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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi rejected the reports in the Senate on Thursday that Pakistan had quietly allowed India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) spy Kulbhushan Jhadav to leave Pakistan, saying Pakistan has no plan to 'bail Jadhav out' or give him any kind of relief other than what he is legally entitled to.

"Neither he [Jhadav] has left Pakistan nor do we have any intention to allow him leave Pakistan quietly in the middle of the night," the foreign minister said while speaking on the floor of the House after the Senate passed two crucial bills; The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2020, and The United Nations (Security Council) (Amendment) Bill, 2020, in line with Pakistan's commitment to Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

All political parties in the Upper House of Parliament except Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) supported the bill.

"No concession has been given to him [Jhadav]. There is no truth in the reports that the ordinance [International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Ordinance, 2020] aims to bail out the Indian spy. No relief is given to him," he said adding that the ordinance was promulgated to implement ICJ's verdict regarding Jhadav in letter and spirit.

The minister said India wanted the ICJ to suspend Jhadav sentence handed by a Pakistani court on charges of espionage and terrorism, and wanted to shift him back to India. "But India was defeated in ICJ. It was the victory for you, I-all of us," he told the House, adding that ICJ ordered that consular access be given to the Indian spy and he should be allowed a fair trial through review and reconsideration of the sentence handed to him, and Pakistan has taken effective measures to implement the ICJ decision.

When, for the first time, the Indian High Commission was given consular access to Indian spy, the High Commission said it was not satisfied with the arrangements related to consular access, the foreign minister said. Pakistan then gave second consular access to the Indian High Commission and accepted its demand to not record the meeting between Jhadav and High Commission officials, adding that Indian officials were allowed to sit next to Indian spy without any security shield in between. Still, Qureshi said the Indian side raised the objection that two Pakistani security officials were present during the meeting between Indian spy and High Commission's officials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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