India calls off maritime talks with Pakistan over Kulbhushan Jadhav row

India has called off bilateral maritime security talks with Pakistan scheduled for April 17, a coastal security source said on Saturday. A Pakistan Maritime Security Agency-led delegation was to visit here from Monday to discuss with the Coast Guard issues related to fishermen, search and rescue operations.

Strongly condemning the action taken by Pakistani military court, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj had earlier said that India will go to any extent to provide justice to Jadhav.

On Friday, Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Gautam Bambawale told Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua that India will appeal against the death sentence to Jadhav and demanded from Pakistan a certified copy of the chargesheet as well as the army court order in the case, besides seeking consular access to the retired Indian navy officer. The Pakistani side had proposed to hold talks towards the end of April.

However, the talks have now been cancelled due to the rigid stance taken by Pakistan over the death sentence handed to Jadhav. The Defence Ministry, however, didn't give clearance for the delegation's visit.

Sartaz Aziz argued that the sentencing of Kulbhushan Jadhav was "based on credible, specific evidence proving his involvement in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan".


"It has been said in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha that in the matter of Kulbhushan Jadhav there can be no politics". There he came in contact with RAW which "lured him to work for them".

"Pakistan wants some or other reason to remain engaged".

Expressing disappointment over Pakistan turning down India's request for consular access to Jadhav, the Indian envoy said, "They have denied our request for consular access 13 times (in the last one year)".

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.

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