India says Jadhav- family meeting 'intimidating, lacked credibility'

Kristopher Drake
December 27, 2017

Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav's wife had a metal chip installed in it forcing the foreign office's security staff to give her a different pair of shoes during the Monday meeting with her husband in Islamabad, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

Narrating sequence of events, the MEA statement said that prior to the meeting the two countries through diplomatic channels had worked out modalities and format of the meeting.

But India said Jadhav's mother was not allowed to speak in her native Marathi language and was frequently interrupted during the meeting.

This included removal of mangalsutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security, he added.

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

Jadhav's mother and wife had a restricted interaction with him for 40 minutes, separated by a glass screen, at the heavily guarded building of the Pakistani foreign office in Islamabad.

Jadhav's family was later taken to the Indian High Commission before their return to India late on Monday night via Oman.

New Delhi, however, on Tuesday accused Islamabad of conducting "the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of the understandings" reached during a discussion between the diplomats of both sides. "This was despite a clear agreement that the media would not be allowed close access", the statement said.

"The Pakistani press was allowed on multiple occasions to approach family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and loaded accusations about (Shri) Jadhav", Kumar said in a statement. Despite repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been facilitating grant of visas to ailing Pakistani nationals as a humanitarian gesture. "His appearance also raises questions of his health and well-being". You would all You agree that this exercise lacked any credibility, "the statement said". After his protested, he was allowed to join Even then, he was kept behind an additional partition that did not allow him access to the meeting as agreed.

The spokesperson also regretted that contrary to the assurances given to New Delhi, the overall atmosphere of the meeting was intimidating to the family members. They were accompanied by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav left Pakistan for Muscat by an Oman airline flight at 19:44 hours (local time), said officials at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

The formal statement of protest coincided with a disclosure that Indian commandos had crossed the LoC and killed four Pakistani soldiers in a "tit-for-tat" strike.

Reacting sharply to the treatment meted out to the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav, on death row in Pakistan over alleged espionage, Swamy, a Rajya Sabha member, said "serious homework" for the war should begin "right now".

Commander Jadhav - an on-duty Indian navy officer working for Indian covert agency Research and Analysis Wing - was arrested on March 3, 2016, from Balochistan, after he entered into Pakistan from Iran.

Despite the death verdict, Pakistan last week reiterated that he was not under threat of an immediate execution as his mercy petitions were still pending.

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