NEW DELHI: The mother and wife of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been jailed in Pakistan on charges of spying, met with him in Islamabad on Monday after they were allowed on “humanitarian grounds”.
The meeting was held inside a high-security glass-partitioned room through an inter-come facility and lasted for about half-an-hour. Pakistan has stressed that it was arranged on a humanitarian ground and not under the consular access programme.
Before their meeting, there have been conflicting media reports from Islamabad, raising doubts whether it would actually take place, with some claiming that Pakistan had denied consular access to the family. Citing the foreign office, Geo News had reported that there was no such move by the Pakistan government.Pakistan had repeatedly refused Indian consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies. It claimed Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of ‘spying’ and carrying out ‘sabotage’ activities.
However, on December 8, it granted permission to Jadhav’s mother and wife to meet him. The Pakistan High Commission in Delhi issued their visas on December 20.
India’s Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan JP Singh is also accompanying the Jhadav’s family to the meeting.
Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of ‘espionage’ and ‘terrorism’ in April this year. Following this, India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May.
The ICJ halted his execution on India’s appeal pending the final verdict by it.
Pakistan had earlier said that Jadhav was not under any threat of immediate execution.
Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel from restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.
Jadhav had filed an appeal with the Army chief to seek clemency, which is still pending.
After India approached the ICJ, a 10-member bench on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.
In its application, India had also informed the ICJ that it learnt about the death sentence against Jadhav from a press release.
India acknowledges that Jadhav had served in the Indian Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government.
India has also handed over to Pakistan an appeal by Jadhav’s mother, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.
India has warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “premeditated murder” was carried out.
In June 2017, India had dismissed as “farcical” Pakistan releasing a fresh “confessional video” of Jadhav and had said that “manufactured facts” could not alter the reality in the case.
In a strong reaction, the External Affairs Ministry said India expects Pakistan to desist from attempting to influence the proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case through false propaganda.