Shoes worn by Jadhav's wife were 'suspicious': Foreign Office

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Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav met his mother and wife in Islamabad on Monday, their first meeting since his arrest in Pakistan past year on charges of espionage and terrorism, allegations India has rejected.

Foreign Office Director India desk Dr Fareha was also present during the meeting. India asserted that while it scrupulously abided by all its commitments, its Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan JP Singh was initially separated from Jadhav family members, who were taken to the meeting without informing him.

Pakistan's public relations (PR) pitch coming ahead of the top United Nations court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) begins to hear India's appeal against Jadhav's death sentence took new heights, when its Foreign Office not only made meeting of mother Avanti and wife Chetana with a death-row prisoner a media spectacle, but also used the occasion to release his second video and a medical report showing him healthy and fit. The two sides spoke via a telephone speaker.

"Under the pretext of security precautions, the cultural and religious sensibilities of family members were disregarded".

Pakistan authorities say Jadhav confessed to being assigned by India's intelligence service to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities in Baluchistan "aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan".

Besides, Avanti was prevented from talking to her son in their mother language, Marathi, although it was clearly the natural medium of communication.

Among other things, the Indian government accused the Pakistani authorities of refusing to return the shoes of the visiting wife of Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav after she turned them over to security for the visit.

The roads leading from and to the Foreign Office building were closed to traffic for the meeting.

Mr Singh could join only after pressing the matter with Pakistani officials, but was still kept behind an additional partition that did not allow him access to the meeting as agreed.

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The external affairs ministry alleged that Jadhav's conversation during the meeting was "tutored and created to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan". Asked by Geo TV?specifically if the presence of an Indian official at the meeting would constitute consular access, Asif said "Yes".

"The Pakistani press was allowed on multiple occasions to approach family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and loaded accusations about (Shri) Jadhav", Kumar said in a statement. "This was despite a clear agreement that the media would not be allowed close access", the statement said.

On Monday, Jadhav and his family members were not allowed any physical contact due to security concerns.

The spokesman said that the fact is that Jadhav?s mother "publicly thanked Pakistan for the humanitarian gesture, which was also recorded by the media". They referred to "India's firing" that "killed" Pakistani soldiers.

Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, has been in the custody of Pakistan Army since March 2016.

"We condemn Pakistan for the treatment meted out to Jadhav as we are anxious about his health".

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the International Court of Justice in May.

Despite the death verdict, Pakistan last week reiterated that he was not under threat of an immediate execution as his mercy petitions were still pending.

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