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Pakistan allows Jadhav to meet wife, mother on Christmas day

Last updated on: December 08, 2017 16:59 IST

Pakistan on Friday said it will allow convicted Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet both his wife and mother on December 25, months after India sought a visa for his mother on humanitarian grounds.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Friday that Pakistan has conveyed to India that it will give visas to the mother and wife of Jadhav.

Swaraj said Pakistan had earlier agreed to give a visa only to Jadhav's wife but India asked that a visa should also be given to his mother.

 

'We also raised concern about their safety and security in Pakistan. Government of Pakistan has conveyed that they will give visa to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav,' Swaraj tweeted.

Pakistan has assured India of their safety, security and freedom of movement in that country, she said.

The government had also asked that a diplomatic officer of the Indian High Commission should accompany them while they are in Pakistan, she added.

The minister said she had spoken to Jadhav's mother, Avantika Jadhav, and informed her about it.

Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism.

The International Court of Justice in May had halted his execution on India’s appeal.

Jadhav has been allowed to meet his wife and mother on December 25, foreign office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said. “We have conveyed the decision to India,” he said.

During his weekly news briefing, the spokesman said a staff member from the Indian high commission will also be present during the meeting.

He also said Jadhav’s family will be provided security during their stay in Pakistan.

Earlier on November 10, Pakistan had agreed to allow Jadhav’s wife to meet him.

India has been pressing Pakistan to grant a visa to Jadhav’s mother, Avantika, on humanitarian grounds.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Sawraj had recently discussed Jadhav’s case with Pakistani high commissioner to New Delhi Sohail Mahmood.

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 March 3 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.

Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India. 

After India approached the International Court of Justice, a 10-member bench on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case. 

The ICJ has asked Pakistan to submit its response or memorial by December 13 before the court could start further proceedings in the case.

Sajjad Hussain
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