India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), on Friday, said that Pakistan’s gesture to allow Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother to meet him in jail in the presence of an Indian diplomat is a “positive development” but “can’t be called consular access as of now.”
“It’s good news for us. We are happy that Pakistan has accepted our request to let both his wife and mother meet Kulbhushan Jadhav. It is a positive development. An Indian diplomat will be accompanying the wife and mother when they meet him,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
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“But it is too early to predict the nature of the meeting and the access given by the Pakistani government,” he added in response to a media query if the meeting can be construed as the consular access to Jadhav that India has been seeking for long.
The meeting is tentatively scheduled to take place of December 25 and further modalities are being worked out, Kumar added. He said Pakistan has assured that “it will ensure the safety, security and well-being of the wife and mother” during their stay in Pakistan.
Earlier on Friday, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj announced that Pakistan government has accepted India’s request to let the former spy meet his wife and mother. She also spoke to Jadhav’s mother Avantika Jadhav.
Pakistan had initially agreed to give a visa only to Jadhav’s wife, but India requested the authorities to let his mother be a part of the meeting as well.
Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav alias, Hussain Mubarak Patel, a serving Commander of the Indian navy, was working with India’s premier intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), and was apprehended by law-enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 after he illegally crossed over into Pakistan.
He confessed before a magistrate and the court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilising and waging war against Pakistan.
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Jadhav was sentenced to death earlier this year; however, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered a stay in his execution.
New Delhi has repeatedly sought access to the convicted spy but Islamabad denied permission on the ground that consular access in cases related to spies was not applicable.
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