Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal on Wednesday courted a controversy by saying that Pakistan has declared former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav a terrorist and would, therefore, treat him like one. However, he quickly issued a clarification after his statement kicked up a row.
Addressing media Agarwal said, “Agar unhone (Pakistan) #KulbhushanJadhav ko aatankwadi apne desh mein mana hai, to wo uss hisaab se vyavhaar karenge; humare desh mein bhi aatankwadiyon ke saath aisa hi vyavhaar karna chahiye, kada vyavhar karna chahiye" (If Pakistan has declared Kulbhushan Jadhav a terrorist then they will treat him like one. In India too terrorists should be treated similarly; harshly).
He added that media should not focus on Jadhav only as there are hundreds of Indians who are languishing in Pakistani jails.
#WATCH: "Agar unhone (Pakistan) #KulbhushanJadhav ko aatankwadi apne desh mein mana hai, to wo uss hisaab se vyavhaar karenge; humare desh mein bhi aatankwadiyon ke saath aisa hi vyavhaar karna chahiye, kada vyavhar karna chahiye" says Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal pic.twitter.com/owm0DJ8xGd— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2017
Naresh Agrawal writes to Rajya Sabha Chairman about #KulbhushanJadhav, says, 'the ill-treatment meted out to Indian prisoners lodged in Pakistani jails is known to all. In spite of knowing this Indian govt has not taken stern steps, this is a very serious matter.' pic.twitter.com/2bKdneqddD— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2017
Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “We can't expect anything better from Pakistan. The way Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother and wife were treated was shameful.”
“We condemn the way Kulbhushan Jadhav 's mother and wife were treated in Pakistan. Kulbhushan Jadhav should be brought back to the country,” said Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress in Lok Sabha.
We condemn the way #KulbhushanJadhav 's mother and wife were treated in Pakistan. Kulbhushan Jadhav should be brought back to the country: Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress in Lok Sabha pic.twitter.com/DqhrzfTXra— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2017
Meanwhile, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Lok Sabha, “Tomorrow I will be making a statement in the House on Kulbhushan Jadhav issue.”
A meeting between Jadhav and his mother and wife took place on December 25 at the Pakistani foreign affairs ministry in Islamabad after repeated requests by India for family access.
Jadhav, who was arrested in March, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged spying, an accusation that India has dismissed as concocted.
On Tuesday, India accused Pakistan of violating mutual understanding on Jadhav's meeting with his family, and said the Indian national appeared coerced and under considerable stress during the tightly-controlled interaction.
Pakistan went so far as to have the mangal sutra, bangles and bindi of his mother and wife removed before they could meet him, the external affairs ministry had said on Tuesday.
(With inputs from PTI)