Former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav on Monday met his family members in Islamabad for the first time since his arrest and subsequent conviction on charges of espionage. Jadhav’s family travelled to Islamabad on a commercial flight and will return to Delhi the same day. They were accompanied by Indian deputy high commissioner J P Singh to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs office.
After the meeting, which lasted for more than 30 minutes, the MOFA released a new video featuring Jadhav, in which he thanked the Pakistan government for allowing him to meet with his family. “I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to Govt of Pakistan for this grand gesture,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Earlier today, Pakistan said that it has granted India consular access to Jadhav, but Indian officials downplayed the claim. Pakistan Foreign Minister Khwaja M Asif told Geo News that an Indian official will be allowed to be present during today’s meeting between Jadhav and his family members. Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh will be accompanying Jadhav’s wife and his mother for the meeting.
4.30 pm: MOFA spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal, at the press conference, listed down Kulbhushan Jadhav’s alleged espionage activities on Pakistan soil. Faisal alleged that Jadhav was tasked by India’s RAW and other intelligence agencies to “sabotage, destabilise and wage war against Pakistan.”
“Let us be very clear that commander Jadhav is the face of Indian terrorism,” he said.
4.10 pm: At a press briefing in Islamabad, the Pakistan foreign office released a new video featuring Kulbhushan Jadhav in which he thanks the government of Pakistan for allowing him to meet his wife and his mother.
“I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to Govt of Pakistan for this grand gesture,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
4.00 pm: Accompanied by the Indian deputy high commissioner J P Singh, Jadhav’s wife and his mother have now reached the Indian High Commission office in Islamabad.
3.45 pm: The meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav, his mother and his wife ends. It lasted for more than 30 minutes. Jadhav’s wife and his mother will now head back to the airport to a catch a 6.15 pm flight to Muscat. They will then board an Air India flight to Delhi.
3.26 pm: Pakistan foreign affairs spokesperson, Dr Mohammad Faisal released more images of the meeting.
Meeting between Commander Kulbushan Jhadev & his family in progress pic.twitter.com/THG925V1fO
— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) December 25, 2017
3.00 pm: We have the first images from the meeting between Jadhav and his wife, Chetna, and mother, Avanti. As you can see in the images below, Jadhav, wearing a navy blue suit, sat inside a small cabin and spoke to his family through a glass screen. Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh, however, is not present at the meeting. He was seen waiting in another room which is also separated by a glass partition.
— Shubhajit Roy (@ShubhajitRoy) December 25, 2017
2.26 pm: Pakistan’s MOFA released an image of Jadhav’s mother and wife sitting inside one of their offices. It was shared on Twitter by Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal.
“The mother and wife of Commander Jadhav sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pakistan . We honour our commitments,” he tweeted.
2.00 pm: According to Pakistani officials, Kulbhushan Jadhav met his mother and his wife at Foreign Affairs Ministry in Islamabad. The meeting is likely to last for close to an hour.
1.55 pm: Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family has arrived at the Pakistan foreign affairs office in Islamabad. They will be shortly meeting Jadhav.
1.40 pm: Who is Kulbhushan Jadhav? read a brief profile of the former naval officer here
12.45 pm: Jadhav’s family members will first visit the Indian High Commissioner’s office in Islamabad before heading to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reports Pakistan media.
12.30 pm: Pakistan previously said that Jadhav’s mother and his wife were welcome to address the media if India permits them, but this is highly unlikely as India is not comfortable with the interaction.
12.15 pm: The exact time of the meeting is still not known. The meeting could last for an hour, PTI reported. Meanwhile, heavy security has been deployed in and around the MOFA office. Sharpshooters will keep a strict vigil outside the building. Roads leading to the Constitution Avenue, on which MOFA is located, have been closed for traffic. Special security passes have been issued for those visiting the Foreign Office.
12.00 pm: Kulbushan Jadhav’s family has arrived in Islamabad after taking a connecting flight from Dubai. They will meet Jadhav at the offices of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) later in the day. Jadhav’s mother and his wife will then leave for Delhi the same day. They will first travel to Muscat via Oman Air, before boarding an Air India flight to Delhi.
Earlier this week, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi had issued visas to Jadhav’s mother and his wife. The visas were issued after Pakistan decided to allow Jadhav’s mother to visit him, apart from his wife. The meeting will take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.
Responding to Pakistan’s offer of agreeing to let Jadhav meet his wife on “humanitarian grounds,” India had requested a sovereign guarantee that the family would not be harassed or questioned when they visit him.
Earlier, Islamabad has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav claiming that New Delhi wants to extract information gathered by its “spy”. In its counter-memorial submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Pakistan said the provision of such an access under the Vienna Convention is only for legitimate visitors and not for spies, a media report said.
While Pakistan claims that Jadhav was arrested by security forces from Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran, the Indian side maintains that he was kidnapped in Iran where he did business. His execution was stayed by the International Court of Justice on India’s appeal.