The wife and the mother of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav have finally met him at Islamabad.
The two women first visited the Indian High Commission in the Pakistani capital, after which they moved to meet Jadhav at the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad JP Singh was also present during the meeting.
Pakistan Rangers, Anti-Terrorism Squads (ATS) and sharp shooters were deployed at the rooftops, in view of the meeting. Other than media and security personnel, no other traffic was allowed in the area around the Pakistan MoFA building.
Jadhav’s kin reached the Pakistani capital earlier in the day via Dubai. They arrived in an unnamed commercial flight and are scheduled to leave later in the evening.
The meeting is expected to last between 15 minutes to an hour, and the two women would be allowed to speak to the media if they wish to, the Dawn had said, citing diplomatic sources.
Pakistan had agreed to facilitate the visit of Jadhav’s family and also assured their safety, security, and freedom of movement in the country.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Foreign Office, in a statement, has clarified that Jadhav was not given consular access.
Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said the presence of Indian diplomat during the scheduled meeting between Jadhav and his family did not mean he was given Indian consular access, Geo News reported.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, during his earlier appearance on Geo News’ programme ‘Naya Pakistan’, had said that India was given consular access to the convicted Jadhav, describing it as a “concession.” He added that Pakistan had allowed Jadhav’s meeting with his kin purely on “humanitarian grounds.”
Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued visas to Jadhav’s mother and wife on December 20.
Islamabad has repeatedly rejected New Delhi’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleging he was not an ordinary person and had entered the country with intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.
Dismissing India’s stance on Jadhav, Pakistan submitted its reply to the ICJ in the case on December 13. The reply, which was submitted by the Foreign Office’s Director, Fariha Bugti, also claimed that Jadhav’s case did not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.
Pakistan’s reply came after India submitted a written response to registrar Philippe Couvreur of the ICJ in the same case in September this year.
Jadhav was arrested in March this year, in Balochistan, Pakistan, over charges of alleged involvement in ‘espionage and subversive activities for India’s intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).’
India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan, on April 10.
The ICJ stayed the hanging, on May 18, after India approached it against the death sentence.