Kulbhushan Jadhav, Sentenced To Death In Pakistan, To Meet Family On Christmas

Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.

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India has been pressing Pakistan to grant a visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother (File)


Islamabad/ New Delhi:  Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian national sentenced to death in Pakistan, will be allowed to meet his wife and mother on December 25. An Indian High Commission official will also be allowed to be present at the meeting, Pakistan's Foreign Office announced today. This will be the first contact between Mr Jadhav, 47 and his family or Indian diplomats after his arrest by the Pakistani army last year on charges of spying and espionage.

In a string of tweets, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj signaled acceptance of the Pakistani offer. "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," Ms Swaraj tweeted. This is the first bit of positive news from Pakistan in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, whose arrest has soured relations between the two countries.

During Kulbhushan Jadhav's 21 months in custody, Pakistan refused to give India consular access to the former naval officer and sentenced him to death through, what India had described as a "kangaroo court". A top United Nations court, or the International Court of Justice, had halted his execution in May this year on India's appeal.

In a surprise move, Pakistan, which for months sat on a visa request from Mr Jadhav's mother, offered to let Mr Jadhav's wife meet him "on humanitarian grounds".

India said it would accept the offer only if Islamabad guarantees their security in Pakistan, does not harass them during their stay and allows a diplomat from the Indian High Commission to accompany them to the meeting.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who had recently met the Pakistani High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood in this context, said she had informed Mr Jadhav's family about the development.

In its announcement, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said a staff member from the Indian High Commission will be present during the meeting. He also said the family will be provided security during their stay in Pakistan


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