India slams Pakistan narrative on Jadhav’s meeting with kin, cites cultural insensitivity, missing shoes
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Kulbhushan Jadhav was “clearly tutored” and that his appearance during the meeting with his family raised questions over the Indian national’s well beingindia Updated: Dec 26, 2017 20:10 IST
India said on Tuesday the meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav and his family was held in an “atmosphere of coercion”, asserting that Pakistan violated the letter and spirit of the understandings amid increased border tension between the two countries.
The external affairs ministry said Jadhav was “clearly tutored” and that his appearance during the meeting, which “lacked any credibility”, raised questions over the Indian national’s well being.
“From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, a day after Jadhav’s mother and wife met him at the heavily guarded building of the Pakistan foreign office in Islamabad.
There was a glass screen between Jadhav and his family members during the entire meeting and they spoke through an intercom device.
A former Indian naval officer, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for espionage. India maintains that he was on business and had the execution stayed by appealing to the International Court of Justice.
“The manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath was clearly an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Jadhav’s alleged activities. You would all agree that this exercise lacked any credibility,” Kumar said.
Kumar also said Jadhav’s family was heckled by the Pakistani media that was allowed to hurl false accusations despite the agreement that they would not be allowed close access.
“Under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. This included removal of mangal sutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security,” the ministry said.
It also added that shoes of Jadhav’s wife were not returned for “some inexplicable reason” despite her repeated requests. Kumar cautioned against “any mischievous intent” in this regard.
Jadhav’s wife and mother were accompanied by the Indian deputy high commissioner JP Singh to the ministry, and as per the agreement with Pakistan, was to be present during the meeting.
However, Kumar said Singh was separated from the family and not informed of when the meeting began, and was later not granted access as promised.
During the meeting, Jadhav’s mother was also not allowed to speak in her native tongue.
“The mother of Shri Jadhav was prevented from talking in their mother tongue, although this was clearly the natural medium of communication. She was repeatedly interrupted while doing so and eventually prevented from proceeding further in this regard,” Kumar said.
With inputs from PTI