Pakistan allows Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet wife, mother on Christmas day
External Affairs Ministry says Pakistan’s decision is a 'positive development' as far as access is concerned
Kulbhushan Jadhav will be allowed to meet his wife and mother on December 25, Pakistan announced yesterday, nearly eight months after he was sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage and terrorism. Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by the court in April. 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 that will take place in Islamabad. Faisal also said that a "diplomat from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad will be allowed to accompany the visitors." He also said that "requisite security would be provided to the visitors" 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. In New Delhi, the External Affairs Ministry welcomed the move and said the next step will be to consult with Jadhav's mother and wife to work out the modalities of their visit to Pakistan.
The ministry said Pakistan's decision was a "positive development" as far as access is concerned. 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.
The day in 2016 when Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested
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The case in ICJ
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav 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. 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.
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