Pakistan on Monday said that Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with his family in the presence of an Indian diplomat was purely based on "humanitarian grounds", while “categorically” denying that it was a "consular access".
The clarification came after Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif called the meeting as "consular access", while the country's foreign ministry later denying the minister's claim.
Pakistan confirms Kulbhushan Jadhav's meeting with family on Monday; India’s deputy envoy to accompany mother and wife
Describing the Indian death-row prisoner as “the face of Indian terror”, Pakistan said that it would decide on consular access to him at an appropriate time. It added that the meeting between Jadhav and his family was not the last.
"This is not the last meeting. Let me say it categorically," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammed Faisal told reporters after former Indian Navy officer Jadhav's wife Chetankul and mother Avanti met him for the first time after his detention in March 2016.
Jadhav met his wife and mother at the Foreign Office for around 40 minutes, but interacted through a glass panel and intercom.
Also Read: Kulbhushan Jadhav meets wife, mother from behind glass screen; Pak Foreign Min releases new video
Kulbhushan Jadhav is on death row but his case is pending before the International Court of Justice.
Faisal said December 25 was chosen to allow Jadhav meet his family because it is Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah's birth anniversary.
He said the two women spoke "openly and had a productive meeting" with Jadhav. "It was a positive gesture, extended on humanitarian grounds. We extended the meeting by 10 minutes on the request of Jadhav's family. It has nothing to do with legalities."
The spokesperson also "categorically" denied it was a consular access even as Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh was present during the meeting, but seated at a distance.
Also Read: Flip-flop continues as Pakistan foreign ministry denies calling it 'consular access' to Jadhav
"The Indian diplomat could see the meeting but was not allowed to meet. It would have been consular access had the Indian diplomat spoken to Jadhav," he said, adding the Indian request for a possible consular access was with Pakistan and "would be taken up at an appropriate time".
Faisal reiterated that the meeting did not mean any change in Pakistan's stance regarding Jadhav, who he termed "a spy and terrorist who has been sentenced to death".
"Jadhav is the face of Indian terror in Pakistan. He has confessed to killing Aslam Chaudhary. He expressed remorse for taking Pakistani lives. He is a serving naval officer, has confessed to being a RAW agent."
Indian has always denied the allegations, saying Jadhav was abducted from Iran where he had gone on a private business trip and then brought to Pakistan.
Earlier, Jadhav's mother and wife landed in Islamabad via Dubai around noon on Monday and will be departing for India later.
(With PTI inputs)