Former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav met his mother and wife on Monday at the office of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PTI reported, quoting officials from Pakistan. They were allowed to meet for less than an hour.
This was Jadhav’s first contact with his family since his arrest in March 2016 on charges of espionage and terrorism. Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh accompanied Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav at the meeting.
Spokesperson for Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted an image of the two women at the office, saying, “We honour our commitments.”
At a press conference after the meeting, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry played a pre-recorded video of Jadhav. He thanks Pakistan for “this grand gesture” and for treating him in a dignified, respectful and professional manner, Dawn reported. In the clip, he supposedly confesses to “working for Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing”.
On Sunday, Pakistan had claimed it had granted Jadhav consular access by allowing the deputy high commissioner of India to accompany the women to the meeting. After India disagreed, Pakistan on Monday said it was not consular access as JP Singh was not allowed to speak to Jadhav and had merely accompanied his family to the meeting.
Jadhav’s mother and wife arrived in Islamabad from Dubai in a commercial flight on Monday. He was brought to the Pakistani Capital for the meeting. The countries arranged the visit after weeks of talks and eight months after his sentencing.
Security was heightened in Islamabad in view of the meeting. Sharp shooters and paramilitary forces were deployed to deal with any security threat, unidentified officials told PTI. “Special security passes have been issued for those visiting the Foreign Office,” they said.
India had moved the International Court of Justice against the verdict in May, after which the court stayed his execution. A final verdict in the case is pending.
India has demanded consular access to Jadhav under the rules of the Vienna Convention – an international treaty on consular relations between independent states – but Pakistan has rejected the request repeatedly.