January 05, 2018

Indian diplomat yelled at my mother, wife: Kulbhushan

ISLAMABAD: Wearing a spanking new shirt and coat, Indian Navy commander and self-confessed RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav in a new video released by the Foreign Office on Thursday said there was no arguing the fact that he was a serving officer working in Iran under the cover of a businessman.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry (EAM) has rubbished the latest Jadhav video, saying a prisoner in captivity and duress could be made to say anything, and instead demanded counsellor access to Jadhav.

"The absurdity of a captive under duress certifying his own welfare while mouthing allegations of his captors clearly merits no comment. Pakistan is simply continuing its practice of putting out coerced statements on the video," the Indian spokesman claimed.

It was indeed troubling for the Modi government when Jadhav further confessed, “I have to say one thing very important here, for the Indian public, the Indian government and the Indian Navy, that my commission is not gone. I am a commissioned officer in the Indian Navy.”

To date, the Modi government has not made public any proof that Jadhav is a retired naval commander by simply showing his pension papers which carry the date of his retirement, which is a norm in the militaries globally. In a relaxed and confident manner, Jadhav, who has now recorded several videos in captivity, appeared more concerned for his mother and wife than himself.

“I saw fear in the eyes of my mother and my wife. Why should there be fear? Whatever has happened has happened. There shouldn’t be fear in the eyes of my mother and my wife. They’ve been threatened. The Indian diplomat or the Indian person (Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh) who had come along with my mother was shouting at my mother the moment she stepped out … he was yelling at her. Has she been brought under threat here, to meet me?

"This gesture was a positive gesture so that she feels happy, I feel happy… and then the Indian diplomat or some person standing outside yelling at her?” To add to India’s discomfort, Jadhav’s accusations can be proved by the video recording at the Foreign Office on December 25 since the moment the two Indian ladies entered the ministry, the time they spent waiting initially, later walking in to meet Jadhav and leaving the Foreign Office.

The only time that cameras were not working was when the ladies were changing clothes. The Indian High Commission was informed and agreed on December 24 evening that the visitors would be frisked and there would be comprehensive security checks carried out by the women security staff.

Sources tell The News that despite several days and attempts, the Indian High Commission kept mum about an agreement on the language to be used during the meeting between Jadhav and his female relatives.

On the very last day, the Foreign Office was told that the language of communication with the prisoner would be Marathi. “It was too late for the Foreign Office to arrange for an interpreter at that stage so they were requested to use English which they did with great ease. The mother and wife had a good command of the language”, reveals one official.

To date, say diplomats in Islamabad and Delhi, Jadhav’s mother Mrs Avanti Jadhav and his wife Mrs Chtankul Jadhav have not publicly said one word against Pakistan or any ill treatment received in their half day stay in Islamabad. They probably wanted to keep alive their chances of future meetings — a probability that the Modi government would never agree to.

“In fact you can see and hear the recordings that Mrs Avanti Jadhav walked up to me as I was standing a bit away from the main door of the Foreign Office. With a namaste she thanked me, everyone at the Foreign Office, and the Government of Pakistan and its people for providing her with this opportunity to see her son — something she never dreamt of,” Foreign Office spokesman told The News at the weekly briefing.

“My mother went under shock. She is saying no this can’t be said and what is this. I am really thankful of the whole process of both the governments — the Indian government and the Pakistani government. I am really feeling sad that my mother was in a bad, threatened position”, Jadhav added.

It is rare for an Indian military officer to speak like a diplomat, but nevertheless Jadhav remarks, “We, India and Pakistan, are supposed to end our enmity and subsequently further our relationship." The spokesman compared Pakistan’s gesture of allowing a meeting of a convicted spy and terrorist with his family to that of Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik.

“Yasin Malik’s letter lays bare the hypocritical political gimmickry employed by India to distort the humanitarian gesture of Pakistan. Referring to the Indian EAM’s speech, he writes, and I quote, that the Indian EAM’s speech 'recalled me of my old mother’s ordeal,' who not once but many a times, in the same manner, after her repeated pleadings to jail authorities, was denied a chance to hug me, her only son, at many Indian jails especially at Tihar. This reminded me of the tears of my sister who could not tolerate to see me from behind a glass wall, talking on an intercom just like Jadhav. Her plea to touch me was also discarded on the pretext of security reasons.”

He further reminded Delhi that it was the Indian government that in the case of Muhammad Afzal Guru in 2013, the Indian supreme court while failing to prove him guilty simply ruled that the prisoner would be hanged to death “just on the pretext to ‘satisfy the collective conscience of Indian masses”.

“It is on record that he not only was denied a last chance of meeting his 12-year son, 80-year-old mother and a wailing young wife but even his proper burial was denied by the Indian authorities. The families of these two Kashmiris are still waiting for their mortal remains to be handed over to them. Isn’t it a grave Be-Adabi of humanity too?” asked the spokesman.

Brushing aside ‘propaganda’ reports that Pak-Afghan trade had dipped to an all-time low, the spokesman to a query replied, “The fact of the matter is Pak-Afghan trade witnessed a robust growth in year 2016-17, compared to the previous year. Similarly, as we speak, the bulk of Afghan transit trade is going through Pakistan”.

He continued that Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan for the period November 2016 to October 2017 witnessed 9% rise as compared to the corresponding period of the last year. Likewise, Afghan exports to Pakistan exhibited a phenomenal growth of 118.25% during the period October 2016 to September 2017 as compared to the same period of 2015-16.

“You must be aware that this year Afghanistan had a bumper crop of fresh fruits. The Government of Afghanistan and the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce requested Pakistan for special facilitating measures to export additional quantities of fresh fruit to Pakistan and through Pakistan to the rest of the world. Responding to the request, all our border crossing points were kept open for seven days a week,” the spokesman added.

In this regard, exclusive lanes were established and dedicated staff was deployed at the customs posts for round the clock clearance of perishable goods from Afghanistan. These measures have been instrumental in phenomenal growth of Afghan exports to Pakistan and also contributed to the high earnings of Afghan growers and fresh fruit merchants.



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