ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Saturday rejected as speculative the reports that India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her introductory meeting with the Pakistani ambassador to Delhi had called for Islamabad to review its position in convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case.
“During this interaction, no specific case came under discussion. Therefore, the reports appearing in the Indian media are speculative,” the FO said in response to reports about the meeting held earlier this week.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood assumed the charge of his assignment last month. Therefore, the FO contended, the high commissioner’s meeting with the minister was a customary courtesy call.
“Broad contours of bilateral relations were deliberated upon during this interaction,” it said.
Indian media reported that Ms Swaraj had asked the Pakistan government to review its position on Jadhav and grant his mother a visa to visit Pakistan.
The spy’s case is being heard by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to him.
Jadhav was sentenced to death in April by a military tribunal for his involvement in terrorism and espionage. His appeals against the conviction were rejected by the military appellate court.
The ICJ has restrained Pakistan from executing him till it decides the case.
Ambassador Mahmood is expected to meet Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar in the coming days.
The engagements are taking place as both Islamabad and Delhi prepare to host US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on his maiden visit to the region.
Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2017