Softening its stand in the Kulbhushan Yadav case, Pakistan has on Thursday said that they were reviewing the visa application of the Indian national's mother Avantika Jadhav.
The Indian Express quoted Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria as saying, "Pakistan is considering the Indian request for the grant of visa to the mother of Kulbushan Yadav,"
Jadhav, an Indian national, was awarded a death sentence by a Pakistani military court in April this year. He is said to have been with the Indian Navy and was arrested on March 3, 2016. He was convicted on charges of espionage.
The Indian Express however reported MEA spokesperson Gopal Bagley as saying that there was no progress in Avantika Jadhav's visa application and India had not received any information that indicated that Jadhav's mother would be granted a visa.
Meanwhile Zakaria, as reported by The Times of India, also said, asking for visa recommendations Sartaj Aziz was against diplomatic norms.
Zakaria's comments come close on the heels of Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj slamming Sartaj Aziz on Twitter for the delay in granting Jadhav's mother a visa.
In a series of tweets Swaraj had said:
I have my sympathies for all Pakistan nationals seeking medical visa for their treatment in India. /1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
I am sure Mr.Sartaj Aziz also has consideration for the nationals of his country. /2— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
All that we require is his recommendation for the grant of medical visa to Pakistan nationals. /3— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
I see no reason why should he hesitate to give his recommendation for nationals of his own country. /4— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
We also have a visa application pending for an Indian national Mrs.Avantika Jadhav who wants to meet her son in Pakistan /5— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
against whom they have pronounced a death sentence. /6— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
I wrote a personal letter to Mr.Sartaj Aziz for the grant of her visa to Pakistan. /7— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
However, Mr.Aziz has not shown the courtesy even to acknowledge my letter. /8— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
But I assure Pakistan nationals seeking medical visa with a recommendation from Mr.Sartaj Aziz, we will issue the visa immediately. /9— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 10, 2017
However, as Swaraj's tweet indicate, because of the diplomatic tussle between the two countries, people from Pakistan seeking medical visas for India were stuck. HuffPost had recently spoken to Faiza Tanveer, a young woman from Lahore, who is a cancer patient seeking an Indian medical visa, but she was asked to send a recommendation to Swaraj from Aziz.
Swaraj, who is quick to respond to people seeking help on Twitter, told another man from Pakistan on Twitter that he would need Aziz's recommendation for a medical visa.
My sympathies are with you. We will give you the visa. Sartaj Aziz Sahib should recommend your case. https://t.co/ZZvQjafIGY— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 4, 2017
In fact, The Hindustan Times reported that Zakaria expressed regret that restrictions were being imposed on Pakistan nationals seeking visas for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, the International Court of Justice stayed Jadhav's execution after India's appeal against the death sentence. The verdict of the court is still pending.
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