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  World   Asia  26 Dec 2017  Separated by glass screen, Kulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother

Separated by glass screen, Kulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother

AGE CORRESPONDENT WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Dec 26, 2017, 1:30 am IST
Updated : Dec 26, 2017, 6:28 am IST

India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

Kulbhushan Jadhav meets his wife and mother at the foreign ministry in Islamabad. (Photo: AP)
 Kulbhushan Jadhav meets his wife and mother at the foreign ministry in Islamabad. (Photo: AP)

Islamabad: Kulbhushan Jadhav, on death row in Pakistan for alleged spying, on Monday met his wife and mother — but separated by a glass screen — in a carefully choreographed event that unfolded in tweets, photos and TV footage. Pakistani officials said the glass barrier was necessitated due to security concerns.

The 40-minute meeting, which took place after many representations, was held at the heavily guarded Foreign Affairs Ministry building, and came after the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) asked Pakistan in May to stay 47-year-old Jadhav’s execution.

 

The foreign office also issued a new video message of Jadhav in which he is seen thanking the Pakistan government for arranging a meeting with his wife and mother. It was the first time that Jadhav was meeting his family since his arrest in March, and Pakistan portrayed it as a humanitarian gesture to mark the birthday of the country’s founder 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,” foreign ministry spokes-man Mohammad Faisal tweeted.

The tweet made it a point to identify Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, with his military title. Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province af-ter he reportedly entered from Iran. It claims that he was in possession of an Indian passport that identified him as Hussein Mubarak Patel.

 

India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

Faisal also tweeted that the meeting was arranged in light of “Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds”. Dr Fareha Bugti attended the meeting for Pakistan while India deputy high commisioner J.P. Singh represented his country. They were, however, not allowed to sit close enough to listen to the family’s conversation.  TV footage showed Jadhav’s mother Avanti and wife Chetankul entering the ministry building’s Agha Shahi Block.

Cong attacks govt, asks if it is determined to bring back Jadhav: After they went in, the door shut behind them.

 

Pakistan Foreign Office later released pictures of Jadhav talking to his wife and mother from behind a glass screen. The communication between them was through a intercom device.

The meeting started at around 1.35 pm local time (2.05 pm IST), after which Jadhav’s wife and mother were driven away in a white SUV. The two women had arrived in Islamabad earlier today via Dubai on a commercial flight, and spent about 30 minutes at the Indian High Commission before being driven to the Foreign Ministry. Jadhav’s family had a brief stop at the mission again before they headed to the airport to catch a flight to India via Dubai.

Dr Faisal briefed the media after the meeting of Jadhav with his mother and wife in the presence of diplomat Singh, which he said did not constitute “consular access”. He also repeated Pakistan’s old allegations against the Indian prisoner. “This meeting was not consular access as we had told India that its diplomat would see the meeting but was not allowed to speak or participate in it.” On being asked if consular access would ever be provided Dr Faisal said, “All decisions on consular access will be taken on the basis of law and interests of Pakistan.” Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.

 

Dr Faisal said that the meeting was positive and the two sides talked thoroughly. “It is not the last meeting. It should be categorically registered,” he added.The spokesperson noted that the Indian government had not provided an explanation as to how Jadhav was using an Indian passport with a fake name.

“This meeting was not done to win at the International Court of Justice rather it was just to show that Pakistan thoroughly believes in basic human rights,” said Dr Faisal. On Jadhav’s medical condition, the spokesperson said that detailed reports vividly show that he was in perfect health.

The video of Jadhav played during the press conference was recorded before his meeting with his family, officials said. “I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to government of Pakistan for this gesture,” Jadhav said in the brief video message.

 

A day before the much-hyped meeting, Dr Faisal had said hanging Kulbhushan Jadhav did not suit Pakistan as his existence would keep the case alive.

Tags: kulbhushan jadhav meets family, kulbhushan jadhav, international court of justice
Location: Pakistan, Islamabad, Islamabad