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Jadhav replies 'tutored', family harassed: India

New Delhi: India on Tuesday angrily lashed out at Pakistan, accusing it of violating mutual understandings on Kulbhushan 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 said in a statement.
Also, most of Jadhav's remarks were apparently tutored and designed "to perpetuate the false narrative" of his alleged spying in Pakistan, it said in a no-holds-barred statement against Islamabad's conduct.
Summing up its anger, India said the manner in which Pakistan conducted Jadhav's meeting on Monday with his family violated the letter and spirit of understandings that the two countries had.
Countering Pakistan's contention that the meeting was a humanitarian concession, India's statement said: "this exercise lacked any credibility."
"From the feedback, we have received from the meeting, it appears that Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion," the MEA statement said.
"We also regret that contrary to assurances, the overall atmosphere of the meeting was intimidating insofar as family members were concerned," it said.
Family members, however, handled the situation with "great courage and fortitude," the ministry said. The 47- year-old Jadhav's "appearance also raises questions about his health and well being."
The meeting, at the Pakistani foreign affairs ministry in Islamabad, took place after repeated requests by India for family access.
Before the meeting, the two governments were in touch through diplomatic channels and had reached "clear understandings" on the meeting's modalities and format, the MEA statement said.
While India "scrupulously abided by all its commitments," Pakistan violated the letter and spirit of the understandings, it said.
Despite an explicit agreement that the media would not be allowed close access, Pakistani press was allowed on multiple occasions to "approach family members closely, harass and hector them and hurl false and motivated accusations" about Jadhav, the statement said.
Jadhav's mother was prevented from talking in their mother tongue, Marathi. She was repeatedly interrupted when she tried to speak in Marathi and eventually prevented from proceeding further, it said.
Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh, who accompanied the two women, was initially separated from them.
Earlier in the day, Jadhav's mother and wife met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at her residence. Top mandarins of the ministry were present when Swaraj met Jadhav's family members.
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