MUMBAI: After the mother and wife of former Indian Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav met him in Pakistan's Islamabad om Monday, his friends criticised the way the meeting took place, with a glass barrier in between, and requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to intervene in the matter.
Speaking to ANI, Subroto Mukherjee said, "The whole nation was waiting for last 22 months, for a glance of Kulbhushan. But the footage of the meeting is disheartening. Iit took place for around 40 minutes, that too they were separated by a glass barrier and what they spoke was also recorded. This is a shameful act done by the Pakistan government."
"This step is taken up to show International Court of Justice (ICJ) that they have arranged a meeting with Jadhav's family on humanitarian grounds just to make the case stronger,” added Subroto.
Subroto further alleged that Kulbhushan has been tortured in the Pakistan jail and expressed doubt on his physical condition.
Tulsi Das Pawar, another friend of Jadhav, said that Pakistan did not do any favour by conducting such a meeting.
"We don't consider it to be a meeting. Jadhav's mother and wife met him after 22 months and by extending their meeting time from 15 to 30 minutes, they did not do any favour", he said.
Pawar further requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to bring back Jadhav back to the country.
"I would like to say Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj to use their power and bring Jadhav back to the country," he added.
Pawar too, like Mukerjee, alleged that Kulbhushan has been tortured in Pakistan in last 22 months.
Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued visas to Jadhav's mother and wife on December 20.
Islamabad has repeatedly rejected New Delhi's plea for consular access to Jadhav at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), alleging he was not an ordinary person and had entered the country with intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.
Dismissing India's stance on Jadhav, Pakistan submitted its reply to the ICJ in the case on December 13. The reply, which was submitted by the Foreign Office's Director, Fariha Bugti, also claimed that Jadhav's case did not fall under the purview of the Vienna Convention.
Pakistan's reply came after India submitted a written response to registrar Philippe Couvreur of the ICJ in the same case in September this year.
Jadhav was arrested in March 2016, in Balochistan, Pakistan, over charges of alleged involvement in 'espionage and subversive activities for India's intelligence agency - the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).'
India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in Pakistan, on April 10.
The ICJ stayed the hanging, on May 18, after India approached it against the death sentence.