A day after Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother and wife met him in Islamabad, Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson for India's ministry of external affairs has revealed shocking details of the meeting in a press conference on Tuesday, December 26.
From what has come to light, it seems that though India followed all the norms as discussed, the treatment meted out to Kulbhushan's kin didn't go down well with Indian authorities.
"Prior to the meeting the two governments were in touch through diplomatic channels, to work out modalities and format," said Kumar.
"There were clear understandings between the two sides. And the Indian side scrupulously abided by all its commitments. However we note with regret that the Pakistani side conducted this meeting in a manner which violated the letter and the spirit of our understandings," he added.
Media harassed Kulbhushan's kin
Though the Pakistani media reports had said that Kulbhushan's kin were not allowed to talk to the media, his mother Avanti Jadhav and wife were allegedly subjected to intimidation.
"This included the Pakistani press, which was allowed on multiple occasions to approach the family members closely and harass them. Also false and motivated accusations were raised against Jadhav. This was despite a clear agreement between the two countries that the media would not be allowed close access," Kumar pointed out.
Wife, mother asked to change clothes
The kin were also asked to remove their jewelry and change the clothes before meeting the Indian prisoner, who is on a death row.
Kumar said, "Under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. This included removal of mangalsutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in the attire that was not warranted by security."
The MEA spokesperson also added that Kulbhushan's mother was prevented from talking in their mother tongue.
"She was repeatedly interrupted while doing so and eventually prevented from proceeding in this regard," Kumar said.
Even as Kulbhushan's kin and the Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh were being led to meet the former Indian Navy official, the Indian consulate was "eventually separated from family members". In fact, Kulbhushan's mother and wife were not only taken to the meeting without informing Singh but the meeting was started without his presence.
However, he was allowed to join only after he escalated the issue to the concerned officials.
What is even more concerning is that, despite Kulbhushan's wife repeatedly requesting the Pakistani officials to return her shoes, the authorities did not give back her footwear.
Kumar further said Jadhav was tutored. He said, "From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Sri 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," asserted the MEA spokesperson.
"His appearance also raises questions over his health and wellbeing," Kumar complained as he defined Jadhav's trauma. He added, "We also regret that contradicting to assurances, the overall atmosphere of the meeting was intimidating, so far as family members are concerned."
India and Pakistan had discussed all the terms for the meeting, yet the revelations by Kumar are leading to the same old rhetoric that both the nations can never come to an understanding.
The MEA spokesperson stressed, "However the family members handled the situation with great courage. The manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath, was clearly an attempt to bolster the false and unsubstantiated narrative of Sri Jadhav's alleged activities."
"You'd all agree that this exercise lacked credibility," Kumar concluded.