ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday said it will allow convicted Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife, who has been sentenced to death by a military court.
Confirming the development, Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal on Friday said, "The Government of Pakistan has decided to arrange a meeting of Commander Kulbhushan Jhadav with his wife, in Pakistan, purely on humanitarian grounds,” adding that "a Note Verbale to this effect has been sent to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.”
Islamabad has said that Jadhav, allegedly an officer with the Indian Navy and attached to the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was arrested on March 3, 2016 after he crossed illegally into Pakistan.
Friday's statement also said Jadhav had "confessed" in a Pakistani court "that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilizing and waging war against Pakistan".
In a rare move, 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.
India had requested for a Pakistani visa for Jadhav’s mother, Avantika, who wanted to meet her son in Pakistan. Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.
Jadhav has filed an appeal with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to seek clemency, which is still pending.
Earlier, the Pakistan Army had said it is close to a decision on the mercy petition of Jadhav.
The Jadhav case was taken to the world court on May 8 by India, which accused Pakistan of violating the Vienna Convention and conducting a "farcical trial" for convicting Jadhav without a "shred of evidence".
Pakistan claims its security forces arrested him from restive Balochistan province on March 3 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 has evoked a sharp reaction in India. After India approached the ICJ, a 10-member bench on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.
The ICJ has asked Pakistan to submit its response or memorial by December 13 before the court could start further proceedings in the case.