India on diplomatic offensive to save Kulbhushan Jadhav


NEW DELHI, Apr. 16: India is looking to mount yet another diplomatic offensive to save Kulbhushan Jadhav who was awarded death sentence by a Pakistani military court. Official sources here said the government was awaiting a response from Pakistan over its demand for a copy of the chargesheet against Jadhav as it mulled options to secure his release.

The government is said to be contemplating a move similar to the one it launched last year after the Uri attack to "isolate" Pakistan.

As a first step, official sources here said, India blocked maritime security dialogue between the two countries which was scheduled for Monday. India conveyed to Pakistan that it wasn't ready to host a delegation of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency which was supposed to arrive here on Sunday.

This is the first move by the government to raise the stakes for Pakistan after the Jadhav sentencing as it suggests that the two countries could be returning to the situation which prevailed in the immediate aftermath of the Uri attack last year in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed. Pakistan has consistently maintained that the two governments need to start the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, as announced in December 2015, to resolve outstanding issues.

The maritime talks, coupled with meetings mandated by Indus Waters Treaty, were seen as a small beginning by both the countries to move on after the bitter exchanges over Uri. "The defence ministry didn't give the go-ahead for the scheduled dialogue and it had to be called off. This is a sign of things to come if Pakistan doesn't address concerns raised by India over Jadhav," said a top government official.

The government is also likely to review its attempts in the past few months to encourage people to people contacts with Pakistan.




Senior officials though denied that there is any move by India to delay visas to Pakistani diplomats, as has been reported by some sections of the Pakistan media. "Visas in any case are given on a case-to-case basis and the decision to be selective in issuing visas was actually taken after the Uri attack," said a senior Indian official.(TOI)

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