India seeks security guarantees from Pakistan for Jadhav's wife


Ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday in the weekly media briefing said India had responded "positively" to Pakistan's offer to arrange a meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav and his wife, but said India wanted a "sovereign guarantee" for the safety and security of Jadhav's wife while she is in Pakistan, adding, she wished to travel with her mother-in-law. Last week, Pakistan said it is also "considering" India's request to let Jadhav's mother meet him, apart from his wife.

"There was a long standing request from mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav to visit Pak and meet her son". New Delhi has said the meeting may be arranged after a guarantee that none of them would detained, questioned or interrogated during the visit. India has said that the request to allow Jadhav's mother meet him is still pending with Pakistan Government and that should also be considered.

The MEA has also asked the Pakistani government to allow a diplomat from India's High Commission in Pakistan to accompany the duo "at all times, including during the meeting". Then in April Pakistani military court sentenced to death Jadhav on the charges of espionage and terrorism. New Delhi has said that Islamabad had repeatedly rejected or not responded to requests for consular access to Jadhav. However, India has rejected all the charges and has since approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stating that Jadhav was forced to confess on camera.

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While Pakistan claims that Jadhav was arrested by security forces from Balochistan province on March 3 a year ago after he reportedly entered from Iran, the Indian side maintains he was kidnapped from Iran where he developed business after retiring from the navy. Jadhav is a former Indian Navy officer held on espionage charges by Islamabad.

Pakistan has denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.

Earlier this month, Islamabad handed over a note verbal to India saying it can facilitate a meeting between Jadhav and his wife on humanitarian grounds.