World

India asks Pakistan to allow Jadhav’s mother also to meet him along with wife

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018

Islamabad frowns at India’s demand on diplomat being present at the meeting

In a fresh twist to the Kulbhushan Jadhav saga, India has put pre-conditions on Pakistan’s offer to let him meet his wife. The government has told Pakistan that not only will his wife, but his mother too would travel to Pakistan to meet him along with a diplomat.

Earlier this month, the Pakistan government had said it had allowed Jadhav’s wife to meet him on “humanitarian grounds” even though his mother’s request had been pending with them for over 10 months.

“In our response, we have conveyed that the wife of Jadhav would like to travel along with her mother-in-law for the meeting,” said Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), here on Thursday.

Kumar said that the Indian government also wants a diplomat of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to be allowed to accompany them at all times, including during the meeting.

Security angle

“We have also sought sovereign guarantee from the government of Pakistan to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the wife and the mother of Jadhav and that they shall not be questioned, harassed or interrogated during their visit and stay in Pakistan,” Kumar added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is said to be peeved with India’s pre-conditions. Pakistan is “upset” over India’s insistence on a diplomat accompanying them, sources told BusinessLine.

A former Indian navy officer, Jadhav, 46, is serving a death sentence in Pakistan on charges of espionage and carrying out terrorist activities there.

Jadhav was apprehended by Pakistani law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly crossed over to the country illegally. Pakistan claims Jadhav was working with Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), when he was arrested.

Kumar said although India had allowed the meeting to go through, the move “does not absolve” Pakistan of the violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Human Rights and “not following the due process in treating Jadhav who remains incarcerated in Pakistan and faces death sentence through a farcical process and on concocted charges.”

“While the government hopes that Pakistan would facilitate the visit by the wife and mother of Jadhav, we are determined to pursue all measures with full vigour so as to secure the final release of an innocent Indian,” he said.

India and Pakistan are fighting out the case in UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague. In September, India presented its written pleadings, also known as memorials, at the ICJ as per its directive, to seek Jadhav’s release. Pakistan has been asked by the ICJ to present its memorial next month.

Jadhav has already filed for a mercy petition before Pakistani Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa after the Military Appellate Court rejected his appeal. The petition is still lying with Bajwa and a decision on it is unlikely before the next hearing of ICJ, which is expected to take place next year, sources added.

Published on November 23, 2017

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