New Delhi: Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother were issued visas by Pakistan on Tuesday, close to 21 months after he was taken into custody by their military. The two are expected to meet Jadhav on December 25 and will also be accompanied by an official of the Indian High Commission there.
"Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued the visas to the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav to visit Islamabad to meet him, today," Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted.
Islamabad had granted permission to Jadhav's wife to visit him “on humanitarian grounds" on November 10. The Indian government then urged the neighbouring country to also allow his mother to meet him along with an Indian diplomat, a demand to which it ceded.
New Delhi had tried several times to arrange a meeting of Jadhav with his family. Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, had even written a personal letter to Sartaj Aziz, the advisor to the Pakistani PM, asking for approval for the visa application. Finally, on Thursday, Pakistan directed its High Commission in New Delhi to issue the visas.
The 47-year-old was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the ICJ in May. The ICJ halted his execution on India's appeal pending the final verdict by it.
Pakistan has so far rejected over 30 Indian requests for consular access to Jadhav, but the Indian government called the gesture of allowing him to meet his family a positive development.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.