With glass wall in between, Kulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother for 40 minutes

With glass wall in between, Kulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother for 40 minutes

Pakistan on December 20 issued visa to Jadhav's wife and mother to visit Islamabad to meet him.

By: || Updated: 26 Dec 2017 09:09 AM

Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.

ISLAMABAD: Kulbhushan Jadhav on Monday met his wife and mother at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Islamabad. However, between Jadhav and his family members was placed a glass 'barricade' that prohibited any sort of physical contact. 

In the 'symbolic' meeting, which lasted for about 40 minutes and was video-graphed, Jadhav and his family were only made to talk through an intercom placed on both sides of the glass pane. Before the 'restricted' interaction, the security check of the family was performed.

Pakistan's gesture of not allowing Jadhav to meet freely with his family was criticised by many.

Later, Pakistan foreign office released a video of Jadhav in which the former Indian naval officer was seen thanking the Pakistan government for allowing him to meet his family.

"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.

The 40-minute meeting took place at the heavily guarded Foreign Affairs Ministry building, and came after the International Court of Justice asked Pakistan in May to stay his execution.

The wife and mother greeted media persons with a namaste after arriving at the ministry but did not respond to their questions.

Foreign Office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said the presence of an Indian diplomat during the scheduled meeting between Jadhav and his family does not mean India has been given consular access to Jadhav.

This is the first meeting between Jadhav, who was convicted of espionage, and his family since his arrest on March 3 last year.

The Pakistan Foreign Office tweeted a picture of the mother and wife of Jadhav inside the building. "The mother and wife of Commander Jadhav sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. We honour our commitments," Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said along with a picture of the visitors on Twitter.

From Pakistan's side, Foreign Office Director India Dr Fareha Bugti was present at the meeting. The wife and mother greeted the media persons after arrival but refused to respond to their questions.

Jadhav's family arrived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Indian High Commission where they stayed for more than half an hour. Jadhav was at the ministry before his family arrived. It was not known where he had been kept before being transported to the ministry.

The two women arrived in the capital via Dubai in a commercial flight and are expected to leave soon after the meeting where they will be accompanied by Singh. Strict security measures are in place at the ministry, officials said.

TV footage showed a convoy of around seven vehicles escorting Jadhav's family in the city. Police and paramilitary security forces, including sharpshooters, were deployed at the MOFA to deal with any untoward security situation, they said.

Roads leading to the Constitution Avenue, on which MOFA is located, were closed for traffic. Special security passes were issued for those visiting the Foreign Office, the officials added. Pakistan has announced it would issue photos and a video of the meeting.

The mother and wife of Jadhav were being provided with a meeting with him in the light of "Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds," Faisal had said.

Pakistan on December 20 issued visa to Jadhav's wife and mother to visit Islamabad to meet him.

Jadhav, 47, 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 claims its security forces arrested Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel from its restive Balochistan province 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.

(With inputs from PTI)

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