07:31 GMT25 September 2020
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    Jadhav, an ex-Indian Navy personnel, was sentenced to death by Pakistan's military court in April 2017 on charges of espionage, terrorism. The International Court of Justice in May halted his execution on India’s appeal. Jadhav has filed a clemency appeal with Pakistan's Army chief, which is pending.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Kulbhushan Jadhav, currently lodged in a Pakistani jail on charges of espionage, has been allowed to meet with his family members from India by the Pakistani government. The meeting scheduled for December 25 comes as a big Christmas gift for Jadhav and his wife and mother who would be accompanied by an Indian diplomat.

    "Government of Pakistan has conveyed that they will give visa to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav. Earlier Pakistan had agreed to give visa only to the wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav. On this we asked Pakistan to give visa to the mother as well," Sushma Swaraj, India's Minister of External Affairs said.

    The Indian government had raised concern over the safety Kulbhushan's family members during their visit to Pakistan and had appealed to the country's authorities to allow a diplomat to accompany them. 

    "We had also asked that a diplomatic officer of Indian High Commission should accompany them while they are in Pakistan. Pakistan has agreed to facilitate the visit of mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav and assured us of their safety, security, and freedom of movement in Pakistan," Swaraj added.

    Earlier, Pakistan had been repeatedly denied consular access to the Indian prisoner on grounds not applicable to cases pertaining to espionage. 

    India filed its request for the indication of provisional measures on May 8, 2017, before the International Court of Justice against the sentencing of Jadhav following which the court ordered Pakistan not to execute Jadhav until it hears the case. Jadhav, a former officer in the Indian Navy, was arrested in March 2016 in the Pakistani province of Balochistan. Jadhav's family members claim that he had quit the Indian Navy and was running a small cargo transport business, ferrying cargo between two ports in Iran. He had an Iranian visa valid up to June 2016.


    This development is being considered as an ice-breaker between arch-rivals India and Pakistan who have stalled the peace dialogue following a series of events. 

    Earlier this month, General (retd) Nasir Janjua, Pakistan's National Security Advisor, had admitted that Pakistan was engaged with India through backdoor diplomacy and India had to eventually come on the table for talks to protect its own interests. "Pakistan is ready to hold talks with India on Kashmir and other basic issues," he had told the media.


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