Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik on Sunday wrote an open letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, claiming that Indian authorities had denied his mother a chance to hug him at Tihar jail, as they were separated by a glass wall, The Hindu reported on Monday.
The separatist leader reminded Swaraj of the “emotional” speech she made in Parliament on December 27, attacking Pakistan for the way it had conducted former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav’s meeting with his family. “Your words touched the chords of my heart. I stand for the rights of Jadhav too,” Malik said.
Malik said Swaraj’s speech had reminded him of his mother’s ordeal when she visited him in Tihar jail. “My crying sister too could not tolerate to see me from behind a glass wall at the Jodhpur jail, talking on an intercom just like Jadhav,” he added.
The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief urged Pakistan to “to pay heed to the Quran’s and the Prophet’s sayings on prisoners’ rights, welfare of their families and a fair trial”. He asked Swaraj to “uphold the same principles for prisoners in India”.
“The kids and the wives of jailed Kashmiris are being humiliated,” Malik said, adding: “I did not write this letter as a politician but as an eyewitness to miseries of jail life.”
Observing that “religious teachings, international covenants and pledges govern our individual and public lives,” he added, “Let us all pledge to follow these promises and regulations at least in case of prisoners and make their lives and the lives of their families better”.