Jadhav meets kin, outrage at Pak's media spectacle

jadhav_meeting_mother_wife Former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav meeting his wife and mother at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office, Islamabad. Image via @ForeignOfficePk

The mother and wife of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav met the death row prisoner at the Pakistan Foreign Office here on December 25 amid tight security.

The 30-minute meeting started at 1.48 p.m in the presence of Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh, the media reported. Pakistan has been criticised for not allowing the family to meet in private.

Earlier, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammed Faisal tweeted a picture of Jadhav's mother Avanti and his wife seated ahead of the meeting, adding they were "sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. We honour our committments".

In an earlier tweet, Faisal said that Pakistan permitted the meeting as a humanitarian gesture on the birth anniversary of the nation's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.  

The roads leading from and to the Foreign Office building had been closed to traffic ahead of the meeting.

In the meantime, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that Kulbhushan Jadhav's meeting with his wife and mother should have been a private affair. Swamy questioned why the meeting was organised at foreign ministry's office where there would be camera-surveillance.

“What kind of a meeting will will that be? She wants to talk to her husband to find out how he is and what he is doing. How will any husband and wife feel when somebody is watching them talk to each other?” said Jadhav.

Pakistan has repeatedly rejected India's plea for consular access to Jadhav at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleging he was not an ordinary person and had entered the country with an intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.

On December 13, Pakistan submitted its reply to the ICJ in the case dismissing India's stance on Jadhav. The reply, which was submitted by the Foreign Office's Director (India), Fariha Bugti, also claimed that Jadhav's case does not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.

A Mumbai-based former naval officer-turned-businessman, Jadhav was arrested on March 3, 2016, and was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.

After persistent demands by New Delhi, the Pakistan government finally permitted the meeting terming it as "purely on humanitarian grounds".

India has maintained Jadhav's innocence and said he was kidnapped from Iran where he had gone for handling his businesses after superannuation from the Indian Navy.

Despite the death verdict, Pakistan last week reiterated that he was not under a threat of an immediate execution as his mercy petitions were still pending.

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