A Pakistan foreign office spokesperson on Thursday told mediapersons that Islamabad was considering the visa application of the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav, but Delhi said it has not been informed about any change in Pakistan’s position either on providing consular access to Jadhav or on the visa request of his mother.
“Pakistan is considering the Indian request for the grant of visa to the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan.
The remarks came two days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said she had written a “personal letter” to Sartaj Aziz, the adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister on foreign affairs, asking for approval of Avantika Jadhav’s visa application so that she may travel to Pakistan to meet her son. “I wrote a personal letter to Mr Sartaj Aziz for the grant of her visa to Pakistan. However, Mr Aziz has not shown the courtesy even to acknowledge my letter,” she tweeted.
Jadhav, 46, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military tribunal in April on charges of espionage and terrorism.
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested him in its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. India maintains that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.
Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said the case was now before the International Court of Justice and India was following the September 13 timeline to give its submission. “There has been no change in Pakistan’s position on providing consular access to Jadhav… as also on visa request for his mother,” he said.
Zakaria said that asking for recommendations from Aziz to grant visas was against “diplomatic norms”, Dawn newspaper reported. He also accused India of imposing “conditions” for the approval of medical visas of Pakistani patients seeking medical treatment in the country. Pakistan has dismissed India’s consular access request to Jadhav more than 15 times.