Pakistan releases Jadhav video, India terms it propaganda

Pakistan has put out another coerced statement, says MEA

Updated - January 04, 2018 09:38 pm IST

Published - January 04, 2018 01:51 pm IST - New Delhi/Karachi

In this picture released by Pakistan Foreign Office, death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav speaks with his mother and wife through a glass screen at its building in Islamabad on December 25, 2017. Photo: Dr. Mohammad Faisal/Twitter

In this picture released by Pakistan Foreign Office, death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav speaks with his mother and wife through a glass screen at its building in Islamabad on December 25, 2017. Photo: Dr. Mohammad Faisal/Twitter

Accusing Pakistan of violating the human rights of Kulbhushan Jadhav again, India on Thursday dismissed as “propaganda” another video statement given by Mr. Jadhav that was released by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.

“Pakistan is simply continuing its practice of putting out coerced statements on video. It is time for them to realise that such propagandistic exercises simply carry no credibility,” a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) read.

In the video, which was screened for journalists in Islamabad, Mr. Jadhav, who has been convicted of terror charges by a Pakistani military court and sentenced to death, said he had been “taken care of” by Pakistani authorities and that he remained a commissioned officer of the Indian Navy and had been working for the external intelligence agency R&AW.

Mr. Jadhav also alleged that his mother and wife, who had met him on December 25, had been intimidated by the Indian diplomat accompanying them.

“They’ve been threatened. The Indian diplomat or the Indian person that had come along with my mother was shouting at her the moment she stepped out. He was yelling at her. Has she been brought under threat here?!” Mr. Jadhav, who wore a blazer and shirt for the video, was seen saying.

Indian account

Mr. Jadhav’s statement ran counter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s account of the meeting, where she said that Mr. Jadhav’s mother and wife had been harassed by Pakistani officials, forced to remove jewellery and change clothes in order to meet him, and had been forcibly separated from the Indian diplomat accompanying them, the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad J.P. Singh. Asked about the specific allegations on tape, government sources said Mr. Jadhav was being used by Pakistani officials in an attempt to “change the narrative and shift the focus” from India’s objections to the treatment of his family.

“The family was scared because of the very intrusive and humiliating security check and because of the [Pakistani] media’s heckling,” a source told The Hindu .

Kidnapped from Iran

Since his arrest in March 2016, the government has consistently held that Mr. Jadhav was a former naval officer who had sought “premature retirement” and was conducting a business in Iran when he was kidnapped by Pakistani operatives. The government made more than a dozen requests for consular access to Pakistani authorities, failing which, it approached the International Court of Justice at the Hague. After the Jadhav family meeting last week, the MEA had also expressed concerns about Mr. Jadhav’s health, as he was only allowed to meet the family across a glass partition.

Absurd, says govt.

“The absurdity of a captive under duress certifying his own welfare while mouthing allegations of his captors clearly merits no comment. Pakistan is best advised to fulfil its international obligations, whether it pertains to consular relations or UNSC resolutions 1267 and 1373 on terrorism and to desist from continuing violations of human rights of an Indian national,” the MEA statement added.

The International Court of Justice will adjudicate on whether Pakistan has violated the Geneva convention on the treatment of prisoners. Mr. Jadhav’s appeal against his sentence is pending before Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa.

Watch the video here:

 

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