In a big turn to events, Pakistan has taken a step back and reportedly offered Indian citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in that country, the opportunity to meet his wife. So far, the Pakistani government had been refusing to allow any visit by any kin of his. A Pakistan foreign office release said that the decision was taken purely on humanitarian grounds. Pakistan also said that India has been informed today. The news comes as the first positive indication about Jadhav’s well being since March, 2016 when he was abducted by Pakistani authorities in Iran, brought across border and then sent to jail. He was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court thereafter.
Recently, it was reported that Pakistan has started the process to file its plea in response to India’s memorandum submitted in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the death sentence. Earlier, the world court had asked Pakistan to submit its written response by December 13 before the court could start further proceedings.
Jadhav’s death sentence was confirmed by Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Bajwa on April 10. The Indian national had filed an appeal with the army chief to seek clemency, which is still pending. However, in big win for India, a 10-member bench of ICJ on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case. Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India. India has warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “premeditated murder” was carried out.
In its application, India had also informed the ICJ that it learned about the death sentence against Jadhav from a press release. On its part, New Delhi has acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the Indian Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government. India also maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran. New Delhi has also handed over to Pakistan an appeal by Jadhav’s mother, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.