Harish Salve, India’s counsel at the International Court of Justice, on Monday said he was concerned about Kulbhushan Jadhav and his mother’s state of mind. “She must be in such degree of distress as she reaches home,” he told TimesNow in an interview.
Pakistan allowed Jadhav to meet his wife and mother, Avanti and Chetankul, in Islamabad on Monday for about 40 minutes. Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh was present while the two women spoke to Jadhav through an intercom with a glass wall between them.
“It is worrying that Kulbhushan Jadhav is in this state,” Salve told TimesNow. “He must have been drugged and tortured. It worries me.”
In March 2016, a military court in Pakistan sentenced Jadhav to death on charges of espionage and terrorism. India had moved the International Court of Justice against the verdict in May, after which the court stayed his execution. A final verdict in the case is pending.
Salve argued the case at the court in The Hague for the former Indian Navy officer. He had warned that Pakistan could execute Jadhav even before the hearing was over.
Besides the senior advocate, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also reacted to Jadhav’s meeting with his family. “It is a step forward because 22 months after they arrested this poor man, finally somebody is able to see him,” Tharoor told reporters. “On the other hand, the way it all unfolded as deeply unsatisfactory.”
The Ministry of External Affairs, and India’s top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, have not yet commented.
Most social media reactions to Jadhav’s meeting with his family focused on them being made to speak with a glass wall between them.
Former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Tarun Vijay said the photographs of “Jadhav’s mother and wife ‘meeting’ and speaking to him through a thick glass shield” haunted him. “Can a state be so savage and brutal?” he said on Twitter. “Yes, if it is Pakistan. Rise O’ India rise.”