ISLAMABAD — The wife and mother of an Indian naval officer facing the death penalty for espionage in Pakistan will arrive for a rare meeting with him in the country’s capital, despite lingering tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, a foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday.

Mohammad Faisal said India informed Islamabad about the visit on Saturday. He added that the two women will fly to Islamabad on Monday to meet with Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in March 2016 by Pakistani officials after he entered the country from neighboring Iran. Jadhav will be brought to the ministry for the meeting, and India wants Pakistan to bar journalists from speaking with the family members for security reasons.

A security official said the two women will meet with Jadhav in the presence of three Indian diplomats.

“The mother and wife of Jadhav will be able to see and talk to him but there will be a partition between them for security reasons,” said the official, who is involved in making arrangements for the meeting.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to brief the media.

Jadhav and his wife have petitioned the Pakistan army for a pardon, but have yet to receive a response.

In his petition, which was seen by The Associated Press, Jadhav says “I feel very shamed and I genuinely seek pardon of the acts and sins and crimes I have committed here against the nation and the people of Pakistan.”

Pakistan says Jadhav was working for the Indian spy agency, RAW.

Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations and they have fought three wars since they gained independence in 1947.

Author photo
MUNIR AHMED
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.