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Amid ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan over the death sentence awarded to former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, India has reportedly called off maritime security dialogue with Pakistan, which was scheduled to take place in the coming week. A delegation led by Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) was scheduled to visit nation’s capital New Delhi on Sunday for a discussion regarding security of fishermen and rescue operations in the region. But the delegation was not given clearance to visit by the Ministry of Defence, according to Coast Guard sources cited by news agency PTI.
Jadhav, 46, was given death sentence after a military court in Pakistan found him guilty of “spying” charges. India strongly retaliated against the judgment and said Jadhav’s hanging will be treated as a “premeditated murder”. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also said if the execution takes place, the relations between the two nations will further deteriorate.
Pakistan police officials have claimed they arrested Jadhav in March 2016 from restive Balochistan province while he was trying to enter from Iran. Pakistan officials have also said that they conducted a fair trial and the accused, in a “confession video”, accepted that he is an Indian spy. India has agreed that Jadhav was a naval officer, but refused any ties with the government and has demanded Pakistan to hand-over a copy of charge-sheet against Jadhav and said that they will appeal to Pakistana gainst the verdict.
Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautan Bambawale, after his meeting with Pakistan foreign secretary said, “I have asked for a certified copy of the charge-sheet as well as the judgement in the death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav.I have again requested the Pakistan Foreign Secretary to give access to Jadhav so that we can appeal,” he said.