is a part of the binding obligations of Pakistan, as ordered by the ICJ, to ensure effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence awarded to Shri Jadhav through a farcical process," the statement read.
Jadhav, a former Indian Navy official was abuducted by Pakistani agencies from Iran in 2016 and is accused of terrorism and spying. He was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in 2017 following a closed room trial. However, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) based in The Hague, Netherlands, directed Pakistan to stay his execution and allow him consular access, in a 15-1 decision on July 17.
However, Pakistan put several conditions before offering India consular access to Jadhav. One of the conditions put by Pakistan reportedly was the presence of a Pakistani official when Jadhav is allowed to meet Indian officials as part of the consular access. India did not agree to the condition, making clear its position that the consular access must be "unimpeded" and should be in the light of the judgement by the ICJ.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.