New Delhi/Islamabad: In a major development indicating that Pakistan has somewhat relented, Islamabad on Friday evening announced that has it has “decided to arrange a meeting” in Pakistan of imprisoned former Indian naval officer Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav with his wife “purely on humanitarian grounds”.
A note verbale to this effect was “sent to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad” by the Pakistani foreign ministry.
New Delhi is evaluating its official response, with sources confirming that the note verbale had been received. The move could help ease the extremely strained ties between India and Pakistan and is being seen as a strong signal of flexibility by Islamabad.
This comes after Pakistan had repeatedly rejected India’s request for consular access to Jadhav who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April this year on charges of espionage and sabotage.
Indian Government sources pointed out that even now consular access has not been granted despite several requests and that Islamabad is offering such a meeting between Jadhav and his wife only on “humanitarian grounds”.
This means that official Indian access to Jadhav will not be allowed. Nevertheless, such a meeting will be the first time after his imprisonment that Jadhav will be allowed to meet anyone from India.
Islamabad claims that Jadhav was captured from its restive Balochistan province in March last year. But New Delhi has consistently rubbished these claims and has maintained that Jadhav, a former naval officer, was kidnapped from Iran.