ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has informed India that the wife and mother of Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav alias Hussain Mubarak Patel, a serving Commander of the Indian Navy, will be issued visas for the meeting at the end of this month.
“The visit should take place on 25th December, 2017. A diplomat from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad will be allowed to accompany the visitors. Requisite security would be provided to the visitors,” spokesman at the Foreign Office announced on Friday during a briefing.
In what looks like a quid pro quo, India appears to have dropped the Pakistan-specific condition of attaching a letter from the Pakistan foreign minister while applying for a medical visa. Indian officials are now saying: “Now a common [Pakistani ] can directly call Sushma ji on twitter and she would respond with visas.”
Jadhav, an undercover RAW officer, is presently on death row after he confessed to carrying out and facilitating acts of espionage and terrorism in Pakistan. He was captured from Balochistan. He was sentenced to death by the Field General Court Martial under the Pakistan Army Act.
Earlier in November, the Pakistan Army had allowed Jadhav a meeting only with his wife on humanitarian grounds and based on Islamic traditions and jurisprudence. However, Jadhav’s wife was reluctant to travel alone to Pakistan and had requested for her mother-in-law Avantika Jadhav to accompany her.
With India moving the International Court of Justice, which gave a stay for Jadhav’s execution, there was request from India and some world capitals to allow the mother of Jadhav and an Indian official to also be present in the meeting, and complete security should be guaranteed to the visitors.
Pakistan agreed and the Foreign Office was conveyed Rawalpindi’s decision, which in turn informed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi. There was quick reaction from India on Friday, which accepted Pakistan’s announcement, with Sushma Swaraj, Minister (MEA), tweeting, “Government of Pakistan has conveyed that they will give visa to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav. Pakistan has agreed to facilitate the visit of mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav and assured us of their safety, security and freedom of movement in Pakistan.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has written to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj about the provocative ceasefire violations by the Indian Army and the recent extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiris.
“In 2017, India violated the Line of Control 1,300 times and as a result 52 citizens were killed and 175 injured. We also condemn the extrajudicial killings of eight young Kashmiris and destruction of their houses by the Indian forces,” said the spokesman.
Pakistan has repeatedly raised its concerns about the hegemonic conduct of India, including the unprecedented escalation of ceasefire violations this year by the Indian occupation forces at the Working Boundary and LoC to deflect the attention of the international community from the continuing Indian atrocities against Kashmiris in Indian Held Kashmir.
The FO spokesman brushed aside a statement made by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, warning Pakistan that the US would step in to destroy militant safe havens. “The statement that came a day before an important visit was unnecessary and contrary to the facts,” the spokesperson said, adding that during his visit, Mattis had praised the professional conduct of the Pakistan’s armed forces.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson noted that incidents of kidnapping of Pakistanis from Afghanistan are increasing. He asked the Pakistani citizens in Afghanistan to take precautionary measures and register with the Pakistan Embassy on an urgent basis. China too on Friday warned the Chinese business organisations and Chinese citizens to increase security awareness, strengthen internal precautions, reduce outside trips, and avoid crowded public spaces because of imminent terrorist attacks against them.
Regarding the statement by air chief that any US drone or other aircraft trespassing Pakistan air space will be shot down, the FO spokesman replied, “On drone strikes, our policy is clear and already in public domain. There is no change or policy shift.” In the past, Pakistan has refrained from bringing down the US drones. In a related development, the FO spokesman announced that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will attend the OIC emergency session to be convened in the next few days. “The foreign minister will attend the OIC’s Council of Foreign Minister’s session. We will follow the policy that the OIC adopts,” he said.