Pakistan to share Jadhav wife’s shoes details with India

ISLAMABAD –  Pakistan will share the details of Chetankul Jadhav’s shoes’ investigations with India when the report of forensic examination arrives, diplomatic sources said.

Pakistani authorities had sent Chetankul Jadhav’s shoes for forensic examination after finding some “metal” object.

She was asked to remove the shoes and use another pair as she went in the Foreign Office to meet her husband Kulbushan Jadhav, – convicted for terrorism in Pakistan.

Pakistan claims the shoes had a metal object, which could possibly be a SIM, a camera or a chip, aimed at recording the conversation between the family.

Wife Chetankul Jadhav and mother Avanti Jadhav visited Pakistan this week to meet Jadhav amid unprecedented security. 

They were asked to wash their faces to remove any makeup.  Their jewellery was also temporarily taken off.

India objected to the seizure of Chetankul Jadhav’s shoes.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs questioned why the shoes of Jadhav’s wife were not returned after the meeting.

Islamabad responded that there was “something” in her shoes, which raised suspicion.

The shoes were confiscated due to security reasons.

The Foreign Office said all the belongings of the family were returned after the meeting except the shoes.

Senior officials at the foreign ministry said the details of the forensic examination report would be shared with India.

One official said: “We are waiting for the report. Once it arrives, we will let India know. Their [India’s] complaints are not genuine.”  Another official, citing diplomatic contacts, said India was told not to raise hue and cry after Pakistan’s humanitarian gesture.

“We have asked them not to unleash propaganda, if they cannot thank us [for the meeting],” he added.

Speaking to The Nation, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said the forensic examination report would be delivered to the authorities in a few days. 

“It will be with us soon. The report does take time [to be finalised]. We are waiting for it,” he said.

Faisal had earlier rejected India’s “baseless allegations” and “twists” about the visit of Jadhav’s wife and mother.  “The Indian baseless allegations and twists, that come 24 hours later, about the visit of the wife and mother of Commander Jadhav, a convicted terrorist and spy, who has confessed to his crimes, are categorically rejected,” he said in a statement.

He added: “We do not wish to indulge in a meaningless battle of words. Our openness and transparency belies these allegations. If Indian concerns were serious, the guests or the Indian DHC [Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh] should have raised them during the visit, with the media, which was readily available, but at a safe distance, as requested by India.”

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court on April 10th, 2017 for carrying out espionage and sabotage activities in Balochistan and Karachi.

The conviction aggravated Pakistan-India tension and New Delhi approached the International Court of Justice to hear the case.

The ICJ stayed Jadhav’s execution until a verdict on the case.

India submitted its memorial to the ICJ on September 13, while Pakistan replied on December 13 – dismissing India’s stance.  Pakistan argued that Jadhav was not an ordinary prisoner as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.

Pakistan said Jadhav, who was a “serving officer of the Indian Navy,” did not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.

Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel, was arrested on March 3, 2016 in a “counter-intelligence operation” from Mashkel area of Balochistan.

Jadhav has filed a mercy petition to army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, to spare his life on “compassionate grounds”.

He can still file another appeal to President Mamnoon Hussain, if the army chief rejects his plea.

Before Jadhav’s meeting with his family, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said hanging Jadhav did not suit Pakistan as his existence would keep the case alive.

The spokesperson said Pakistan was in no hurry to execute the Indian spy as he still had his mercy appeal pending before the army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

“Even if the army chief rejects his appeal, he can still file another appeal to the president [Mamnoon Hussain]. The army chief can take a decision in minutes or years. Same is the case with the president. His [Jadhav’s] existence is better than his death for us. This will keep the case alive. Or he will vanish like Ajmal Kasab [who was executed by India for alleged role in 2008 Mumbai attacks],” he said.

Faisal clarified that the delay in Jadhav’s execution was not to bargain for former colonel Mohammed Habib’s release – who is in Indian custody.

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