Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday termed as a "good humanitarian gesture" Pakistan's decision to allow Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife while her junior Subhash Bhamre said India's constant pressure through international forums forced Islamabad to take the step.
"It is a good humanitarian gesture," Sitharaman said at a press conference here when asked about Islamabad's decision.
"India is making all efforts to get Kulbhushan Jadhav released from Pakistani prison. India has also approached the International Court of Justice (on the issue)," she said.
The Pakistani authorities had on Friday said they would allow Jadhav to meet his wife, months after India's request to Islamabad to grant a visa to the former Navy officer's mother on humanitarian grounds.
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. The International Court of Justice in May halted his execution on India's appeal.
Sitharaman said she learnt about Pakistan's decision from the media. "I don't know what is the position on allowing his wife to visit him, but it is a good gesture. It will boost Jadhav's morale in jail."
The Union minister is in Gujarat to campaign for the BJP for the next month's Assembly polls.
India's pressure forced Pak to allow Jadhav's wife to meet him: Bhamre
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre today said Pakistan was forced to grant permission to Kulbhushan Jadhav's wife to meet him because of India's constant pressure through international forums.
"After the military court in Pakistan awarded death sentence to Jadhav, we went to the International Court of Justice, exposed Pakistan, managed to isolate Pakistan and got a stay on his death penalty," Bhamre said on the sidelines of a function in Pune.
He was in the city for inauguration of the bicentenary celebrations of the Pune Cantonment Board.
Pakistan was constantly denying permission to his family to meet him, but the pressure exerted by India through the international forum, forced them to grant a permission to his family to meet him, he added.
"We will continue to exert pressure on Pakistan through the external affairs minister to cancel the death punishment and release him," the minister said.
On a query related to the construction of foot overbridge at Mumbai's Elphinstone Road station, where 23 people had died following a stampede in September, he said the Army plans to construct the FoB by January 31.
(With PTI inputs)