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Pakistan, India spar over ‘spy’ Kulbhushan Jadhav

ISLAMABAD: The meeting of an Indian “spy” with his family in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, has sparked a diplomatic spat between the two countries, with India accusing Pakistan of putting words in the convict’s mouth and harassing his family – charges the country denies.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian citizen, was convicted and sentenced to death by Pakistan in April for spying and orchestrating gun and bomb attacks targeting civilians and security forces. He sought clemency earlier this year.

He met his wife and mother under the supervision of Pakistani officials on Monday.

On Tuesday, India’s foreign ministry accused Pakistan of subjecting Jadhav’s wife Chetankul and mother Avanti Sudhir to excessive security measures and allowing journalists to harangue them.

Pakistan says it allowed the meeting on humanitarian grounds, and that India’s allegations are false.

The two women met Jadhav from behind a glass screen in a specially constructed room, images released by the Pakistani foreign ministry showed. They communicated with him using an intercom. JP Singh, India’s deputy ambassador to Pakistan, observed the meeting from behind another partition.

India dismissed the meeting as a farce, saying Jadhav was speaking “in an atmosphere of coercion”.

“Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan,” said Raveesh Kumar, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson, in a statement.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry rejected India’s accusations, saying: “We do not wish to indulge in a meaningless battle of words. Our openness and transparency belies these allegations.”

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