India demands consular access to national held in Pakistan

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) India on Thursday demanded immediate consular access to one of its nationals arrested in Pakistan on charges of being a spy after Pakistani top diplomat Sartaj Aziz said that there was not enough evidence against him.

Aziz, Advisor on Foreign Affairs to the Pakistan Prime Minister, reportedly told parliament that the government has been provided with “insufficient evidence” against Kulbhushan Jadhav who was arrested in March this year after allegedly entering Pakistan from Iran.

India has said that Jadhav is s former Indian Navy officeer

“We have seen conflicting media reports about this issue,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here on Thursday.

“This is a pattern we have seen in the past as well. Government has always maintained that Pakistan’s allegations against Jadhav, an Indian national and a former Indian Navy officer, were completely baseless.”

The spokesperson said even after keeping Jadhav in custody illegally for over nine months, Pakistani authorities have not found a shred of evidence against him.

“We demand immediate consular access to him in accordance with relevant international conventions and his earliest release from wrongful confinement,” he said.

“We have also sent eight note verbales to the Pakistan Foreign Office on this issue,” Swarup added.

–IANS

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