New Delhi: India said today that it regretted the way Pakistan conducted the meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav and his family, asserting that it violated the letter and spirit of understandings, and raised questions over the health and well being of the Indian national.
“From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion,” the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said, a day after Jadhav’s mother and wife met him at the heavily guarded building of the Pakistani foreign office in Islamabad.
There was a glass screen between Jadhav and his family during the entire meeting and they spoke through an intercom device.
The MEA said most of Jadhav’s remarks were “clearly tutored” and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan.
“His appearance also raises questions over his health and well being,” it said.
The ministry also alleged that under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded. “This included removal of mangal sutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security,” it said.
“For some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests, Jadhav’s wife’s shoes were not returned to her after the meeting,” it said.
Prior to the meeting, the two governments were in touch through diplomatic channels to work out its modalities and format, the MEA said.
There were “clear understandings” between the two sides and the Indian side scrupulously abided by all its commitments, it said.
“However, we note with regret that the Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” the MEA statement said.
The mother of Jadhav was prevented from talking in their mother tongue, although this was clearly the natural medium of communication and she was repeatedly interrupted while doing so, and eventually prevented from proceeding further in this regard, the ministry said.
“The manner in which the meeting was conducted and its aftermath was clearly an attempt to bolster a false and unsubstantiated narrative of Jadhav’s alleged activities…this exercise lacked any credibility,” it said.