India seeks consular access to Jadhav


India has sought consular access to five prisoners, including imprisoned Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav who was sentenced to death a Pakistani military court after being arrested on charges of spying and subversive activities in 2016, Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.

India also called on Pakistan to release and repatriate 400 of its prisoners, including some who it said were still in jail despite having completed their sentences nearly four to five years ago. The demand was made through a note verbale – an unsigned diplomatic correspondence – sent to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

Reportedly, India had expressed “deep concern” over its long-pending request for the release and repatriation of the prisoners, who also include fishermen, especially those who had completed their sentences and whose nationality had been confirmed.

India sought the “immediate release” of 10 civilian prisoners who had completed their sentences, including two who had served their terms by 2014 and 2015. It also called for urgent steps to repatriate 385 fishermen whose nationality had been confirmed and who were still in jail despite serving their sentences.

Another five prisoners had been confirmed as Indian nationals and India sought their “early release and repatriation”.

In the note verbale, India stated that it had been providing timely consular access to Pakistani prisoners while access to Indian fishermen and prisoners was “inordinately delayed”.