Removal of Jadhav’s wife, mother’s jewellery was for security reasons, Khawaja Asif tells India
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday responded to India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s statement regarding “mistreatment” of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s family during the meeting in Pakistan, ARY News reported.
India’s Minister for External Affairs, during her speech in Indian parliament today again accused Pakistan of “mistreating” Jadhav’s family members by asking both the ladies to remove their mangla sutra and not returning Chetankul Jadhav’s shoes despite her repeated requests.
Responding to her speech, The foreign minister underscored that Jadhav is a serving Indian Naval Officer and a convicted Indian terrorist and spy responsible for multiple deaths and destruction in Pakistan.
“A comprehensive security check was therefore essential. This was agreed between both countries, in advance, through diplomatic channels. The visitors were treated with respect and dignity. The change of clothes and removal of jewelry/ornaments etc was purely for security reasons,” explained Asif.
He maintained that the visitors changed into their own clothes after the meeting and all their belongings were returned to them before they left, however, Jadhav’s wife’s shoes were retained as they did not clear the security check and a metal chip has been found in one of the shoes, which is being analyzed.
He elaborated that many routine airport security checks for ordinary people entail removal of crosses and veils, and an attempt to distort an agreed security check and portraying it as a deliberate religious or cultural disrespect denotes bad faith and is regrettable.
“It is unfortunate that the frenzied Indian media is driving Indian politics.”
The foreign minister further stressed that Pakistan has been open and transparent throughout the meeting, offered in good faith, and does no want to indulge in fallacious accusations and blame game and should focus on the bigger positive outcome that the meeting happened, despite immense challenges and impediments, instead of distortion of facts and baseless propaganda, which vitiates the atmosphere and is counter-productive