Kulbhushan Jadhav appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot Pakistan's narrative: MEA

Charge d' Affaires at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia met Jadhav after Pakistan granted consular access to the retired Indian Navy officer.

Published: 02nd September 2019 07:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2019 09:17 AM   |  A+A-

Kulbhushan Jadhav

Kulbhushan Jadhav (File Photo | YouTube screen grab)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: For the first time since retired Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested by Pakistan in 2016, a top Indian diplomat got to meet him on Monday but came away with the distinct impression that he was under severe stress to tow the captor’s line.

Charge d’Affaires of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia spent two hours with Jadhav.External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “While we await a comprehensive report, it was clear that Jadhav appeared to be under extreme pressure to parrot a false narrative to bolster Pakistan’s untenable claims.”

The Centre will decide its further course of action after Ahluwalia submits his full report. Raveesh Kumar underlined the fact that the consular access was part of the binding obligations of Pakistan as ordered by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

A statement issued by the Pakistani foreign office said, “Consular access was provided at 1200 hours and lasted for two (02) hours, in the presence of officials of the Government of Pakistan... On Indian request, there was no restriction on the language of communication. In order to ensure transparency and in line with standard operating procedures, and as conveyed to the Indian side in advance, the access was recorded.” Before meeting Jadhav, Ahluwalia met Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal.

Jadhav has been in a Pakistan prison since March 3, 2016, after he was abducted from Iran, where he was pursuing his business after retirement from the Navy. Later, a Pakistani military tribunal awarded him capital punishment on charges of being a spy and a terrorist, which was when India took his case to the ICJ.

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