ISLAMABAD: The mother and wife of arrested Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav arrived in Pakistan on Monday to meet him at the office of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to itinerary details obtained by Geo News, Jadhav’s mother and wife flew to Islamabad via Dubai. The family have arrived at the Indian High Commission from where they will be taken to the Foreign Office. They will meet Jadhav today and leave the same day.
Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh will also be present at the meeting between Jadhav and his family, which will last 30 minutes, according to the Foreign Office spokesperson.
After meeting him at the Foreign Office, Jadhav’s family will head back to the Indian High Commission before returning to India via Oman, sources said.
In a tweet, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal shared that Pakistan permitted the meeting as a humanitarian gesture, on the birthday of the Father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The roads leading from and to the Foreign Office building have been closed to traffic ahead of the meeting. Walkthrough gates have been installed outside the Foreign Office building amid strict security measures.
Commander Jadhav — an on-duty Indian navy officer working for Indian covert agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan, after he entered into Pakistan from Iran. He has been convicted of espionage and sabotage activities.
Kulbhushan Jadhav has not been given consular access: FO
Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement Monday that arrested Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav has not been given consular access.
Clarifying earlier reports in the media, the Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said the presence of Indian diplomat during the scheduled meeting between Jadhav and his family does not mean Jadhav has been given Indian consular access.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, during his appearance on Geo News’ programme ‘Naya Pakistan’ earlier, had said that India had been given consular access to the convicted spy, describing it as a “concession.”
He had added that Pakistan had allowed Jadhav’s meeting with his mother and wife purely on “humanitarian grounds.”
Noting that Jadhav’s case is sub judice in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the minister had said they were also advised to allow the meeting. “We didn’t want any weakness in our case in the ICJ over the meeting.”
On Saturday, Indian authorities had shared the itinerary of Jadhav’s family.
“India informs that the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav will arrive by commercial flight on 25 Dec and leave the same day. Indian DHC in Islamabad will be the accompanying diplomat,” Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal had said on Twitter.
Pakistani authorities had earlier issued an ultimatum to India, stating that it would be difficult to arrange a meeting between Jadhav and his family (wife and mother) if the itinerary of the latter was not shared with Pakistan.
On April 10, 2017, Pakistan sentenced the RAW agent to death for carrying out espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi.
In a reaction to the move, Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring India tensed, and New Delhi approached the ICJ to hear the case.
On May 18, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to halt the execution of Jadhav until a final decision was made in the proceedings.
India then moved the ICJ to give it six months to file pleadings in the case, which the United Nations’ judicial organ had turned down in June this year. Later, New Delhi submitted its memorial (arguments) to the ICJ on September 13.
On December 13, Pakistan submitted its reply to the ICJ, dismissing India’s stance in the case of the convicted spy.
In its counter-memorial, Pakistan stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.
The reply also stated that Jadhav, who was a serving officer of the Indian Navy, does not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.
The case remains sub judice.
Arrest, confession, sentencing
Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was arrested on March 3, 2016 in a ‘counter-intelligence operation’ from Mashkel area of Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Pakistan.
The incarcerated RAW agent, in his video statement, confessed to involvement in sabotage and espionage inside Pakistan, which has also been the crux of Islamabad’s case in the ICJ.
On April 10, a Field General Court Martial — under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, and Official Secrets Act, 1923 — awarded death sentence to Jadhav for espionage and sabotage.
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa ratified the sentencing by the army tribunal.
Jadhav has since been on the death row.