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2:55 pm - Wednesday January 24, 2018

“Not the final visit,’ says Pakistan after Jadhav met mother and wife

Agencies, Islamabad

For the first time since his arrest in Pakistan, Kulbhushan Jadhav met his mother and wife on Monday amid tight security at the office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which said it was not the Indian national’s last meeting with his family.

The meeting lasted about 40 minutes, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said soon after at a press conference. “It was around 35 minutes long. Jadhav requested that it may be extended a little bit,” so it ran to about 40 minutes, the spokesperson said.

“They spoke openly during the meeting,” Dr Faisal said, adding that the Indian deputy high commissioner JP Singh, who accompanied Jadhav’s mother Avanti and wife Chetankul, was present outside the meeting room and did not hear the conversation that took place between the family members.

He said Pakistan arranged the meeting on “humanitarian grounds” on the birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Jadhav has not been given consular access. “It has nothing to do with consular access,” he said. “Let me be very clear that Pakistan permitted the Indian request totally on humanitarian grounds in line with Islamic principles and teachings.

Islam is a religion of peace… and it was a gesture of good faith and compassion. “We fulfilled the promises we made to them,” he said, adding that the decision for consular access would be taken at a later date. Dr Faisal also said the meeting “has nothing to do with the case pending before the International Court of Justice or with politics.”

In May, the International Court of Justice had asked Pakistan to stay Jadhav’s execution. On April 10, 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death after being convicted of espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi.

The spokesperson said Pakistan would have preferred if Jadhav’s wife and mother had spoken to Pakistani media. “Pakistan wanted the wife and mother of Commander Jadhav to speak to the media, here in this hall, today. This would have included the Indian media, as well. We had formally proposed this to India.

This was done in the spirit that Pakistan has nothing to hide and like all of you seeks answers to many questions that remain unanswered. “However, the Indian side requested that they wanted to avoid media interaction. Hence, I speak today without the presence of the mother and wife in due deference to the Indian request.”

Dr Faisal said Jadhav’s wife and mother were “our guests” and “they came and left in an honourable fashion.” “As Jadhav’s wife and mother were leaving, they thanked Pakistan, the FO, me, my team,” he said.

“They were satisfied with the meeting.” The spokesperson also presented two medical reports for Jadhav that showed he is in “good health” and “everything is normal”.

Posted in: Featured, World

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