The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi on Wednesday granted visas to former Indian navy officer and prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife. The two women will travel to Pakistan on December 25 to meet Jadhav who is currently on a death-row. They will be accompanied by an Indian diplomat during the meeting. Pakistan has so far rejected over 20 Indian requests for consular access to Jadhav.Pakistan had initially offered a meeting between Jadhav and his wife on ‘humanitarian grounds’. But after a request from India, Islamabad agreed to permit his mother and an Indian diplomat to meet Jadhav as well. Jadhav, who was detained by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.Meanwhile, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj informed that there are 60 civilian prisoners including Jadhav and 416 Indian fishermen in Pakistan’s custody. She said since 2014, Indian government has provided legal assistance to 3 Indian civilian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails.India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access to the spy in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav till it decides the case.She said there have been reports of ill-treatment of Indian prisoners in Pakistan’s custody. “Since 2014, 10 Indian fishermen and 2 Indian civil prisoners have died in the custody of Pakistan authorities. Mortal remains of all these prisoners were brought back to India, except in the case of late Abu Bakar Nohri, who was buried in Pakistan as per the wishes of his family and as per Islamic rules,” she added.
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