Pakistan grants India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav

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Pakistan on Monday granted India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who was sentenced to death on charges of espionage.

Pakistan Foreign Minister  Khwaja M Asif told Geo News that an Indian official will be allowed to be present during the meeting between Jadhav and his wife and mother. “Had India been in place of us, it would not have given us this concession,” he said.

Jadhav’s family will arrive in Pakistan through a commercial flight and will leave the same day. Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad, J P Singh will accompany the duo during the meeting. This will be Jadhav’s first contact with his family since his arrest in Pakistan.

“His mother, Avanti Jadhav, and his wife are expected to fly from Dubai to Islamabad for their first ever interaction later in the day. According to available information, Kulbhushan Jadhav will be brought to the Pakistani capital for the meeting,” Jatin Desai, spokesperson for Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) told IANS. The duo will however not interact with the media.

The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi had issued visas to Jadhav’s mother and wife earlier in the week. The visas were issued after Pakistan decided to allow Jadhav’s mother to visit him, apart from his wife. The meeting will take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.

Responding to Pakistan’s offer of agreeing to let Jadhav meet his wife on “humanitarian grounds,” India had requested a sovereign guarantee that the family would not be harassed or questioned when they visit him.

Earlier, Islamabad has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav claiming that New Delhi wants to extract information gathered by its “spy”. In its counter-memorial submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan said the provision of such an access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors and not for spies, a media report said.

While Pakistan claims that Jadhav was arrested by security forces from Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran, the Indian side maintains that he was kidnapped in Iran where he did business. His execution was stayed by the International Court of Justice on India’s appeal.

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