India asks Pak to ensure safety of Jadhav's wife, mom

India asks Pak to ensure safety of Jadhav's wife, mom

India has asked for "sovereign guarantee" from Pakistan that the safety and security of Kulbhushan Jadhav's wife and mother would be ensured if they go to the neighbouring country to meet him.

Islamabad recently conveyed to New Delhi through diplomatic channel that it was ready to arrange a meeting between Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer currently on death row in Pakistan, and his wife. In its response, New Delhi conveyed to Islamabad that Jadhav's mother would also like to travel with her daughter-in-law to Pakistan.

"In our response, we (India) have conveyed (to Pakistan) that Jadhav's wife would like to travel along with her mother-in-law for the meeting," Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said on Thursday. "We have also sought sovereign guarantee from the Government of Pakistan to ensure their safety, security and well-being and that they shall not be questioned, harassed or interrogated during their visit and stay in Pakistan."

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had earlier this year written to her then Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz, requesting him to issue visa to Jadhav's mother Avantika Jadhav. Aziz had been the advisor on foreign affairs to the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He, however, did not even respond to the letter.

"There was a long-standing request from the mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav to visit Pakistan. Though the request was pending, India still responded positively to the offer made by Pakistan to arrange a meeting of Jadhav with his wife," Kumar said on Thursday.

Islamabad had, in March 2016, announced the arrest of Jadhav from Balochistan. He has since been in the custody of Pakistan Army. New Delhi's repeated requests to grant consular access to him were turned down by Islamabad.

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