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India again asks Pakistan for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, Hamid Nehal Ansari

Renewing its demand, India on Sunday asked Pakistan for consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, arrested on charges of espionage, and Nehal Ansari, who was caught for illegally entering the country from Afghanistan apparently to meet a girl he had befriended online.

The External Affairs Ministry said India remains committed to address on “priority” with Pakistan the humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country.

“In this context, we await from Pakistan confirmation of nationality of those in India’s custody who are otherwise eligible for release and repatriation.

“We also await consular access to those Indian nationals in Pakistan’s custody for whom it has so far not been provided including Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Jadhav,” the MEA said in a statement.

The Pakistani security forces had arrested Jadhav from Balochistan in March and alleged that he was a serving officer in the Indian Navy and deputed to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Jadhav has been accused by Pakistan of planning ‘subversive activities’ in the country.

India has acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the navy but denied that he has any connection with the government.

Ansari, a Mumbai resident, had crossed over illegally to Pakistan from Afghanistan in 2012 reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online and then went missing.

He was later arrested and tried by a Pakistani military court, which pronounced him guilty of espionage.

The agreement on Consular Access, signed on 21 May 2008, provides that a comprehensive list of nationals of each country lodged in other country s jails has to be exchanged twice each year, on January 1 and July 1.