Spell out policy to secure Kulbhushan Jadhav's release: Congress to Centre

The Congress today condemned the Pakistani government for the treatment meted out to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer currently lodged in a Pakistani jail.

Published: 26th December 2017 08:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th December 2017 12:04 AM   |  A+A-

Kulbhushan Jadhav in a screengrab from the video. (Twitter Photo

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Congress today condemned the Pakistani government for the treatment meted out to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer currently lodged in a Pakistani jail, and his family and asked the Centre to spell out its policy and steps to get him released.

Congress spokesperson Gaurav Gogoi criticised the "flip-flop" and "inconsistent" policy of the BJP-led central government towards Pakistan which, he said, was creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and asked it to exert international pressure on Pakistan to help secure an early release of Jadhav.

"The Congress condemns the Pakistani government for meting out an inhuman treatment to the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav. They have insulted Indians and Indian women in particular and we strongly condemn it.

"The Congress party wants Kulbhushan Jadhav to return to India. We condemn Pakistan for the treatment meted out to Jadhav as he looked under a lot of stress. We want the Government of India to take concrete steps in securing an early release of Jadhav and it should find a way out," he told reporters here.

Gogoi added that the government's "flip-flop", "blow hot and cold", "ambiguous" and "inconsistent" policy towards Pakistan would not help as it was adopting a policy of birthday wishes at times and that of biryani at other times.

"Such an inconsistent policy of the government is creating an atmosphere of uncertainty for the people of the country and will not help secure Jadhav's release," he said.

The Congress spokesperson also expressed concern over Jadhav being tried and convicted in a military court in Pakistan, even when he was not a prisoner of war as he was not caught in a military conflict.

"We are concerned about Jadhav's release. We want the Government of India to clarify its policy and steps to get him released from Pakistan.

"We condemn Pakistan for the treatment meted out to Jadhav as we are worried about his health. The Pakistani government has not honoured its promises made to the Indian government," he said.

India today hit back at Pakistan, accusing it of violating the mutual understandings as regards Jadhav's meeting with his mother and wife at the Pakistani foreign affairs ministry building yesterday, and said the former naval officer appeared coerced and under a considerable stress during the tightly-controlled interaction.

Jadhav, who was captured in March, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged spying, an accusation India has dismissed as concocted.

New Delhi says Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran where he had legitimate business interests after retiring from the navy, and brought to Pakistan.

To save Jadhav, India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ordered Pakistan in May to stay his execution.

During yesterday's meeting, whose pictures were released by Pakistan, Jadhav was seen sitting behind a glass screen, while his mother and wife sat on the other side. They spoke through the intercom and the entire 40-minute proceedings appeared to have been recorded on video.

Pakistan went so far as to have the "mangalsutra", bangles and "bindi" of Jadhav's mother and wife removed before they could meet him, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

"For some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests, Jadhav's wife's shoes were not returned to her after the meeting," the statement added.

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