New Delhi: In a significant development , Pakistan on Friday said it will allow the wife and mother of convicted Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet him in prison.
Jadhav has been allowed to meet his wife and mother on 25 December, foreign office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said, according to a Press Trust of India report.
During his weekly news briefing, Faisal said a staff member from the Indian high commission will also be present during the meeting.
Pakistan had previously not granted permission to Jadhav’s mother to meet her son, despite an appeal by Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to her then Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz. Indian high commission officials were also not allowed to meet him despite many attempts to secure consular access.
This had exacerbated ties between India and Pakistan — already frayed after a series of terrorist attacks on military installations in Pathankot, Uri and Nagrota.
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism.
India had approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May to halt his execution, which was granted on New Delhi’s appeal.
India had previously sought a sovereign guarantee from Pakistan that the wife and mother of Jadhav would not be detained or questioned when they travel to Pakistan to meet him. India had also sought a guarantee that Jadhav’s wife and mother would be accompanied by an Indian high commission official during their visit.
Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani authorities last year. He was later accused of fomenting trouble in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province. India says Jadhav, a former naval officer, was on business in Iran when he was kidnapped.
In December, Pakistan media quoted then foreign Affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz as saying that the evidence against Jadhav was “insufficient" to prove that he was an Indian spy. These reports were later denied.