ISLAMABAD: The mother and wife of convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav departed for India after meeting him earlier at the office of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad amid strict security.
The meeting, held earlier yesterday, started at 2:18pm and lasted almost 40 minutes, according to the Foreign Office spokesperson.
Indian diplomats, including Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh, accompanied Jadhav’s family and were present during the meeting, which was conducted in a specially prepared room via an intercom through a glass partition.
Foreign Office Director India desk Dr Fareha was also present during the meeting.
Jadhav’s mother Avanti Jadhav and wife Chetankul Jadhav underwent a security check before being taken to the room for their meeting, the FO spokesperson added.
After meeting him at the Foreign Office, Jadhav’s family was taken to the Indian High Commission.
Jadhav’s mother thanked the Pakistan Foreign Office for allowing the meeting.
In a video message, recorded earlier, Jadhav thanked Pakistan’s government for setting up the meeting. “Thankful to the government of Pakistan for this kindness.”
He also confessed that he worked for Indian intelligence agency RAW, adding that he entered Pakistan through Iran. He shared that he was arrested by Pakistan’s security agencies from Balochistan.
According to itinerary details obtained by media, Jadhav’s mother and wife flew to Islamabad via Dubai earlier today. The family arrived at the Indian High Commission from where they were taken to the Foreign Office. They will leave the country the same day after meeting Jadhav.
In a tweet, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal shared a photo of the mother and wife of Jadhav sitting in the Foreign Office.
“The mother and wife of Commander Jadhav sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. We honour our commitments,” he tweeted.
The mother and wife of Commander Jadhav sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pakistan . We honour our commitments.
In a tweet earlier today, the FO spokesperson said that Pakistan permitted the meeting as a humanitarian gesture, on the birthday of the Father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Pakistan permits the meeting of wife and mother of Commander Jadhav with him, as a humanitarian gesture, on the birthday of the Father of the nation, Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Commander Jadhav — an on-duty Indian navy officer working for Indian covert agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan, after he entered into Pakistan from Iran. He has been convicted of espionage and sabotage activities.
‘Jadhav is the face of Indian terrorism in Pakistan’
The FO said that convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav is the face of Indian terrorism in Pakistan.
The remarks by the FO came after Jadhav was allowed to meet his mother and wife earlier in the day. The meeting was held at the FO in the federal capital under strict security.
Faisal, during a press conference, reiterated that Jadhav is a terrorist, spy and a saboteur who was caught “red-handed” and was conducting terror attacks in Balochistan and Karachi.
The FO spokesperson further said India has been unwilling to answer questions pertaining to the spy and India’s “silence is telling”.
Elaborating on the meeting, Faisal said an Indian diplomat was present during the meeting but was not allowed to speak or listen in to the conversation between the convicted spy and his family, and could only observe the meeting.
“We upheld our promise and all of our commitments. The meeting was promised for 30 minutes and was extended to 40 minutes after Jhadav requested 10 minutes more, hence we increased it.”
“The meeting was very present and they talked openly. I will not go into further details. We also had an officer present,” added Faisal.
Faisal clarified that the meeting was not the last meeting between Jhadav and his family, adding that the decision for consusal access to the convicted spy would be taken at a later date.
Kulbhushan Jadhav has not been given consular access: FO
Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement Monday that arrested Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav has not been given consular access.
Clarifying earlier reports in the media, the Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said the presence of Indian diplomat during the scheduled meeting between Jadhav and his family does not mean Jadhav has been given Indian consular access.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, during his appearance on media’ program ‘Naya Pakistan’ earlier, had said that India had been given consular access to the convicted spy, describing it as a “concession.”
He had added that Pakistan had allowed Jadhav’s meeting with his mother and wife purely on “humanitarian grounds.”
Noting that Jadhav’s case is sub judice in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the minister had said they were also advised to allow the meeting. “We didn’t want any weakness in our case in the ICJ over the meeting.”
On Saturday, Indian authorities had shared the itinerary of Jadhav’s family.
“India informs that the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav will arrive by commercial flight on 25 Dec and leave the same day. Indian DHC in Islamabad will be the accompanying diplomat,” Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal had said on Twitter.
Pakistani authorities had earlier issued an ultimatum to India, stating that it would be difficult to arrange a meeting between Jadhav and his family (wife and mother) if the itinerary of the latter was not shared with Pakistan.
On April 10, 2017, Pakistan sentenced the RAW agent to death for carrying out espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi.
In a reaction to the move, Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring India tensed, and New Delhi approached the ICJ to hear the case.
On May 18, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to halt the execution of Jadhav until a final decision was made in the proceedings.
India then moved the ICJ to give it six months to file pleadings in the case, which the United Nations’ judicial organ had turned down in June this year. Later, New Delhi submitted its memorial (arguments) to the ICJ on September 13.
On December 13, Pakistan submitted its reply to the ICJ, dismissing India’s stance in the case of the convicted spy.
In its counter-memorial, Pakistan stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.
The reply also stated that Jadhav, who was a serving officer of the Indian Navy, does not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.
The case remains sub judice.
Arrest, confession, sentencing
Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was arrested on March 3, 2016 in a ‘counter-intelligence operation’ from Mashkel area of Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Pakistan.
The incarcerated RAW agent, in his video statement, confessed to involvement in sabotage and espionage inside Pakistan, which has also been the crux of Islamabad’s case in the ICJ.
On April 10, a Field General Court Martial — under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, and Official Secrets Act, 1923 — awarded death sentence to Jadhav for espionage and sabotage.
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa ratified the sentencing by the army tribunal.
Jadhav has since been on the death row.