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Sushma’s Pak. counterpart rejects allegations of mistreatment of Jadhav’s mother, wife

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  

Comprehensive security check was essential and agreed upon through diplomatic channels, says Khawaja Asif.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday rejected his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj’s allegations of mistreatment of the wife and the mother of death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav when they met him in Islamabad on Monday last. He said the meeting was permitted on humanitarian grounds in line with Islamic teachings and traditions of compassion and grace.

After the meeting, India alleged that Pakistani authorities maltreated Jadhav's wife and mother, and the Pakistan Foreign office said something suspicious was found in the shoes of his wife and that they had been confiscated for an investigation.

“The purpose of the visit was to have a meeting of Commander Jadhav with his wife and mother, which was achieved despite all impediments. This needs to be acknowledged,” Mr. Asif said.

The Pakistani authorities allowed an extension of the meeting time to 40 minutes on the request of Jadhav's wife and the mother and the success of the meeting was evident by the fact that the mother thanked Pakistan after the visit, he said.

Hits out at Indian media

Mr. Asif criticised the Indian media for questioning the modalities of the visit and “advancing far-fetched conspiracy theories” about the change of clothes of the visitors, the language in which the meeting was conducted.

“Pakistan’s humanitarian gesture did not obviate the fact that this was not an ordinary meeting between a mother and wife with their son and husband. The reality remains that Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav is a serving Indian Naval Officer and a convicted Indian terrorist and spy responsible for multiple deaths and destruction in Pakistan,” he said.

The Minister claimed that a comprehensive security check was essential. “This was agreed upon between both countries, in advance, through diplomatic channels. The visitors were treated with respect and dignity. The change of clothes and removal of jewellery/ornaments etc. was purely for security reasons. The visitors changed into their own clothes after the meeting. All their belongings were returned to them before they left. The wife’s shoes were retained as they did not clear the security check. A metal chip has been found in one of the shoes, which is being analysed,” he said.

Many routine airport security checks for ordinary people entail removal of crosses and veils. “Trying to distort an agreed security check and attempting to portray it as a deliberate religious/cultural disrespect denotes bad faith and is regrettable. It is unfortunate that the frenzied Indian media is driving Indian politics,” Mr Asif said.

'Meeting offered in good faith'

Pakistan hads been open and transparent throughout the meeting, offered in good faith, a statement said.

“We do not wish to indulge in fallacious accusations and blame game and should focus on the bigger positive outcome that the meeting happened, despite immense challenges and impediments, instead of distortion of facts and baseless propaganda, which vitiates the atmosphere and is counter-productive,” the release said.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:24:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pakistan-rejects-swarajs-allegations-of-mistreatment-to-jadhavs-kin/article22321323.ece

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