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December 25, 2017

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Wife, mother to meet Kulbhushan today

ISLAMABAD: Convicted Indian spy Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav is meeting his wife and mother today (Monday) at the Foreign Office under special permission granted by Pakistan on humanitarian basis.

According to sources in the Foreign Office, an Indian diplomat will also accompany the family members of death-row spy but the meeting that would last between 15 and 60 minutes could not be characterised as the counselor access. Pakistan had offered to facilitate Indian and international media for talks with Kulbhushan’s family but India objected to the same, sources said.

However, the international and Pakistani media would be allowed to broadcast the arrival of Jadhav’s family and a subsequent press briefing by the Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal.

A sources said technically the meeting could not be called counselor access, as the Indian diplomat was not allowed to talk to Commander Jadhav. Jadhav, a RAW agent, was arrested in Pakistan on espionage charges in March 2016. 

After a military trial earlier this year, he was awarded death sentence by the Field Court Martial General (FCGM) under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) for espionage and sabotage against Pakistan.

Pakistan had offered to grant visas to Indian journalists who wanted to interact with the spy’s family members after the meeting but the Indian High Commission objected to the visitors talk with the media.

Officials believe India could not afford open questions about the real identity and motives of its spy who was caught red-handed in Balochistan and later confessed before a judicial magistrate to have planned and supervised terrorist activities in Pakistan. Pakistan raised the issue at all international forums and shared dossiers with the international community, including the United Nations.

In May, following an appeal by India, the International Court of Justice asked Pakistan to hold off the execution of Mr. Jadhav till it reached its final verdict. Pakistan has submitted evidence against the spy and the case is expected to be heard again in January.

In one of his confessional statements, Jadhav had admitted that he was a serving commissioned officer in Indian Navy and came to Pakistan to mainly disrupt development activities in Balochistan under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said RAW had hired his services to create unrest in Balochistan. According to his statement, he visited Pakistan twice before on different espionage missions.

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