10 April, New Delhi
Foreign Secretary Dr S Jaishankar Monday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in connection with Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian citizen, who has been awarded death sentence by a Pakistani military court martial.
Issuing demarche to Basit, Jaishankar said, if the sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the Government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder.
Jaishankar said, the proceedings that have led to the sentence against Jadhav are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him. He said, it is significant that Indian High Commission was not even informed that Jadhav was being brought to trial. Senior Pakistani figures have themselves cast doubt about the adequacy of evidence.
The claim in the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) release that Jadhav was provided with a defending officer during the so-called trial is clearly absurd in the circumstances. The Foreign Secretary said, Jadhav was kidnapped last year from Iran and his subsequent presence in Pakistan has never been explained credibly.
India, through its High Commission in Islamabad, has repeatedly sought consular access to him, as provided for by international law. Requests to that effect were formally made 13 times between 25 March 2016 and 31 March 2017. This was not permitted by the Pakistani authorities.