Responding to a furious India’s allegations, Pakistan on Tuesday said it had “confiscated” the shoes of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife because “there was something in it”.
India has hit out at Pakistan for the way it treated the wife and mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Indian man sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying. They were allowed to meet Mr Jadhav for 45 minutes across a glass screen on Monday in Islamabad.
New Delhi has accused Pakistani officials of taking away the shoes of Mr Jadhav’s wife Chetankul and not returning them “for some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests”.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal was quoted as telling Dawn News: “There was something in the shoe and it is being investigated.”
Mr Faisal also claimed Mr Jadhav’s wife had been provided replacement shoes and all her jewellery was returned to her.
In an official statement, Pakistan rejected as “baseless” India’s contentions that Mr Jadhav’s family was harassed.
The Foreign Office said Pakistan “does not wish to indulge in a meaningless battle of words”.
It said: “If Indian concerns were serious, the guests or the Indian Deputy High Commissioner should have raised them during the visit, with the media, which was readily available, but at a safe distance, as requested by India.”
India has accused Pakistan of violating the mutual agreement on the Jadhav family visit and has also said Mr Jadhav appeared coerced and “under considerable stress” during the tightly-controlled interaction.
Mr Jadhav’s mother and wife were forced to change their clothes and remove “mangal sutra, bangles and bindi”, said New Delhi.
Mr Jadhav, meeting his family eight months after being sentenced to death, sat behind a glass screen and spoke through the intercom. Pakistan tweeted photos and apparently recorded the entire interaction on video.
Mr Jadhav was arrested last year in Pakistan and accused of spying – which India has strongly refuted. New Delhi has said Mr Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran where he had legitimate business interests.
In May, the World Court ordered Pakistan to halt his execution.