New Delhi, December 28 (newsin.asia/Times of India): Pakistan let alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his wife and mother not out of humanitarian considerations as it claims , but to make him tell his family and through them the world that he was indeed a spy and did indulge in terrorism as charged by Pakistan.
The way Jadhav was speaking from across the glass partition on Monday made it clear to his mother Avani Jadhav that her son was only parroting the lines dictated by his Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) handlers.
An exasperated 70 year old Avanti could not but interrupt him and ask him, “But why are you saying all this? You were doing business in Iran from where you were abducted. You must tell the truth.”
According to Times of India the interaction of Jadhav with his mother and wife Chetna was bizarre. On seeing them Jadhav promptly launched a full-scale narration of the crimes he had allegedly committed. Speaking as if he was programmed, Jadhav went on to regurgitate the details of Pakistan’s sprawling charge-sheet against him.
His remarks were so out of place in terms of reactions that might be expected on meeting his family after 22 months of captivity, that they struck his mother as too surreal to digest.
The 70-year-old woman managed to summon enough courage, despite being in an intimidating setting with Pakistani officers watching, to tell her son not to parrot the script handed to him by his captors – Pakistan Army-ISI.
Avanti’s courage put a spanner in the works of the Pakistani Establishment which had planned to use the recording of Jadhav’s “confession” to his wife and mother about him being a terrorist, to bolster their narrative against him and India.
The intervention also validated India’s decision to insist that Jadhav’s mother accompany wife Chetna. Pakistan had initially given a visa only to Chetna but relented when India pressed that mother Avanti should also be allowed access.
The Indian side fears that Pakistan could still leak doctored versions of Jadhav’s conversation with the women, but is relieved that Avanti’s fortitude interrupted the plan.
Avanti’s presence also ensured that Jadhav’s wife retained her calm in the coercive atmosphere in which the meeting took place.
India was wary of what Pakistan might do during the meeting, and its fears were confirmed when the diplomat who was to accompany Avanti and Chetna from India was denied visa.
Avanti and Chetna were left exposed to a bullying bunch of Pakistani journalists. This was in complete contravention of an understanding on how the meeting was to be conducted.
Sushma Swaraj’s Statement
Pakistan made Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother “appear as widows” by forcing them to take off their mangalsutra ,bindi and bangles, said Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in the Indian parliament on Tursday..
This was done deliberately, said Swaraj, and was part of the condemnable intimidation by Pakistan of Jadhav’s wife and mother.
The external affairs minister also called “an absurdity beyond measure”, Pakistan’s allegation that there was a chip or a camera in Jadhav’s wife Chetankul’s shoes.
“Thank God they didn’t say that there was a bomb in her shoes,” exclaimed the minister.
Swaraj also told the Rajya Sabha that she spoke with Jadhav’s mother Avanti this morning and she explained, her voice choking with tears, how they made her remove her “suhaag ki nishani”, or “symbols of marriage”.
“I begged them saying I’ve never taken off mangalsutra ever, but they said I have to,” said Jadhav’s mother to Swaraj, the minister recounted.
“The first thing Kulbhushan said to me, when I went in to meet him is ‘How is baba’, becase he thought something had happened to his father when he saw me without mangalsutra, bindi and bangles,” Avanti told Swaraj.
“A meeting of a mother with her son and a wife with her husband was turned into a propaganda tool by Pakistan,” Swaraj said.
“She (Avanti) wears only saree and she was forced to wear salwar kurta, this was insulting,” explained Swaraj to the House, as it erupted with cries of “shame, shame”.
Jadhav’s wife and mother were both forced to change their clothes.
“The meeting was started in absence of the Deputy High Commissioner, if he would have seen how clothes of the family members were changed, he would have registered protest there and then,” explained Swaraj in the Lok Sabha.
As for Pakistan confiscating the footwear of Jadhav’s wife Chetnakul, because “there was something in it”, Swaraj ridiculed it as an “absurd” allegation.
“She went on two international flights wearing that footwear, none of them found a recorder or a camera like Pakistan is alleging at different times. How is it possible that airlines’ extensive safety checks didn’t find these things?” Swaraj asked.