Amid row over Kulbhushan Jadhav, India cancels maritime talks with Pakistan

India cancels maritime talks with Pakistan

Amid row over Kulbhushan Jadhav, India cancels maritime talks with Pakistan

A delegation was to visit New Delhi April 16-19 to discuss issues related to fishermen and search and rescue operations.

India has called off maritime security dialogue with Pakistan, scheduled for early next week, amid tensions over death sentence being awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav on charges of spying.

A delegation led by Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) was to visit New Delhi April 16-19 to discuss issues related to fishermen and search and rescue operations.

Coast Guard sources said the Ministry of Defence has not given clearance for the delegation’s visit.

The development comes amid tension between the two countries over Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer, being awarded death sentence by a Pakistani military court.

India has said if Jadhav were to be executed, it will be considered as a “premeditated murder”.

On Friday, India said it would appeal against the death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav and demanded from Pakistan a certified copy of the charge-sheet as well as the army court order in the case, besides seeking consular access to the retired Indian navy officer.

This was conveyed by Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua during a meeting sought by him.

“We would definitely go to appeal against the judgement but we cannot do it unless we have the details of charges and the copy of verdict. So, my first demand was to provide us the details of the charge-sheet and copy of the verdict,” he said.

The death sentence to Jadhav, 46, was confirmed by army chief General Bajwa after the Field General Court Martial found him guilty of “espionage and sabotage activities” in Pakistan.

Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.”

Meanwhile, there was no official confirmation on reports of India asking its high commission in Pakistan to go slow on visas to Pakistan nationals in wake of the development._ PTI

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