MPs back government on Jadhav kin issue

Mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad.

Mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad.  

Pakistan turned emotional moment into instrument of propaganda, says Sushma

Members of Parliament, cutting across party lines on Thursday, voiced full-throated supported for the government on the issue of treatment meted out by Pakistan to the mother and wife of imprisoned Indian Kulbhushan Jadhav.

The support followed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s identical statements in both Houses. The Minister accused Pakistan of turning an emotional moment into “an instrument to further its propaganda.” Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan J.P. Singh, who accompanied the family for the meeting, was present in Parliament when the Minister made the statement.

Human rights violation

Ms. Swaraj said there was “serious and gross violation of human rights of the family members of Jadhav,” who is on death row in Pakistan for alleged spying.

She pointed out that Mr. Jadhav’s mother and wife were forced to remove their mangalsutra, bindi and bangles and footwear, and even made to change their attire on the pretext of security.

“I spoke to his mother in the morning to reconfirm whether she was also made to remove her mangalsutra. On seeing his mother without a bindi and a mangalsutra, Jadhav worried if something unfortunate had happened to his father. She told me in a choked voice that she told the security officials that [she] has never worn anything else other than a saree in her life, even then she was made to change into a salwar kameez,” Ms. Swaraj said amid cries of “Shame! Shame!” from members.

“There are not enough words to condemn the same,” she said.

Mr. Jadhav’s mother and wife met him on Monday inside the Pakistan Foreign Office building in Islamabad under unusual circumstances — he was separated from the two women by a glass screen, and they conversed through an intercom.

Footwear confiscated

Referring to Ms. Chetna’s footwear being confiscated, Ms. Swaraj said Pakistani authorities were now talking of a chip, camera or a recorder being installed in the shoes. This is “absurdity beyond measure,” as the two women had cleared security at airports in India, Dubai and Pakistan when nothing suspicious was detected, she said.

“The Pakistan authorities have been cautioned against any mischievous intent in this regard through a Note Verbale yesterday,” she said.

“This meeting could have been a step towards moving forward. But, it is a matter of great disappointment, that the meeting took place flouting all the understandings both countries had agreed to,” she said.

Pakistan claims that Mr. Jadhav, an ex-Indian Navy officer, was arrested in Balochistan in March 2016 with a fake passport, a charge denied by India, which says he was kidnapped from Iran where he has legitimate business. The 47-year-old has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court, but the execution has been stayed by the International Court of Justice following India’s efforts.

Ms. Swaraj said while the imminent threat to Mr. Jadhav’s life has been averted, “We are now engaged in seeking a permanent relief, based on stronger arguments, through the legal avenue offered by the International Court of Justice.”

MPs Ram Gopal Yadav (SP), Derek O'Brien (TMC), Harivansh (JD-U), Dilip Tirkey (BJD), Tapan Kumar Sen (CPM), T. Devendra Goud (TDP), Veer Singh (BSP), Thiruchi Siva (DMK), D. Raja (CPI), Sukhdev Singh Dindsa (Akali Dal), Abdul Wahab (IML), Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena), Bhupendra Yadav (BJP) and Ram Das Athavale (RPI) supported the government in the matter.

Mr. Naidu wanted the government to convey to the international community that Pakistan behaved in an inhuman manner.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 3:19:36 PM |

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