Islamabad/ New Delhi: Pakistan on Friday said that India’s demand for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav is not appropriate at this point as the case is pending in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal, addressing media in Islamabad said India has so far not given response to Pakistan’s questions about the passport of Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from 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.
During a media briefing, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman said the case is in ICJ and the question of consular access was “not appropriate at this point”. On the issue of abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that provides special status to Kashmir, Pakistan said it will be in violation of the UN resolutions.
“The abrogation of Article 370 of Indian constitution is violation of UN resolutions. We will not accept it under any circumstances and the Kashmiris will also not accept it,” he said. Faisal also said that Pakistan is committed to operationalise the Kartarpur corridor by the 550th birth anniversary of founder of Sikhism Baba Guru Nanak Dev in November 2019. Faisal said that if the corridor failed to open, India would be responsible.
“But it is important to have the meetings so that all issues about Kartarpur are settled. In principle we are ready to open it as Prime Minister Imran Khan announced but it will be only possible if India agreed to it,” he said. India on Thursday said Pakistan is yet to respond to its concerns over reports that controversial elements have been appointed by Islamabad to a committee which is to be associated with the Kartarpur corridor.
Sources had last week said India had summoned Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner in New Delhi and conveyed its concerns over the presence of a leading Khalistani separatist in the committee appointed Pakistan on the Kartarpur corridor project.
India had also sought clarifications on several issues related to the Kartarpur corridor from Pakistan. Commenting on the sale of anti-submarine weaponry to India by the US, Faisal said that such decisions will lead to an escalation in the arms race within the region.
“We are prepared and want peace but we are not negligent to our defence,” he said. The spokesperson said that all steps were being taken for the implementation of the National Action Plan which included actions against proscribed groups. “We are taking these steps in our own interests,” he said. He said Pakistan would continue to brief the diplomatic corps on actions against militancy.