Congress joins BJP to condemn Pak’s insult to Jadhav’s family, says it won’t be tolerated

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For a change, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress are on the same page. On Thursday, when Parliament raised the issue of "inhumane" treatment accorded to the wife and mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy on death row in Pakistan, during their recent trip to meet him in Islamabad, both the parties unilaterally slammed the neigbouring country.

Congress joins BJP to condemn Pak’s insult to Jadhav’s family, says it won’t be tolerated

"Misbehaviour of Pakistan with wife and mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav was misbehaviour with all Indians. Regardless of political differences, when it comes to nation's dignity and another country misbehaves with our mothers and sisters, it will not be tolerated," senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad said in the Rajya Sabha.

While speaking on the latest episode of Pakistan's "psychological warfare against India", External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday in the Rajya Sabha said the meeting between Jadhav and his mother and wife lacked "humanity" and "goodwill". The senior minister accused Pakistan of conducting the meeting as a "propaganda exercise" and "an opportunity to exploit the situation".

Swaraj met Jadhav's wife and mother after they returned from Pakistan and spoke to Jadhav's mother again on Thursday morning.

Swaraj condemned the way the Pakistani authorities allowed the meeting at the Foreign Office in Islamabad and asked them to change their clothes and shoes, and remove bangles and even their "mangalsutras".

"The first thing that Kulbhushan asked his mother was 'what happened to father' after he saw no mangalsutra on his mother.

"The manner in which the meeting was organised was appalling. Their clothes, shoes, bangles and even their mangalsutras were taken away. Their human rights were violated again and again, and an environment of fear was created for them," said Swaraj.

"The family wished to meet Jadhav and we arranged for it. Even Pakistan agreed for it this month (December). This could have been a step forward for both countries, but this wasn't to be."

She said it was absurd on behalf of Pakistan to suggest there was a mystery chip or camera or recording device planted inside Kulbhushan's wife's shoes. "It is an absurdity beyond measure."

On Wednesday, Azad said Pakistan had to succumb to international pressure to allow Jadhav's family members to meet him, but "we did not expect that his family will be separated by a glass wall".

"We could never think of that they will not be allowed to meet, hug and talk to each other face to face. They were allowed to talk through intercom. What is the difference between intercom and telephone? His family members were watching him over television for the last so many months," he said.

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