Pakistan has granted permission to the convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife, months after a request was made by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, an official statement said on Friday.
“The Government of Pakistan has decided to arrange a meeting of Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav with his wife, in Pakistan, purely on humanitarian grounds,” spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a statement.
“A Note Verbale to this effect has been sent to the Indian high commission in Islamabad, today (Friday).”
It is not clear what prompted Islamabad to allow Jadhav’s wife to meet him in Pakistan.
There were rumours that the two countries discussed the issue in a recent meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the newly appointed Pakistani High Commissioner to New Delhi Sohail Mahmood.
Islamabad, however, denied that the Indian spy’s issue came under discussion.
The development, nevertheless, suggests that the two countries might be quietly discussing the subject. Pakistan’s decision to allow the Indian spy to meet his wife could also be linked to the hearing of the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The move may help Pakistan dispel the Indian negative propaganda at the ICJ of not granting access to Jadhav’s family.
Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav alias, Hussain Mubarak Patel, a serving Commander of the Indian navy, who was working with India’s premier intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was apprehended by law-enforcement agencies on March 3, 2016 after he illegally crossed over into Pakistan.
He confessed before a magistrate and the court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilising and waging war against Pakistan.
Jadhav was sentenced to death earlier this year; however, the International Court of Justice ordered a stay in his execution.
New Delhi has repeatedly sought access to the convicted spy but Islamabad denied the permission on the ground that consular access in cases related to spies was not applicable.