ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan on Tuesday gave a shut-up call to India after Indian allegations that convicted spy-terrorist Kulbushan Jadhav’s wife and mother were mistreated before their meeting with the death-row inmate.

In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said: “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. We do not wish to indulge in a meaningless battle of words. Our openness and transparency belies these allegations.”

He said that if the Indian concerns were serious, the guests or Indian 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.”

The fact, Dr Faisal said, was that Jadhav’s mother publicly thanked Pakistan for the humanitarian gesture. “This was recorded by the media. Nothing more needs to be said,” he added.

Separately, Faisal told a television channel that Jadhav’s wife had some metal in her shoes, which prompted the security officials to ask her to change them. “The shoes have been sent to the laboratory for investigation. There may have been some recording device or something else. We will find out soon,” he said.

Earlier in the day, India denounced Pakistan for its handling of the visit of Jadhav’s mother and wife, saying they were harassed and prevented from talking to the prisoner freely.

In a statement in New Delhi, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said Jadhav’s family was subjected to harassment when they arrived to meet him. “The Pakistani press was allowed on multiple occasions to approach family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations about (Shri) Jadhav,” Kumar said in the statement shortly after top Indian officials debriefed Jadhav’s family in New Delhi.

India said the two women were asked to change their dress and remove personal jewellery and the red dot that Hindus wear on their foreheads on the pretext of security. Jadhav’s mother was not allowed to speak in her native Marathi language and was frequently interrupted.

Delhi said Pakistan disrespected the cultural and religious sensibilities of Jadhav’s family, alleging the wife was ordered to remove her “mangal sutra” - a necklace worn by married Hindu women.

Pakistani authorities also refused to return the shoes that Jadhav’s wife had worn, Kumar said, warning against potential mischief. He didn’t elaborate.

Kumar said Jadhav appeared to be under considerable stress and under coercion at the meeting with his family. “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 wellbeing.”

Indian ministry said that Pakistan had “violated” agreements on how to conduct the meeting. “There were clear understandings between the two sides and the Indian side scrupulously abided by all its commitments. 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 Indian ministry further said that the “the overall atmosphere of the meeting was intimidating insofar as family members were concerned”. “Family members, however, handled the situation with great courage and fortitude.”

As seen in the photographs released by Pakistan, he was clearly positioned much beyond the room behind an additional barrier, which did not allow him to hear much of the conversation. India has further claimed that the meeting had begun even without his presence and he was allowed to witness “only after pressing the matter”.

Dismissing the medical certificate issued by Pakistan, India noted, “His appearance also raises questions of his health and well-being.”

FAMILY MEETS SUSHMA SWARAJ

Back from Pakistan after meeting Jadhav, his mother and wife met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday morning. A number of officials from the foreign ministry, including foreign secretary S Jaishankar, attended the three-hour meeting.

On December 25, Pakistan organised a “family reunion” for Jadhav – dubbed India’s “face of terror”.

The mother and wife – Avanti Jadhav and Chetenkul Jadhav – were allowed independent meeting with the spy.

The Pakistani and Indian diplomats who accompanied them to the meeting hall, stayed at a distance – unable to hear their conversation. Jadhav and his family members were not allowed any physical contact due to security concerns.

They sat across divided by a glass barrier and spoke initially for 35 minutes, which was later extended to 40 minutes upon Jadhav’s request.

The meeting was arranged at the foreign ministry and the “guests” were given VVIP protocol, which invited criticism from Pakistanis who see Jadhav as the killer of several innocent people. Jadhav was arrested last year in Balochistan for spying and stoking terrorism and sectarianism in the country.

Islamabad also handed over dossiers to the UN regarding Jadhav’s confessional statement.

India has challenged Jadhav’s conviction in the International Court of Justice but Pakistan disputed the jurisdiction after the court observed that turning down the request for consular access was a denial of right.

In May, the UN’s top court ordered Pakistan to stay Jadhav’s execution.