The wife and mother of Kulbhuhan Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer facing the death penalty in Pakistan for espionage, arrived in Islamabad for a rare meeting with him.

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife meet the former Indian naval officer in Islamabad at the Pakistan foreign ministry.

From behind a glass barrier, Indian death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav spoke with his wife and mother on Monday at the Pakistani foreign ministry in what Islamabad said would not be the last such meeting.

Pakistan also insisted that the presence of Indian diplomats at the former naval officer’s 40-minute-long meeting with his wife Chetan Kaul and mother Avanti at the ministry building in Islamabad, held amid unprecedented and elaborate security measures, did not amount to consular access.

In what appeared to be choreographed moves, the Pakistani foreign office released photos of the meeting, a pre-recorded video of Jadhav, sentenced to death for alleged espionage, thanking the Pakistani government, and a medical report that claimed he was in good health.

Doubts were immediately raised in India that the video may have been shot under duress, and the credibility of the medical report issued by a doctor of Saudi German Hospital, Dubai, was questioned.

The video showed Jadhav saying Pakistani authorities had treated him in a dignified, respectful and professional manner, for which he said he was thankful.

Avanti and Chetan Kaul Jadhav were accompanied by Indian deputy high Commissioner JP Singh and three Indian foreign ministry officials. During the meeting, only Jadhav’s family members were present with him.

Singh and Pakistani officials, including Fareha Bugti of the India desk of the foreign ministry who monitored the meeting, were outside the room.

India has requested that the family should not have any interaction with the media, Pakistani foreign office spokesman Muhammad Faisal said.

Jadhav’s kin stopped over at the Indian high commission prior to their meeting at the foreign office. They had arrived in Islamabad on an Emirates flight from Dubai on Monday morning.

In the pre-recorded video, Jadhav can be seen ‘confessing’ to working for Indian intelligence, adding that he had been arrested in Balochistan while attempting to infiltrate the country from Iran.

The foreign office spokesman said Pakistan permitted Jadhav to meet his kin on humanitarian grounds on the birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan.

The move should not be seen as according consular access to Jadhav, he said, adding that Pakistan had consistently denied consular access to him as the Vienna Convention on the matter does not apply to those involved in espionage. “The presence of JP Singh at today’s meeting should not be considered as consular access,” Faisal said.

Faisal’s comments came hours after his boss, Pakistan foreign minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif appeared to contradict him on TV.

Asked specifically if it constituted consular access, as an Indian official would be present in the meeting, Asif told Geo TV, “Yes”.

Rare as it was, Pakistani officials said this meeting will not be the last between Jadhav and his family.

In preparation for the meeting, Pakistan had deployed security and traffic personnel within and outside the foreign office building which is located near the country’s parliament building. Sharpshooters were deployed at the sprawling foreign office building ahead of the meeting.

TV footage showed a convoy of around seven vehicles escorting Jadhav’s family in the capital Islamabad.

The Pakistani high commission in New Delhi had issued visas to Jadhav’s mother and wife earlier in the month. India made the acceptance of the offer conditional to permission for his mother and an Indian diplomat to accompany her. After extensive deliberations, the Indian request was allowed and December 25 was proposed as the meeting date.

Minutes before the meeting, Faisal tweeted a picture of Jadhav’s wife and mother, adding they were “sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. We honour our commitments”.

Jadhav was at the ministry before his family arrived. It was not known where he had been kept before being transported to the ministry.

Earlier, Indian high commissioner Ajay Bisaria said he hoped the meeting would take place in a cordial atmosphere.

Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav are expected to catch a flight back to India via Muscat on Oman Air on Monday evening.