Sunday Dec 24, 2017
Note: Pakistan's Foreign Office confirmed on Monday that consular access had not been granted.
KARACHI: Pakistan has given New Delhi consular access to arrested Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, its foreign minister confirmed, after which he will be meeting his family at the Foreign Office on Monday.
The mother and wife of Jadhav, who has been convicted of espionage and sabotage activities, will arrive in Pakistan early Monday and will return after meeting him, it has been learnt.
Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh will also be present at Monday's meeting between Jadhav and his family.
Commander Jadhav — an on-duty Indian navy officer working for Indian covert agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan, after he entered into Pakistan from Iran.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, during his appearance on Geo News' programme 'Naya Pakistan', confirmed that India has been given consular access to the convicted spy, describing it as a "concession."
"Had India been in place of us, it would not have given us this concession."
He, however, said that Pakistan allowed Jadhav's meeting with his mother and wife purely on "humanitarian grounds."
Noting that Jadhav's case is sub judice in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the minister said they were also advised to allow the meeting. "We didn't want any weakness in our case in the ICJ over the meeting."
Asif further said that Pakistan could make a decision on Jadhav's mercy plea keeping its interests and security in view.
On Saturday, Indian authorities shared the itinerary of convicted Indian spy Kulbhusahn Jhadav's family.
"India informs that the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav will arrive by commercial flight on 25 Dec and leave the same day. Indian DHC in Islamabad will be the accompanying diplomat," FO spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal had said on Twitter.
Pakistani authorities had earlier issued an ultimatum to India, stating that it would be difficult to arrange a meeting between Jadhav and his family (wife and mother) if the itinerary of the latter was not shared with Pakistan.
On April 10, 2017, Pakistan had sentenced the RAW agent to death for carrying out espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi.
In a reaction to the move, Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring India tensed, and New Delhi approached the ICJ to hear the case.
On May 18, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to halt the execution of Jadhav until a final decision was made in the proceedings.
India had moved the ICJ to give it six months to file pleadings in the case, which the United Nations’ judicial organ had turned down in June this year. Later, New Delhi submitted its memorial (arguments) to the ICJ on September 13.
On December 13, Pakistan submitted its reply to the ICJ, dismissing India's stance in the case of the convicted spy.
In its counter-memorial, Pakistan stated that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.
The reply also stated that Jadhav, who was a serving officer of the Indian Navy, does not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.
The case remains sub judice.
Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was arrested on March 3, 2016 in a ‘counter-intelligence operation’ from Mashkel area of Balochistan for his involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Pakistan.
The incarcerated RAW agent, in his video statement, has confessed to involvement in sabotage and espionage inside Pakistan, which has also been the crux of Islamabad’s case in the ICJ.
On April 10, a Field General Court Martial — under the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, and Official Secrets Act, 1923 — awarded death sentence to Jadhav for espionage and sabotage.
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa ratified the sentencing by the army tribunal.
Jadhav has since been on the death row.