Pakistan’s envoy meets Sushma Swaraj: India makes ties conditional on Jadhav’s release

  • Newly appointed Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood held first high level meeting earlier this week
Pakistan

NEW DELHI – Newly appointed Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood held a first high-level meeting with Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj earlier this week, local media reported.

In the meeting, which is believed to be held on Monday, the Indian foreign minister discussed bilateral relations with the Pakistani official, who assumed charge in September after Abdul Basit’s early resignation.

According to media, Sawaraj has asked Pakistan to review its stance regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian spy agency’s agent whose case is pending in International Court of Justice after Pakistani military court sentenced him to death in last year.

The Indian minister is of the view that Pakistan should send back Jadhav to India by dropping charges against him in order to see any progress in bilateral ties.

The high commissioner is also expected to meet NSA Ajit Doval and foreign secretary S Jaishankar in the coming days.

It is notable that an announcement regarding issuing of medical visas to Pakistanis on Diwali was made by Swaraj days after holding a meeting with the Pakistan’s envoy.

Kulbhushan’s Arrest

Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan last year on March 3. The Pakistan Military Court sentenced him to death, alleging that he was working as a spy for intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Following Kulbhushan’s death sentence, Pakistan also nabbed a few of his accomplices in a bid to unearth the terror network wrecking havoc in the country.

India had termed the death sentence awarded to Jadhav “an act of premeditated murder,” while maintaining that Jadhav was a retired officer of the Indian Navy.