Pakistan offers ‘Indian spy’ meeting with wife


ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry says Islamabad on “humanitarian grounds” has allowed the wife of an Indian naval officer who faces death penalty for espionage and sabotage to meet with him.

In a statement late Friday, the ministry said Pakistan has informed the Indian High Commission about its decision.

The development came months after the wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav requested Pakistan to allow her to meet with him.

Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 and has been convicted and sentenced to death by a military tribunal.

Pakistan says Jadhav was working for the Indian spy agency, called RAW.

Jadhav in a mercy petition has asked Pakistan to spare his life, but authorities have not taken any final decision yet.

According to a report in Dawn newspaper, Pakistan’s leading English daily, there was no immediate res¬ponse from India’s external affairs ministry or its high commission in Islamabad on the Pakistani offer.

Jadhav, who was captured by security forces on March 3 last year in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year for his involvement in terrorism and espionage. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Pakistan’s army chief.

Islamabad has ever since Jadhav’s capture refused all requests from New Delhi for consular access to him arguing that in cases pertaining to political and security issues access could not be granted automatically and other considerations had to be factored in.

India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to the spy in the International Court of Justice. The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing him till it decides the case.

The government has not as yet responded to a request from Jadhav’s mother for a meeting with her son.

Indian media last month reported that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had in her first meeting with the new Pakistani envoy Sohail Mehmood asked Islamabad to review its position in Jadhav’s case and grant his mother the visa to visit her son.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office had then denied the media report as speculative. — Agencies