Friends, family elated over Jadhav meeting wife

Pakistan government agrees to meeting between death row prisoner, wife on humanitarian grounds

Published - November 12, 2017 12:07 am IST

 In hope: Childhood friends and neighbours of Kulbhushan Jadhav pray during the International Court of Justice verdict in the case in May.

In hope: Childhood friends and neighbours of Kulbhushan Jadhav pray during the International Court of Justice verdict in the case in May.

Mumbai: The friends and family of childhood friend of former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in a Pakistani prison, expressed happiness over that country’s decision to allow Mr. Jadhav to meet his wife, Chetna, in prison. “We, his friends and family, are happy. Our expectations have risen with this decision. We take it as a positive step and believe he is not being harmed,” Tulshidas Pawar said on Saturday, while demanding he be released at the earliest.

He added, “After his wife meets him, we will get a fair idea about his physical and mental condition. From the beginning, we have been saying that Kulbhushan is not involved in the kind of activities for which he has been convicted.” Mr. Pawar and Mr. Jadhav have been friends since their childhood days in Prithvi Nandan Society, Lower Parel. He, and other friends, had started a signature campaign for Mr. Jadhav’s release.

On Friday, Pakistani authorities said they would allow Mr. Jadhav to meet his wife, months after India’s request to Islamabad to grant a visa to the former Navy officer’s mother, Avantika, on humanitarian grounds. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a statement, The Government of Pakistan has decided to arrange a meeting of Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav with his wife, in Pakistan, purely on humanitarian grounds. A Note Verbale to this effect has been sent to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad today.” Mr. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. in May, the International Court of Justice had halted his execution on India’s appeal. On June 22, Mr. Jadhav had filed a mercy petition before Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Pakistan claims to have arrested him from Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered that country from Iran. However, India maintains that Mr. Jadhav was abducted in Iran, where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

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