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India wants Jadhav’s mother to meet him first: Pakistan

IANS | Islamabad |

Pakistan on Saturday said it has received India’s reply to its offer to allow the wife of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death here, to meet his wife. According to sources, India has requested that Jadhav’s mother be allowed to meet him first.

“India’s reply to Pakistan’s humanitarian offer for Commander Jadhav received and is being considered,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted.

According to a Foreign Office source, India has sought an additional visa for Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother, Avanti Jadhav, and permission for her to meet her son.

Jadhav’s mother had filed a visa application with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi earlier this year.

The source said that India has expressed reluctance in sending Jadhav’s wife alone to Pakistan and insisted that his mother’s application should also be processed.

India maintains that Jadhav’s mother has a right to meet her son.

In a sudden move, Pakistan had last week informed India that it would be willing to allow a meeting between the “self-confessed spy” and his wife “on humanitarian grounds”.

The meeting would take place on Pakistani soil, the Foreign Office spokesman had told reporters.

It is not clear what prompted Islamabad to allow Jadhav’s wife to meet him in Pakistan.

There were rumours that the two countries discussed the issue at a recent meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the newly-appointed Pakistani High Commissioner to New Delhi Sohail Mahmood.

Islamabad, however, denied that the issue came under discussion.

Pakistan claims Jadhav is a serving Commander of the Indian Navy and was working for India’s premier intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Islamabad says he was apprehended by law enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 in Balochistan after he illegally crossed over into Pakistan. India has said Jadhav is a former navy officer and denied he was working for RAW.

Jadhav was sentenced to death earlier this year by a Pakistani military court. However, the International Court of Justice ordered a stay in his execution.

New Delhi has repeatedly sought consular access to Jadhav, but Islamabad has denied permission on the ground that such access in cases related to spies was not applicable.