India complains about Jadhav family meeting

India Tuesday accused Pakistan of harassing the family of a convicted Indian spy on death row, saying their meeting was held in an “atmosphere of coercion”.

Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav met his mother and wife in Islamabad on Monday, their first meeting since his arrest in Pakistan last year on charges of espionage and terrorism.

“It appears that Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion,” the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement shortly after top Indian officials debriefed his family in New Delhi.

The ministry alleged that Jadhav’s conversation during the meeting was “tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan”.

Pakistani officials say Jadhav, who was arrested in Balochistan, confessed to spying for Indian intelligence, and describe him as “the face of Indian terrorism in Pakistan”.

Jadhav was found guilty in a closed trial by a military court and sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism.

India took the case to the International Court of Justice which suspended his execution until it passes final judgement in the case.

Pictures released by the Pakistan government on Monday showed Jadhav and his family speaking through a glass barrier at the foreign ministry in Islamabad.

New Delhi said Pakistan ‘disrespected’ the cultural and religious sensibilities of Jadhav’s family, alleging they were asked to change their clothes, and that his wife was ordered to remove her “mangal sutra” – a necklace worn by married Hindu women.

The Indian foreign ministry also claimed that Pakistani authorities did not return the shoes Jadhav’s wife was ordered to remove.

It also accused Islamabad of allowing local journalists to “harass and hector” the Jadhav family, violating an understanding between Islamabad and New Delhi to not allow the media “close” access.

India also raised concerns over Jadhav’s health, although he was seen sitting up in the grainy pictures. Pakistani officials said he was in good health.

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