A day after wife and mother of former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav met him in Islamabad , India on Tuesday took serious objections to the conduct of Pakistan and the way its officials arranged the meeting disregarding all “sensibilities”. A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the exercise lacked credibility and during the meeting Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. “Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan,” it said. Pakistan’s public relations (PR) pitch coming ahead of the top UN court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) begins to hear India’s appeal against Jadhav’s death sentence took new heights, when its Foreign Office not only made meeting of mother Avanti and wife Chetana with a death-row prisoner a media spectacle, but also used the occasion to release his second video and a medical report showing him healthy and fit.In a strongly worded statement, MEA said not only Pakistani media was unleashed to harass visiting relatives, but prior to meeting their cultural and religious sensibilities were also disregarded, by forcing them to remove mangal sutra, bangles and bindis. They were also asked to change their attire that was not warranted by security. They were also asked to put off their shoes. After the meeting despite requests shoe of Jadhav’s wife was not returned.Also readKulbhushan Jadhav’s family was harassed; wife had to remove mangal sutra, bindi: India exposes Pakistan’s PR showEarlier in the morning, both women met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at her residence. Jadhav’s father also accompanied them. Among others Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad JP Sigh also attended the brief meeting. Both the women were later headed to Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan, the offices of MEA for debriefing sessions.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. “There were clear understandings between the two sides and the Indian side scrupulously abided by all its commitments,” it said. The MEA noted with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings.“The Pakistani press was allowed on multiple occasions to approach family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations about Shri Jadhav. This was despite a clear agreement that the media would not be allowed close access,” the statement added. It further stated that 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.Further,Jadhav’s mother was prevented from talking in her mother tongue Marathi, although this was clearly the natural medium of communication. During the meeting, she was repeatedly interrupted while doing so and eventually prevented from proceeding further in this regard. India’s deputy high commissioner JP Singh, who was tasked to accompany family members in the alien land was initially separated from them. Once inside Foreign Office building, they were taken to the meeting without informing Singh. The meeting started without his presence. 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 height of insensitive didn’t stop here. Despite repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Shri Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion. Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well being,” the statement added, rejected the video played by the Pakistan Foreign Office. “We also regret that contrary to assurances, the overall atmosphere of the meeting was intimidating insofar as family members were concerned. Family members, however, handled the situation with great courage and fortitude. The manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath was clearly an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Shri Jadhav’s alleged activities. You would all You agree that this exercise lacked any credibility, “the statement said.
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