Lok Sabha condemns Pakistan's treatment of Kulbhushan Jadhav's kin

Published: Dec 27, 2017, 21:12 IST | IANS

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has promised to make a statement in the House on Thursday. The Lower House also saw some members raising slogans against Pakistan

New Delhi: Leaders across party lines on Wednesday condemned Pakistan's 'misbehaviour' with the wife and mother of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav during the meeting in Islamabad on Monday, with the issue figuring inside the Lok Sabha as well as in the Parliament galleries. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has promised to make a statement in the House on Thursday. The Lower House also saw some members raising slogans against Pakistan. As soon as the House met, some members from the treasury benches started shouting "Pakistan Murdabad" (Down with Pakistan).

Here's what happened when Kulbhushan Jadhav met his familyKulbhushan Jadhav talks to his mother and wife. Pic/AFP

Amid protests on other issues, Shiv Sena member Arvind Sawant raised the issue and slammed Pakistan's action.

"The way Pakistan misbehaved with Kulbhushan Jadhav's family is condemnable... We should not stay quiet on the issue till Jadhav is brought back home," he said.

Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy supported him, saying making a Hindu woman take off her bangles, mangalsutra and bindi should be condemned.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said all parties were together on this issue, and urged the government to get Jadhav back to the country. AIADMK MP and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M. Thambidurai also condemned the action.

Sushma Swaraj, who was in the House, told the members that she will make a statement on the issue on Thursday.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju meanwhile slammed the "very irresponsible" Pakistani media over the heckling of Jadhav's mother and wife while they were waiting for their car outside the Pakistan Foreign Office building in Islamabad on Monday.

"Pakistan media is very irresponsible, it is not responsible like the Indian media," Rijiju told reporters outside Parliament.

He also assured action by the External Affairs Ministry over the heckling of Jhadav's family.

Meanwhile, on a different note, Samajwadi Party MP in Rajya Sabha Naresh Agarwal said: "If they (Pakistan) consider Kulbhushan Jadhav a terrorist in their country, then they will treat him that way. We should treat terrorists in our country the same way."

The statement stoked controversy, with Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir calling the comment "unfortunate".

"This is a very unfortunate statement. An Indian citizen speaks like this. He can protest against the government as he is in the Opposition but this is seen as a protest against the nation," he said.

Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, is on death row in Pakistan on charges of spying and terrorism. His mother and wife met him in Islamabad on Monday after 22 months, since his arrest by Pakistan. On May 18, 2017, the International Court of Justice stayed the hanging, after India approached it against the death sentence.

India in a strong statement accused Pakistani authorities of making the mother and wife of the death row prisoner remove their bindi, mangal sutra and bangles ahead of the meeting.

"For some inexplicable reason, despite her repeated requests, the shoes of the wife of Shri Jadhav were not returned to her after the meeting," India said on Tuesday, and warned "We would caution against any mischievous intent in this regard".

The Pakistan Foreign Office on Wednesday said the shoes of Jadhav's wife were confiscated as a "metallic substance" had been detected in them.

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