Mother, wife allowed to meet Jadhav on 25th

ISLAMABAD –  Pakistan on Friday allowed the mother and wife of convicted Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav to meet him this month.

Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal, while speaking at a weekly media briefing here, said Pakistan had informed India that it was ready to allow the visit of the mother of Commander Jadhav, along with his wife on December 25th.

“A diplomat from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad will be allowed to accompany the visitors. Requisite security would be provided to the visitors,” he said.

Pakistan had earlier allowed Jadhav’s wife to meet him but India sought permission for his mother too.

Last year in April, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism. Jadhav had confessed to the charges in a video, which was posted online by Pakistan army after his arrest.

But the International Court of Justice halted his execution on India’s appeal in May. Pakistan has refused India’s requests for consular access to the convict and also conveyed its decision to the ICJ – hearing the Jadhav case.

Pakistan told the ICJ about Jadhav’s role in the terrorism acts across Pakistan that resulted in scores of deaths in the past.

Dr Faisal said Jadhav’s meeting with his wife and mother was being allowed purely on humanitarian grounds.

According to Indian news agency PTI, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Friday Pakistan has conveyed to India that it will give visas to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Swaraj said Pakistan had earlier agreed to give a visa only to Jadhav’s wife but India asked that a visa should also be given to his mother. “We also raised concern about their safety and security in Pakistan. Government of Pakistan has conveyed that they will give visa to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav,” Swaraj tweeted.

The minister also said she has spoken to Jadhav’s mother, Avantika Jadhav, and informed her about it.

To a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan had repeatedly raised its concerns about the hegemonic conduct of India, including the unprecedented escalation of ceasefire violations this year by Indian forces at the Working Boundary and the Line of Control in an attempt to deflect the attention of the international community from the continuing Indian atrocities in Held Kashmir.

“In 2017, more than 1,300 Indian ceasefire violations, the highest ever in the recent past, resulted in the deaths of 52 deaths and 175 were injured.  We have consistently stressed that Indian aggression is a threat to regional peace and tranquillity,” he said.

Faisal said that Pakistan’s principled position on Kashmir dispute was very clear and consistent. “We maintain that the only solution to the Kashmir dispute is through the realisation of the right to self-determination of the Kashmiris by a free, fair and transparent plebiscite under the auspices of the UN,” he added.

Faisal said the people and the government of Pakistan had noted with grave concern the move by the United States to shift its embassy to the occupied city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, altering the legal and historical status of the city.

“Such a step constitutes a clear violation of the international law and [the] UN Security Council Resolutions, particularly UNSCR 478 of 1980. It would also sidestep decades of global consensus on this issue, undermine regional peace and security, as well as derail any prospects for a lasting peace in the Middle East,” he added.

Faisal said Pakistan called for establishment of a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine, on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders, and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

“It is deeply regrettable that pleas from states across the globe not to alter the legal and historical status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif have been ignored, more out of choice than necessity,” he contended.

Faisal said the UN Security Council would hold a special session to discuss this issue.

“Moreover, OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation] is holding an emergency session in the next few days, which Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will attend. Our foreign minister will attend the Council of Foreign Minister’s Session of the OIC. We will follow the policy that OIC adopts at the end of this emergency session,” he said.

On Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo’s statement that the US would do “everything it can” to eliminate terrorists’ safe havens in Pakistan, the spokesperson said: “We have also seen this unwarranted statement by the US official. Pakistan’s position on the issue of safe havens has been clearly articulated by the leadership many times. We have also stated that having cleared the entire Fata [Federally-Administrated Tribal Areas] through effective CT [counter-terrorism] operations, the intelligence-based operations will continue throughout the country in our own national interest.”

Faisal said US Defence Secretary James Mattis’ visit was part of the regular high-level engagement between the two countries to exchange views on bilateral and regional issues.

“Secretary Mattis held separate meetings with the civilian and military leadership to find common ground on matters of mutual interest, particularly peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he said.

Faisal said Pakistan wanted meaningful engagement with Afghanistan. “In this regard, consistent high-level visits have been emanating from Islamabad to Kabul. The army chief [Qamar Javed Bajwa] led an inter-agency delegation to Kabul in October. In this context, President [Ashraf] Ghani in his statement at the Heart of Asia Conference appreciated the comprehensive proposal made by Pakistan to enhance cooperation on counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing, military, economy, trade and transit interaction, refugees’ repatriation and connectivity,” the spokesperson elaborated.

He said a travel advisory had been issued for all Pakistani nationals in Afghanistan – currently working or considering to take up employment in Afghanistan.

“They are cautioned to exercise extreme vigilance, and take into consideration their personal safety and well being, as there have been reported cases of senior professionals working in different fields been kidnapped. All Pakistanis residing in Afghanistan are also advised to register with the embassy,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier, in his opening statement, Faisal condemned the Indian forces excesses in Kashmir.

He spoke about Pakistan’s contacts with the other countries.

Faisal expressed grave concern at reports of the second ballistic missile attack on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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