Pakistan allows Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother, wife to meet him on 25 Dec; Indian official to accompany duo

Pakistan on Friday agreed to allow Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother and wife to meet him on 25 December. An official from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad will also be allowed to be present at the meeting, Pakistani foreign office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said.

This comes after Pakistan announced on 10 November that it will allow the meeting on "humanitarian grounds". The Ministry of External Affairs accepted Pakistan's offer of allowing Jadhav's wife to meet him, but put forward three conditions. MEA sought a sovereign guarantee from Pakistan on the safety and security of Jadhav's wife and her mother-in-law if they visit.

File image of Kulbhushan Jadhav. News18

File image of Kulbhushan Jadhav. News18

MEA also said they should not be questioned or harassed, and also that a diplomat from the Indian High Commission in Pakistan should be permitted to accompany them throughout their stay.

The Pakistan foreign ministry has allowed an Indian High Commission in Islamabad official to accompany the duo. Faisal also said that Jadhav's family will be provided security during their stay in Pakistan.

India has been trying to arrange a meeting of Jadhav with his family members since July and had also moved a visa application for his mother. Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj even wrote a "personal letter" to the advisor to the prime minister of Pakistan on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, asking for approval of visa application of Jadhav's mother so that she may travel to Pakistan.

Pakistan's decision was lauded in India. Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman termed it as a "good humanitarian gesture" while Union minister Jitendra Singh said Pakistan's decision was a reflection of the efficacy of the Indian diplomatic outreach and its acceptance around the world.

A military court in Pakistan had in April this year sentenced Jadhav, a former navy man, to death on the charge of his alleged involvement in espionage and terror attacks. India strongly denied the allegation.

The International Court of Justice has stayed Jadhav's execution and asked Pakistan to submit its response or memorial by 13 December before the court could start further proceedings in the case.

Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.

Jadhav had filed an appeal with Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to seek clemency, which is still pending.

In October, the Pakistan Army had said it is close to a decision on the mercy petition of Jadhav.

Pakistan claims its security forces arrested him from restive Balochistan province on 3 March last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 08, 2017 14:30:07 IST

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