Pakistan claims to have detected a “metallic substance” in the shoes worn by the wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav when she went to meet him at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, a media report said on Wednesday.
The Foreign Office (FO) confirmed that a “metallic substance” had been detected in the shoes that were retained by security officials prior to the meeting with the Indian death row prisoner, Dawn reported.
In a statement last night, Pakistan rejected as “baseless” India’s contentions that Jadhav’s wife and mother were harassed and claimed that his wife’s shoes were confiscated on security grounds as there was “something” in it.
“There was something in the shoe. It is being investigated. We gave her a pair of replacement shoes. All her jewellery etc were returned after the meeting,” FO spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said.
He said Jadhav’s wife had been provided replacement shoes.
The external affairs ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that Pakistan went so far as to have the mangal sutra, bangles and bindi of Jadhav’s mother and wife removed before they could meet him.
India also accused Pakistan of disregarding cultural and religious sensibilities of family members under the pretext of security.
“This included removal of mangal sutra, bangles and bindi, as well as a change in attire that was not warranted by security,” it said.
The FO said that Pakistan does not wish to indulge in a “meaningless battle of words” and categorically rejects India’s baseless “allegations and twists” about attitude of authorities during Jadhav’s meeting with his wife and mother.
“The Indian baseless allegations and twists, that come 24 hrs later, about the visit of the wife and mother of Commander Jadhav, a convicted terrorist and spy, who has confessed to his crimes, are categorically rejected,” the statement said.
If Indian concerns were serious, the guests or the Indian DHC (Deputy High Commissioner) should have raised them during the visit with the media which was readily available, but at a safe distance as requested by India, it said.
“We do not wish to indulge in a meaningless battle of words. Our openness and transparency belie these allegations,” it said.
During the December 25 meeting, whose pictures were released by Pakistan, Jadhav was seen sitting behind a glass screen while his mother and wife sat on the other side. They spoke through intercom and the entire 40-minute proceedings appeared to have been recorded on video.
Jadhav, who was captured in March last year, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged spying, an accusation that India has dismissed as concocted.
New Delhi says Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran where he had legitimate business interests, and brought to Pakistan. To save Jadhav, India moved the International Court of Justice, which ordered Pakistan in May to stay his execution.