Published On: Tue, Dec 26th, 2017

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s kin meet Sushma Swaraj

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sushma-swaraj-NEW DELHI: A day after they met Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan, the Indian national’s family members met Union minister Sushma Swaraj at her residence, before leaving for the external affairs ministry (MEA), likely for a complete debrief.Foreign secretary S Jaishankar and MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar were also present when Jadhav’s mother Avanti and his wife Chetankul met with the external affairs minister today.Jadhav is on death row in Pakistan, convicted for ‘spying’, a charge India vigorously refutes. After months of petitioning, Pakistan allowed his family members to meet Jadhav. It turned out the meeting was bittersweet, held as it was with Jadhav separated from his family members by a glass partition and the three only allowed to speak to each other via intercom.It was also a bizarre three-odd hours of theatrics by the Pakistani establishment, which first claimed Jadhav was getting consular access and then admitting he actually wasn’t, after India called its bluff. Then, it released a photograph of Jadhav’s mother and wife, on its foreign office’s Twitter handle captioning it very peculiarly, saying the two were “seated comfortably” in the foreign office. That wasn’t all. Pakistan then played a video at a press briefing, in which Jadhav is shown thanking Pakistan for its “grand gesture”.Jadhav looked pale and gaunt in some of the photographs released by the Pakistan foreign office. The MEA did not confirm or deny television reports that there might have been injury marks on the back of his neck.
Pakistan also released a medical report of Jadhav by a German doctor of a Dubaibased hospital which said he was in “an excellent healthy condition (sic)”. It also said Jadhav’s BMI (body mass index) was ideal for his height. The date on the report was handwritten and it was not revealed where the examination took place.Pakistan has refused to grant Jadhav consular access or allow his family to meet him for the longest time. It also left unacknowledged visa applications by his family members desirous of meeting him and only agreed to allow a meeting after months of international pressure.

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