Granting a visa to the mother of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav would provide India and Pakistan an opportunity to show that humanity “can still shine through” and help lower the temperature in bilateral ties, a Pakistani daily said on Saturday. In an editorial titled ‘Visa for Jadhav’s mother’, Dawn said the visa application Jadhav’s mother to meet her son, sentenced to death for alleged spying, “is the latest opportunity for India and Pakistan to back away from an increasingly confrontational stance against each other”. It said the reasons for Jadhav’s conviction and incarceration suggest that Pakistan may not be legally required to allow his mother to visit him or indeed grant her a visa at all, “but it ought to be considered on humanitarian grounds”.
The editorial said there is some time before Jadhav exhausts his legal options, and a meeting between mother and son “would be humane and in no way undermine Pakistan’s case against him”. “A meeting between mother and son is very different to granting consular access, which in any case is being litigated by India in the International Court of Justice.” “Indeed, were Jadhav’s mother allowed to meet her incarcerated son, it may even have the benefit of indirectly demonstrating that the convicted spy is being treated according to the law and his safety is being taken care of inside a Pakistani prison,” the editorial said. But it added that such a visit would not automatically reverse the growing chasm between India and Pakistan.
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“But small gestures can have a way of lowering the temperature in the overall relationship between India and Pakistan and opening the door to further sensible measures.” Pakistan on Thursday said it was considering India’s request to grant a visa to Jadhav’s mother, but New Delhi said it had no knowledge about this. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday complained that Pakistan was yet to give a visa to Jadhav’s mother though she had personally written to Pakistan Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz regarding a visa to Avantika Jadhav, who is reportedly languishing in an unknown military prison in Pakistan.