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Khawaja Asif categorically rejected allegations regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav family meeting

29 December, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday categorically rejected all allegations regarding Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with his family earlier this week, saying the meeting had been arranged purely on humanitarian grounds in line with the Islamic teachings.

According to an official press release issued by the Foreign Office (FO), the foreign minister said the visitors were treated with dignity and respect, adding that the change of clothes and removal of jewelry were entirely for security reasons.

“The visitors changed into their own clothes after the meeting. All their belongings were returned to them before they left. The wife’s shoes were retained as they did not clear the security check. A metal chip had been found in one of the shoes, which was being analysed,” said the statement.

Earlier in the day, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had rejected Pakistan’s claim that ‘something suspicious’ was found in Jadhav’s wife’s shoes, terming the allegation ‘an absurdity beyond measure’.

While addressing the Rajya Sabha — the upper house of India’s parliament — Swaraj had said that it was ‘absurd to suggest there was a mystery chip or camera or recording device planted inside Kulbhushan’s wife’s shoes’. She also reiterated claims that the trial conducted by Pakistan to convict Jadhav was ‘farcical’ and that his mother and wife were humiliated by Pakistani authorities before and after their meeting with him.

In response to Swaraj’s statement, Asif said that Pakistan’s humanitarian efforts do not take away attention from the fact that this wasn’t an ordinary meeting between a son and his family. “The reality remains that Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav is a serving Indian naval officer and a convicted Indian terrorist and spy responsible for multiple deaths and destruction in Pakistan,” the statement said.

The foreign minister further stressed that Pakistan has been open and transparent throughout the meeting. He said that Pakistan does not wish to indulge in fallacious accusations and blame game, adding that the focus was on the bigger positive outcome that the meeting happened, despite immense challenges and impediments. He said that distortion of facts and baseless propaganda which spoils the atmosphere and is counter-productive should be avoided.

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