Jadhav meets wife, mother at Pak Foreign Affairs Ministry

PTI
Monday, 25 December 2017

Accompanied by Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh and a Pakistani woman official, TV footage showed Jadhav's mother, Avanti, and wife, Chetankul, entering the main building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the door shutting behind them.

Islamabad: Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav today met his wife and mother at the Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry here for the first time since his arrest in March last year.

Accompanied by Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh and a Pakistani woman official, TV footage showed Jadhav's mother, Avanti, and wife, Chetankul, entering the main building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the door shutting behind them.

Pakistan Foreign Office released pictures of Jadhav talking to his wife and mother from behind a glass screen. The communication between them was through a intercom device.

The meeting, which started at around 1.35 pm and was expected to last 30 minutes, has ended, the Foreign Office said. The meeting was held at the Foreign Ministry's Agha Shahi Block.

Before the meeting, the security check of the family was performed.

"Pakistan permits the meeting of wife and mother of Commander Jadhav with him, as a humanitarian gesture, on the birthday of the Father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah," Faisal tweeted.

This is the first meeting between Jadhav, who was convicted of espionage, and his family since his arrest on March 3 last year.

"The mother and wife of Commander Jadhav sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. We honour our commitments," Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal earlier tweeted along with a picture of the visitors.

From Pakistan's side, Foreign Office Director India Dr Fareha Bugti was present at the meeting.

The wife and mother greeted the media persons after arrival but refused to respond to their questions.

Jadhav's family arrived at the ministry after a stop at the Indian High Commission where they stayed for half an hour.

Jadhav was at the ministry before his family arrived. It was not known where he had been kept before being transported to the foreign ministry.

The two women arrived in the capital via Dubai in a commercial flight and are expected to leave soon after the meeting.
Strict security measures are in place at the ministry, officials said.

TV footage showed a convoy of around seven vehicles escorting Jadhav's family in the city.

Police and paramilitary security forces, including sharpshooters, were deployed at the ministry to deal with any untoward security situation, they said.

Roads leading to the Constitution Avenue, on which the ministry is located, were closed for traffic. Special security passes were issued for those visiting the Foreign Office, the officials added.

The mother and wife of Jadhav were being provided with a meeting with him in the light of "Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds," Faisal had earlier said.

Pakistan on December 20 issued visa to Jadhav's wife and mother to visit Islamabad to meet him.

Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the ICJ in May. The ICJ halted his execution on India's appeal pending the final verdict by it.

Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel from its restive Balochistan province after he reportedly entered from Iran.

India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy. 

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