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‘Humanitarian gesture, template for others’: How Pakistan media reported Kulbhushan-family meet

Reportage was pivoted on Pakistan’s “humanitarian and goodwill gesture” in permitting Kulbhushan’s family to pay him a visit,ignoring how a glass wall was placed and multiple cameras were set up to scuttle what was supposed to be a “private meeting”

world Updated: Dec 26, 2017 17:30 IST
Pakistan,Kulbhushan Jadhav,Kulbhushan
Former Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav is seen on a screen during a news conference at the ministry of foreign affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan.(Reuters)

Former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with his family, almost two years after he was “arrested” near the restive Balochistan province hogged the front pages of all major Pakistani newspapers on Tuesday.

While the reportage was pivoted on Pakistan’s “humanitarian and goodwill gesture” in permitting the Indian national’s mother Avanti and wife Chetankul to pay him a visit, the reports ignored how a glass wall was placed and multiple cameras were set up to scuttle what was supposed to be a “private meeting”.

There was no physical contact and the photos released by the Pakistan foreign office showed a pale looking Jadhav interacting with his family through an intercom behind a glass window which was placed next to what appeared as a tissue box.

India’s deputy high commissioner JP Singh, who accompanied the family was allowed to observe the events only from another glass chamber.

“One good deed should beget another. Such decisions should serve as a template for others to follow, including in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where innocent blood continues to be spilled,” Pakistan’s leading daily The Dawn quoted a foreign office spokesperson as saying.

Front page of Dawn ( )

Following a slightly belligerent approach, The News International linked Monday’s events with the Indian Army’s alleged ceasefire violation that left three Pakistani soldiers dead across the Line of Control (LoC).

“India returns Jadhav gesture by martyring 3 soldiers on LoC,” the newspaper front page headline said.

Front page of The News International ( )

The Nation reported how the people in Pakistan were irked and felt outraged about the Jadhav “family reunion”, despite the authorities dubbing him “the face of Indian terror”.

Front page of The Nation ( )

Pakistan press also harped on a pre-recorded video of Jadhav, where the death row prisoner is seen thanking the Pakistani government for the treating him with “dignity, honour and in a very professional manner”.

The Front page of Pakistan Today ( Pakistan Today )
Front page of Pakistan Observer ( Pakistan Observer )

After the 40-minute long meeting, Pakistani foreign office also released a medical report that claimed he was in good health.

Jadhav was arrested in March 2016 and then sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. India managed to stay the execution by appealing to the International Court of Justice in May.

India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

First Published: Dec 26, 2017 15:31 IST