Pakistan issues visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family

Pakistan issues visa to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family

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Islamabad has issued visas to the mother and wife of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been awarded death by a military court in Pakistan. Earlier in November, Pakistan had offered to allow the spy to meet his family on humanitarian grounds.

In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal confirmed that the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on Wednesday issued visas to Jadhav’s family.

The wife and mother of Jadhav, an officer of Indian Navy who later joined the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), will meet him on December 25. They would be accompanied by an Indian diplomat.

The meeting is expected to take place in Islamabad as Jadhav’s family members have been issued visas only for the capital. However, the exact location and timing of the meeting have not been disclosed by authorities and are likely to be kept under wraps given the sensitivity and security issues involved.

Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan during a joint counterterrorism operation in March 2016 when he was crossing into Pakistan from neighbouring Iran.

Later, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released his recorded video statement in which Jadhav confessed that he was employed by RAW to instigate violence and terrorist attacks in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan and Karachi.

The spy was later awarded death sentence by a military tribunal in April this year after he was found guilty of espionage as well as subversive and terrorist activities. His mercy petition is pending before army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who has yet to take a decision on it.

India disputes Pakistan’s claim that Jadhav was working for RAW, although it has acknowledged that he was a Naval officer. New Delhi had sent several requests seeking consular access to Jadhav. Islamabad, however, turned down its pleas, saying the bilateral agreement does not allow consular access to spies.

India also went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague which asked Pakistan not to execute Jadhav till its final decision. Last week, Pakistan submitted a detailed reply to the ICJ, rejecting Indian arguments.

Pakistan hopes that the ICJ would throw out the India’s application. Apparently Islamabad has allowed Jadhav to meet his family in order to strengthen its case before the international court.

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