New Delhi: India has sought “sovereign guarantee" from Pakistan to ensure safety and security of the wife and the mother of Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav if they are allowed to visit him.
The external affairs ministry said Pakistan has also been asked not to subject the two women to any questioning, harassment or interrogation during their stay in Pakistan.
On 10 November, Pakistan had said it will allow Jadhav to meet his wife, months after India requested it to grant visa to his mother on humanitarian grounds.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday said India has also asked Pakistan that a diplomat of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad should be allowed to accompany the two women at all times, including during the meeting with Jadhav.
He also asserted that offer of such a meeting does not absolve Pakistan of the violations of the Vienna Convention on consular access and not following the due process in treating Jadhav who faces death sentence through a “farcical process and on concocted charges".
“We have also sought sovereign guarantee from the government of Pakistan to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the wife and the mother of Jadhav and that they shall not be questioned, harassed or interrogated during their visit and stay in Pakistan," Kumar said during a media briefing.
Last week, Pakistan said it is also “considering" India’s request to let Jadhav’s mother meet him, apart from his wife. Around three days back, India sent its response to Pakistan’s offer of allowing Jadhav’s wife to meet him and Kumar said now India is waiting for Islamabad’s reply to it.
“We got a note verbale from the Pakistani side. We responded to the note verbale. Now we are waiting for their response to our response," he said. Hoping that Pakistan would facilitate visit by the wife and mother of Jadhav, Kumar said the government determined to “pursue all measures" with “full vigour" so as to secure the final release of an innocent Indian.
“Such a meeting offer does not absolve Pakistan of the violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Human Rights and not following the due process in treating Jadhav who remains incarcerated in Pakistan and faces death sentence through a farcical process and on concocted charges," he said.
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. The International Court of Justice in May halted his execution on India’s appeal. The MEA spokesperson notwithstanding the long pending request from Jadhav’s mother to visit her son, India responded positively to the Pakistani offer to arrange a meeting of between him and his wife.
“In our response, we have conveyed that the wife of Jadhav would like to travel along with her mother-in-law for the meeting," he said. Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.
Last month, the Pakistan Army had said it is close to a decision on the mercy petition of Jadhav. Pakistan claims its security forces arrested him from restive Balochistan province on 3 March last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.
Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India. After India approached the ICJ, a 10-member bench on 18 May restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case. The ICJ has asked Pakistan to submit its response or memorial by 13 December before the court could start further proceedings in the case.