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Kulbhushan Jadhav's Mother, Wife Asked to Remove Mangalsutra, Bindi Before Meeting: India

The meeting took place in Ismalabad and Pakistan made it clear that it did not constitute "consular access" and repeated its old allegations against the Indian prisoner.

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Updated:December 26, 2017, 6:37 PM IST
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Kulbhushan Jadhav's Mother, Wife Asked to Remove Mangalsutra, Bindi Before Meeting: India
Kulbhushan Jadhav's wife and family seated at the Pakistan Foreign Office during the meeting. (Image: ForeignOfficePK/Twitter)
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New Delhi: Monday's meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian who is on death row in Pakistan, and his wife and mother violated the letter and spirit of the understanding between the two countries, Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.

The meeting took place in Islamabad and Pakistan made it clear that it did not constitute "consular access" and repeated its old allegations against the Indian prisoner.

New Delhi said the meeting, which Pakistan called a humanitarian gesture, violated “our understandings”.

“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 attire that was not warranted by security,” said India.

New Delhi further maintained that the family was prevented from talking in their mother tongue. Kulbhushan's mother was also repeatedly interrupted.

New Delhi said that India's Deputy High Commissioner was allowed to join the meeting only after 'pressing the matter with the concerned officials'.

"Deputy High Commissioner was initially separated from family members who were taken to the meeting without informing him. The meeting was started without his presence and he could join only after pressing the matter with concerned officials. Even then, he was kept behind an additional partition that did not allow him access to the meeting as agreed," said MEA.

New Delhi expressed apprehension against any 'mischievous intent' by not returning the shoes of Jadhav's wife.

"For some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Shri Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting. We would caution against any mischievous intent in this regard," said MEA.

New Delhi maintained that Jadhav appeared under 'considerable stress' and was speaking in an 'atmosphere of coercion'.

"From the feedback we have received of the meeting, it appears that Shri 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. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well being," said MEA.

The MEA said that the meeting lacked any credibility.

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the ICJ in May. The ICJ halted his execution on India's appeal pending the final verdict by it.

Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel from its restive Balochistan province after he reportedly entered from Iran.

India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

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