–Says Pakistan, India need to return to negotiating table without preconditions
NEW DELHI: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has said India should not expect to provide consular access to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, condemned to death for espionage and his involvement in subversive activities, for his was not an ordinary case.
In an interview to Indian English daily, he said Jadhav was tried for espionage and subversive activates in Pakistan. “His is not an ordinary case and we have dealt with his consular access plea under the bilateral agreement of 2008, which clearly stipulates that consular access on security related matters will be decided on merit.
Jadhav’s mercy plea is pending with the Army Chief who would decide whether or not to pardon him, he said.
Dismissing allegations against Hurriyat leadership, Basit said that allegations against it were leveled in the past as well but nobody could substantiate or prove them. There is no truth to these allegations, he added. “Efforts have been made to malign the Hurriyat leadership and the Kashmiri struggle and to portray it as a terrorism issue.”
Talking about Kashmir issue, he said that for India unrest in Indian held Kashmir may be related to terrorism but Pakistan looks at this as struggle of Kashmiri people for securing an inalienable right to self-determination. “During the last three and a half years here I’ve tried to persuade the interlocutors in India to look at Kashmir situation slightly differently and perhaps you would be able to arrive at the right conclusion.”
Basit said that cooperation can’t be on unilateral terms. “When we argue for a comprehensive engagement, it covers everything. It is not Pakistan which is not trying to engage with India, unfortunately, it is India which has not been forthcoming to reach out to Pakistan.”
Dispelling the impression that Pakistan was becoming a colony of China, Basit said that the two countries are very close friends and this friendship is not new. India may have its own way of looking at it but as far as the people of Pakistan are concerned, there is no issue.
“We know where this cooperation is taking us. It is strategic in nature and we are very confident that this is to our mutual benefit. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), would hopefully be a game changer for Pakistan.”
Originally Published by NNI