In a new “propaganda” video released by Pakistan Thursday, former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav made several incredulous claims and even accused Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh of threatening his mother Avanti and his wife Chetna during their visit to Islamabad. In the latest video, Jadhav claimed he had heard Singh, who was accompanying his family members, screaming at his mother and wife. Jadhav claimed he saw “fear” in their eyes and his mother looked “scared” during the meeting.
“I saw fear in her (mother’s) eyes, the Indian diplomat was shouting at my mother the moment she stepped out. I saw him shouting, yelling at
her. This [meeting] was a positive gesture, so that she [my mother] could be happy and I could be happy,” Jadhav said.
Jadhav also said his mother was happy seeing him healthy. “I said don’t worry, mummy, I am being taken care of. They don’t harm me, they don’t even touch me…,” he was heard saying in the video.
He said his mother believed he was in good health after seeing him. He then went on to claim that he was still a commissioned officer of the Indian Navy.
In an earlier video, Jadhav thanked the Pakistan government for facilitating his family’s visit and reiterated Pakistan’s stand that he was a spy and he had carried out “terrorist” activities in Balochistan.
Meanwhile, the MEA said that such “propagandistic” exercises don’t carry weight and advised it to fulfil its “international obligations”.
“This does not come as a surprise. Pakistan is simply continuing its practice of putting out coerced statements on video. It is time for them to realize that such propagandistic exercises simply carry no credibility. The absurdity of a captive under duress certifying his own welfare while mouthing allegations of his captors clearly merits no comment. Pakistan is best advised to fulfil its international obligations, whether it pertains to consular relations or UNSC resolution 1267 and 1373 on terrorism and to desist from continuing violations of human rights of an Indian National,” the MEA said in a brief statement.
Reacting on the video, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor told ANI: “This is cruel, and inhuman and very disappointing. A civilized state can never indulge in such behaviour.”
In December, Jadhav’s mother and his wife travelled to Islamabad to meet the Death Row convict. The meeting lasted for about 40 minutes after which his family returned to India the same day. Jadhav sat inside a small cabin which was separated by a glass partition. He spoke to his family through a telephone. And his mother was not allowed to speak to him in Marathi as Pakistan authorities insisted that they must speak in either English or Hindi.
After the family returned to Delhi the next day, the MEA issued a statement saying that Jadhav’s mother and wife were asked to remove their mangalsutras and bangles and other belongings. MEA said the shoes of Jadhav’s wife were not returned to her. They also slammed Pakistan for not honouring their agreement and for violating human rights.
In her statement to the Parliament, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that Jadhav’s wife and his mother were paraded as “widows” in front of him. Jadhav reportedly expressed concern over his father’s health after seeing his mother without her wedding necklace.
“Under the pretext of security precautions, even the attire of the family members was changed. Jadhav’s mother, who only wears saris, was given salwar-kurta to wear,” said Swaraj. She said Jadhav’s mother had told the Pakistani officials that the mangalsutra is a symbol of her marriage (suhag) and she never removes it, but they turned down her plea and said they were only following orders.
“Both married women were presented as widows in front of a son and husband. There can be no greater insult than this,” said Swaraj, amid chants of “shame, shame” from fellow parliamentarians.
Swaraj said Pakistan’s authorities were now talking of a chip, camera or recorder being installed in Chetna’s shoes. This is “absurdity beyond measure,” she said, pointing out that the two women had cleared security at airports in India, Dubai and Pakistan, where nothing suspicious was detected. “At times they say there was a recorder on it (shoe), at times they say there was a camera, there was a chip… Thank God they did not say there was a bomb inside it,” she said. “The Pakistani authorities have been cautioned against any mischievous intent in this regard through a Note Verbale yesterday,” she added.