Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother met the convicted Indian spy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after arriving in Islamabad on Monday morning via a commercial flight.
Jadhav’s mother, Avanti, and wife, Chetankul, made a stop at the Indian High Commission prior to the 40-minute-long meeting with the spy, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said.
Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav arrive at the Foreign Office.
Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav were accompanied by Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh and three Indian foreign ministry officials, according to Indian media reports.
During the meeting, only Jadhav’s family members were present with him, while Singh and FO officials, who were monitoring the meeting, were outside the room, according to the FO.
“They spoke openly during the meeting,” Dr Faisal said during a press briefing following the meeting. He added that JP Singh did not hear the conversation that took place between the family members.
Jadhav’s wife and mother sitting at the FO in Islamabad. “We honour our commitments,” says FO spokesperson. ─ Photo courtesy FO Spokesperson Dr Faisal official Twitter
More about the meeting: ‘This is not the final visit,’ says FO after Jadhav’s meeting with family
Jadhav’s wife and mother will catch a flight back to India this evening.
India requested that the family should not have any interaction with the media, the FO spokesperson said. In the press briefing after the meeting, he said that Pakistan would have preferred if Avanti and Chetankul had spoken to the media, as there are “many questions unanswered”.
Jadhav’s wife and mother outside the FO after the meeting. ─ DawnNews
In a pre-recorded video message played at the FO after the meeting, Jadhav thanked the Pakistani government for arranging the meeting. He said that Pakistani authorities have treated him in a dignified, respectful and professional manner, for which he is thankful.
The Indian spy, in the video, again confessed to working for Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing. He added that he had been arrested in Balochistan while attempting to infiltrate the country from Iran.
No consular access to Jadhav
Pakistan has issued visas to Jadhav’s wife and mother on “humanitarian grounds”, and has consistently denied consular access to him, as the Vienna Convention does not apply to those involved in espionage, FO Spokesperson Dr Faisal told DawnNews.
“The presence of JP Singh at today’s meeting should not be considered as consular access,” Dr Faisal said.
Indian media, however, reported that the meeting between Jadhav and his family members constitutes as “consular access” after Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on a Geo News talk show had said that the meeting is a “concession”.
Times of India cited Asif as saying that the reason the meeting is taking place is because Pakistan didn’t want India to create the impression that Jadhav was denied access to his family, especially since the spy’s case is currently being heard at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
ToI quoted Asif as saying: “We didn’t want any weakness in our case in the ICJ over the meeting… We have allowed access to Jadhav’s family purely on a humanitarian basis. However, if we were in the same place, India wouldn’t have been so kind to us.”
Earlier today officials said all arrangements were in place for the meeting between Jadhav and his wife and mother, and sharpshooters had been deployed at the sprawling FO building ahead of the meeting.
Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was arrested in Pakistan on espionage charges.
He was captured by security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan and sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year for his involvement in terrorism and espionage.
His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to the spy in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav until it decides the case.