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(2017-12-28) Responding to a query regarding the Indian External Affairs Miniser’s statement, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif categorically rejected all Indian allegations and stated that the meeting of the wife and mother of Commander Jadhav was permitted on humanitarian grounds, in lines with Islamic teachings and traditions of compassion and grace. The meeting took place in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 25 December 2017.

The purpose of the visit was to have a meeting of Commander Jadhav with his wife and mother, which was successfully achieved despite all impediments. This needs to be acknowledged.

The meeting initially scheduled for 30 minutes was extended to 40 minutes on their request. The success of the meeting was evident by the fact that the mother thanked Pakistan after the visit.

Referring to the intense hue and cry in the Indian media questioning the modalities of the visit, and advancing farfetched conspiracy theories about the change of clothes of the visitors, the retention of the shoe of the wife and the language in which the meeting was conducted, the Foreign Minister underscored that Pakistan’s humanitarian gesture did not obviate the fact that this was not an ordinary meeting between a mother and wife with their son and husband. 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.

A comprehensive security check was therefore essential. This was agreed between both countries, in advance, through diplomatic channels. The visitors were treated with respect and dignity. The change of clothes and removal of jewelry/ornaments etc was purely 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 has been found in one of the shoes, which is being analyzed.

He elaborated that many routine airport security checks for ordinary people entail removal of crosses and veils. Trying to distort an agreed security check and attempting to portray it as a deliberate religious/cultural disrespect denotes bad faith and is regrettable. It is unfortunate that the frenzied Indian media is driving Indian politics.

The Foreign Minister further stressed that Pakistan has been open and transparent throughout the meeting, offered in good faith. We do not wish to indulge in fallacious accusations and blame game and should focus on the bigger positive outcome that the meeting happened, despite immense challenges and impediments, instead of distortion of facts and baseless propaganda, which vitiates the atmosphere and is counter-productive.


28 December 2017

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