Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif rejected Indian allegations of harassment of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother, saying strict security procedures had been agreed bilaterally with India
Islamabad: Pakistan again defended the imposition of tough security procedures during Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with his wife and mother, which it said had been agreed bilaterally with India.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif rejected the Indian claims and said Jadhav’s meeting with his wife and mother on December 25 was allowed on humanitarian grounds.
He said the meeting was originally scheduled for 30 minutes but was extended to 40 minutes on request and claimed that Jadhav’s mother thanked Pakistan after the visit.
Pakistani authorities have sent the shoes worn by Jadhav’s wife for a forensic examination to determine the nature of the suspected presence of a foreign object, media reported here yesterday.
Pakistani Foreign Ministry (FO) spokesman Mohammad Faisal said authorities should check whether the “metal object” in the shoes was a camera or a recording chip.
The foreign minister said Pakistan’s “humanitarian gesture” did not prevent the fact that “Jadhav is a serving Indian naval officer and a convicted Indian terrorist and spy.”
He said a full security check was therefore essential. This was agreed between the two countries, in advance, through diplomatic channels, adding that Jadhav’s family members were treated with “respect and dignity” and that the change of clothes and the removal of jewelry and adornments were purely for security reasons.
He said visitors put on their own clothes after the meeting and all their belongings were returned to them before they left, although the woman’s shoes were kept as they did not go through security as a “Metal shard” was found in one of the shoes, which is being analyzed.
India yesterday accused Pakistan of ignoring the cultural and religious sensitivities of Jadhav’s family members on the pretext of security, highlighting the “removal of the mangal sutra, bracelets and bindi, as well as a change in clothing not guaranteed by security “.
Asif said Pakistan has been open and transparent throughout the meeting, offered in good faith.
“We do not wish to indulge in spurious accusations and a blame game and must focus on the more important positive outcome that the meeting took place, despite immense challenges and obstacles, instead of distorting the facts and unfounded propaganda, which vitiates the atmosphere and is counterproductive, “he said.
The Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman later accused the Indian media of shaping public opinion for their “nefarious purposes”.
“Let me assure you that we can win any argument on this (Jadhav meeting), as we have all the documents and files with us. However, the intention and purpose behind this gesture is very important. and must be registered. “
âUnfortunately, the visit is more about the shoe and less about the meeting,â the spokesperson said.
He said that the Indian Foreign Minister mentioned a Note Verbale in his speech to Parliament.
“We will respond to them shortly,” the spokesperson said.
At the December 25 meeting, photos of which were released by Pakistan, Jadhav was seen sitting behind a glass screen while his mother and wife sat on the other side. They spoke via intercom and the entire 40-minute procedure appeared to have been videotaped.
Jadhav, 47, who was arrested in March last year, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for suspected espionage, a charge India has dismissed as concocted.
New Delhi says Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran where he had legitimate business interests, and taken to Pakistan. To save Jadhav, India appealed to the International Court of Justice, which ordered Pakistan in May to suspend his execution.