The mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav met the jailed Indian prisoner on death row in Pakistan on Sunday.
The 40-minute meeting took place at the heavily guarded Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry building, and came after the International Court of Justice asked Pakistan in May to stay his execution.
It was the fist time that Jadhav was meeting his family since his arrest in March last year, and Pakistan portrayed it as a humanitarian gesture to mark the birthday of the countrys founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
However, not much has been reported on the treatment meted out to Jadhav’s family when they arrived to meet him.
No sooner had they arrived at the office of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Islamabad, they were inundated with questions from the Pakistani media. They were asked, “Are you a terrorist’s mother? Do you agree with your son’s confession of crime? Your son is the murderer of hundreds of Pakistanis. You must answer, Why are you running away?”
According to local media in Pakistan, the Pakistani officials had carefully ensured that the world watched the arrival of Jadhav’s family and the ‘kind’ treatment meted out to them in order to form a favourable global opinion.
For example, the foreign ministry officials had invited both national and international media and even issued special passes to them to cover the proceedings. A report by BBC Urdu said that the Pakistani officials deliberately made the family alight of their car outside, where the media crew were positioned. Usually, the guests visiting the foreign ministry office alight of their vehicles in frot of the central gates of the building.
They were also made to wash their faces, change their clothes and remove mangalsutra and bangles.
Pakistan later issued a short video of Jadhav stating just how thankful he was of the neighbouring country’s gesture in facilitating his meeting with the family members.
“I requested a meeting with my wife and mother and I am thankful to Government of Pakistan for this gesture,” Jadhav said in the brief video message.
Contrary to Pakistan’s claims, India has maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped by the Pakistani agencies from Iran, where it claimed he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.