A day after Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry contradicted Sartaj Aziz, advisor on foreign Affairs to the Pakistan Prime Minister, on his reported remarks on alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, India said that even after more than nine months of keeping him “wrongfully and illegally in custody”, Pakistani authorities “have not found a shred of evidence against him”.
Pakistani media reported Wednesday that Aziz had admitted that the government was presented with “insufficient evidence” on alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav who is under detention. Hours later, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry had issued clarification saying the statement attributed to Aziz was “absolutely incorrect”.
Watch What Else Is making News
Stressing that allegations against the former Indian Navy officer were “baseless”, the Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Thursday, “We demand immediate consular access to him in accordance with relevant international conventions and his earliest release from wrongful confinement. We have also sent 8 Note Verbales to the Pakistan Foreign Office on this issue.”
“We have seen conflicting media reports about this issue. 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. Even after more than nine months of keeping him wrongfully and illegally in custody, Pakistani authorities have not found a shred of evidence against him,” Swarup said.
Meanwhile, Islamabad’s envoy Abdul Basit struck a conciliatory tone and said that it does not want to live in “perpetual hostility” with India, noting time has come for the two neighbours to decide whether status quo should continue or a new beginning be made.
Basit, while speaking at a seminar organised in the Capital by Kolkata-based Centre for Peace and Progress, said that the two countries must overcome the differences in order to embark on a “irreversible trajectory” of cooperative relationship. At the same time, he said, for Pakistan, Jammu & Kashmir was the core issue between the two countries.