Mumbai : After Pakistan offered a meeting between imprisoned Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav and his wife Chetna on humanitarian grounds, his friends called it a positive step from the neighbouring country and credited the Indian government and International Court of Justice(ICJ) for it.
“We see this is a positive step from Pakistan. The pressure our government created in the country and the verdict of the International court in favour of India forced Pakistan to step back,” his friend Arvind Singh said.
The Pakistan Government, who arrested Jadhav over charges of alleged involvement in espionage activities for India’s intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), decided to arrange a meeting with his wife, purely on humanitarian grounds. The move comes months after India’s request to Islamabad to grant a visa to the former Navy officer’s mother, Avantika, on humanitarian grounds. However, India has always maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
Singh expressed his happiness that now they will get to know about Jadhav’s actual condition.
“I am really happy. We were repeatedly demanding to let his parents meet him, but at least his wife is allowed a visit now. We will at least get to know about his situation, his health, and his mental condition. Till now, we didn’t know what he was thinking and were only listening to Pakistan’s version,” he said.
Tulsidas Pawar, a childhood friend of Kulbhushan, said that Pakistan would have executed Jadhav if India had not intervened at the right time. “If India had not intervened at the right time, Pakistan would have executed him. The ICJ supported us,” he said.
Pawar hoped that Pakistan might acquit Jadhav in the following days.
“The whole scenario has changed. Pakistan has now realised that they have to adhere to certain policies though they are not willing to do that. The situation is favourable for India and we are definitely going to win the case in the end,” he added. Pakistan should release Jadhav and hand him over to India at the earliest, Pawar said, adding, “After his wife meets him, we will get a fair idea about his physical and mental condition.”
Pawar and Jadhav grew up together at Prithvi Nandan Society in central Mumbai’s Lower Parel area. Some of Jadhav’s friends had also started a signature campaign to put pressure on Pakistan to secure his release. India’s pressure forced Pakistan: Bhamre Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Saturday said Pakistan was forced to grant permission to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife to meet him because of India’s constant pressure through international forums.
Kulbhushan’s trial and travails
On April 10, 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial in Pakistan.
On May 18, 2017, the International Court of Justice stayed the hanging, after India approached it against the death sentence.
On June 22, Jadhav had filed a mercy petition before Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Pakistan claims to have arrested Jadhav from the Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered that country from Iran.
India maintains that Jadhav was abducted in Iran, where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
Pakistan on Friday arranged a meeting with his wife. The move comes months after India’s request to Islamabad to grant a visa to his mother, Avantika.