Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in Pakistan for alleged spying, met his wife and mother — but separated by a glass screen — in a carefully choreographed event that unfolded in tweets, photos and TV footage.The Indian envoy who was present, was allowed to witness the meeting at a distance.The 40-minute meeting, which took place after many representations, took place at the heavily guarded Foreign Affairs Ministry building and came after the International Court of Justice asked Pakistan in May to stay his execution.Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with his family in Pakistan.
It was the first time that Jadhav was meeting his family since his arrest in March, and Pakistan portrayed it as a humanitarian gesture to mark the birthday of the country’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah. “Pakistan permits the meeting of wife and mother of Commander Jadhav with him, as a humanitarian gesture, on the birthday of the Father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted.
The tween made it a point to identify Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, with his military title. Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav from its restive Balochistan province after he reportedly entered from Iran. It claims that he was in possession of an Indian passport that identified him as Hussein Mubarak Patel.
India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
“The meeting was very positive and they (Jadhav’s mother and wife) were satisfied. They thanked us before leaving,” Faisal said.
On the question why a glass wall was put between them during the meeting, he said it was done “for security reasons.”
“We had already told them that you will be able to meet him but a security barrier would be there he said.
Earlier, Pakistan released a video of Jadhav in which he thanked the Pak government for ‘grand gesture’.
“I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to the government of Pakistan for this grand gesture,” he was heard saying in the video which was played several times before the Foreign Office briefing.
The video message played by the Foreign Office during a press conference after Jadhav’s meeting with his family was recorded before their meeting, officials said.
During the press conference, the spokesperson read out a statement repeating old allegations against Jadhav. He said he was involved in “terror activities” and was “face of Indian terror on Pakistani soil.”
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court on charges of espionage and terrorism. India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.