Indian Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, on Wednesday claimed that Pakistan used Jadhav’s family meeting as a propaganda tool. According to them, it was neither a humanitarian gesture nor goodwill which pushed Pakistan to take the action, rather it was the urge to be painted as the champion of human rights which made the meeting possible. At the same time, they have also pointed out that Jadhav looked tense and under pressure and seemed tutored by Pakistani authorities. They also went on to criticise the intelligence agencies for asking the wife to change her shoes.
These allegations are not only baseless but mere attempts to stir up controversy and propaganda. The Indian authorities have not provided any evidence to support their claims and are using the emotional sensitivities of their people to build a narrative against the goodwill of Pakistan. The move is not only unnecessary but will only create further tensions between the two nations. This meeting was meant to be a moment of cooperation between the countries but the entire effort is being marred by the Indian authorities.
Such naivety must end right away because Pakistan stands right in its stance. India cannot expect Pakistan to let go of its security measures to give more value to the emotional sentiment attached to the gesture. Any country would have done the same. At the same time, asking someone to take off their shoes is no disrespect. It happens all around the globe - millions take their shoes of at airports for inspections - for security reasons and cannot be painted as disrespect. She was provided new shoes as well. Again, it is not disrespect, unless India decides to paint it as such.
Had the treatment been unfair, Jadhav’s family would have expressed their discomfort. Jhadav’s family was only gracious. This shows that this is a wholly contrived issue. It needs to be put to rest, and the best way to do this is to take it off the air. After giving our public reply, the FO needs to stop publicly discussing this and discuss any future developments directly with Indian officials. Media houses, from both sides of the border, should refrain from unnecessary speculation as well.
This is slowly turning into an ugly spat with no opinions aplenty on each side. Trying to answer back to allegations will only mire us into it further. The best course of action is to withdrawn from this media circus and let it die a natural death.