Kulbhushan Jadhav's family meets him, but no consular access
The mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an alleged Indian spy in Pakistani custody, met him today after 22 months. They will likely fly back in the evening. During their brief stay in Pakistan, they stopped at the Indian high Commission office too. However, Jadhav isn't getting consular access. Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place for the hour-long meeting. Here's all about it.
Jadhav's wife, mother at the Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry
Wife, mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav reached Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry in Islamabad along with JP Singh, Deputy High Commissioner pic.twitter.com/8j4os0h64T— ANI (@ANI) December 25, 2017
The case of Kulbhushan Jadhav
Jadhav, a Mumbai native, is believed to be a RAW agent. A Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Navy, he is said to have sought retirement in 2013. In March'16, Jadhav was arrested by Pakistan on charges of espionage and festering terrorism in Balochistan. It then sentenced him to death, but the order was stayed by the International Court of Justice.
Pakistan allowed the family meeting after several requests by India
India has made about 15 requests for consular access to Jadhav but they have been turned down, which India claims is violation of the Vienna Convention. Concerning his family, India had moved a visa application for Jadhav's mother. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj wrote a personal letter appealing to the Pakistan government for visa approval. Pakistan finally agreed to a family meeting earlier this month.
Pakistan hasn't allowed consular access though
Jadhav won't be getting consular access, but India's deputy high commissioner in Islamabad as well as a Pakistan Foreign Office official will be present at the meeting. Pakistan has offered to arrange media presence, but India refused. Video footage and photos will be released though.
What do the latest developments signify for India and Pakistan?
According to sources, this might be the first of more meetings between Jadhav and his family members. This has raised hopes that the death sentence might be deferred and eventually cancelled. Pakistan's finally accepting India's demands also indicates pressure from the international community. On its part, the MEA wants to verify through the family that the man in Pakistan's custody is actually Jadhav.