New Delhi, Dec 25: In a new video released by Pakistan on Monday, jailed Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav is seen thanking the country for the “grand gesture” of allowing him to meet his wife and mother.
“I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to the government of Pakistan for this grand gesture,” says Jadhav in the video shot purportedly before the meeting with his family.
It is noteworthy, however, that it was Jadhav’s mother who had applied for a visa to see her son.
However, Pakistan had virtually ignored her application, instead offering access to his wife.
At a press conference by the Pakistani foreign office shortly after the meeting, the country was at pains to clarify that the meeting had not been organised to win the ongoing case at the International Court of Justice.
It also admitted that this could not be called “consular access,” and that while India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad JP Singh did accompany the duo, he could not speak or listen to Jadhav.
The meeting between Jadhav and his family was extended by 10 minutes after a request from the former, informed Dr Mohammad Faisal, the spokesperson of the country’s foreign office.
Faisal also brandished medical reports that purportedly showed that Jadhav was in “excellent healthy condition.”
The meeting at the Pakistan foreign office, held 21 months after his arrest, happened across a glass barrier, with Jadhav on one side, and his wife and mother on the other.
Pakistan claimed that it had permitted the meeting as a “humanitarian gesture, on the birthday of the father of the nation, Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah”.
However, it is suspected that the meeting had more to do with the international pressure surrounding the case, than with any humanitarian considerations.
Jadhav, a 47-year-old retired Indian Navy officer was arrested by Pakistani counter-terrorism officials in March 2016, after being suspected of being involved in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi. A military court in April 2017 found him guilty of “espionage and sabotage” and sentenced him to death.