Jadhav meets wife, mother from behind glass screen in Islamabad
Pakistan releases a new video of Jadhav in which he is seen thanking them for arranging the meeting with his family
Islamabad: Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan for alleged spying, on Monday met his wife and mother — but separated by a glass screen — in a carefully choreographed event that unfolded in tweets, photos and TV footage.
The 40-minute meeting, which took place after many representations, took place at the heavily guarded Foreign Affairs Ministry building and came after the International Court of Justice asked Pakistan in May to stay his execution.
It was the fist time that Jadhav was meeting his family since his arrest in March, and Pakistan portrayed it as a humanitarian gesture to mark the birthday of the country's founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
"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," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted.
The tweet made it a point to identify Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, with his military title. Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province after he reportedly entered from Iran. It claims that he was in possession of an Indian passport that identified him as Hussein Mubarak Patel.
India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
Faisal also tweeted that the meeting was arranged in light of "Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds."
TV footage showed Jadhav's mother Avanti and wife Chetankul entering the ministry building's Agha Shahi Block, accompanied by India's Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh and a Pakistani woman official. After they went in, the door shut behind them.
Pakistan Foreign Office later released pictures of Jadhav talking to his wife and mother from behind a glass screen. The communication between them was through an intercom device.
The meeting started at around 1.35 pm and lasted about 45 minutes, after which the entire party remerged, and were driven away in a white SUV.
The two women had arrived in Islamabad earlier on Monday via Dubai on a commercial flight and spent about 30 minutes at the Indian Embassy before being driven to the Foreign Ministry. They are expected to stay at the Indian Embassy for a few hours before retracing their path back to India later on Monday evening.
Before the meeting, the security check of the family was performed.
All the information about the meeting emerged through Pakistani Foreign Ministry tweets and images.
"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 for India, Dr Fareha Bugti, was present at the meeting.
The wife and mother greeted media persons with a namaste after arriving at the ministry but did not respond to their questions.
They also did not talk to the reporters while leaving the building, although journalists kept shouting questions.
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.
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.
Pakistan on Monday issued a new video of Jadhav in which he is seen thanking the Pakistan government for arranging a meeting with his wife and mother.
The video message played by the Foreign Office during a press conference after Jadhav's meeting with his family was recorded before their meeting, officials said.
"I requested a meeting with my wife and mother, and I am thankful to Government of Pakistan for this gesture," Jadhav said in the brief video message.AGENCIES