Can't call Pakistan's gesture as 'consular access' to Jadhav: MEA

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New Delhi, Dec 9: Pakistans gesture of allowing Kulbhushan Jadhavs mother and wife to meet him in the jail in the presence of an Indian diplomat is a "positive development" but cannot be called consular access as of now, the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) said on Friday.

"It's a good news for us. We are happy that Pakistan has accepted our request to let both his wife and mother meet Kulbhushan Jadhav. It is a positive development. An Indian diplomat will be accompanying the wife and mother when they meet him," said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

"But it is too early to predict the nature of the meeting and the access given by the Pakistani government," he added in response to a media query if the meeting can be construed as the consular access to Jadhav that India has been seeking for long.

The meeting is tentatively scheduled to take place on December 25 and further modalities in this connection are being worked out, Kumar said. 

He said that the Pakistan government has assured that "it will ensure the safety, security and well-being of the wife and mother" during their stay in Pakistan.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced that the Pakistan government has accepted India's request to let Jadhav's mother and wife to meet him. She also spoke to Jadhav's mother Avantika Jadhav.

Earlier, Pakistan had agreed to give visa only to Jadhav's wife. Then India asked the Pakistani authorities to let his mother meet him as well.

Islamabad has said that Jadhav, allegedly an officer with the Indian Navy and attached to the intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), was arrested on March 3, 2016 from Balochistan after he entered Pakistan illegally from Iran.

He was sentenced to death on April 10 by a Pakistani military court on alleged charges of "coordinating and organising espionage, terrorist and sabotage activities aimed at destabilizing and waging war against Pakistan".

His execution was halted by the International Court of Justice on May 18 this year till a final decision was reached in the proceedings.
 

IANS