Infuriated by the manner in which Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother and wife were treated when they met him in Islamabad last month, a group of NRIs and Baloch activists staged a protest outside Pakistani embassy in Washington on Sunday.
Carrying placards which read '#ChappalchorPakistan' and displaying footwear in protest against Jadhav's wife being made to remove her footwear before she met him, the protestors questioned Pakistan for violating basic norms of humanity. "Pakistan's narrow-mindedness was exposed with how they treated Kulbhushan Jadhav's mother and wife, what policymakers and people here need to understand is that Pak as a whole is also being run with the same narrow-minded mentality," said one of the protestors.
When they stole the chappal of a woman (#KulbhushanJadhav's wife) who was in distress, I hope they use these also. I want to say one thing- Pakistan ka matlab kya? Amreeka (America) se dollar la, Hindustan ke joote kha!: Protester at #ChappalChorPakistan protest in Washington DC pic.twitter.com/nky7TrsRoD
— ANI (@ANI) January 8, 2018
War or words ensued between India and Pakistan on the conditions under which Jadhav - a former Indian Naval officer unlawfully arrested by Pakistan on charges of spying - met his mother and wife. The women were made to take off their sindoor, mangalsutra, bangles while Pakistan even said a recording device was found in the footwear of one of the women. India has not just strongly refuted the charges but also slammed Pakistan for violating mutually-agreed conditions under which the women would meet Jadhav.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a speech in Parliament, termed Pakistan's conduct as 'absurdity beyond measure.'
"A mother met her son, wife met her husband after 22 months but it was used as a propaganda weapon by Pakistan," she said. "We had asked that Pakistani media not be allowed near the family but they were permitted to come in close proximity from where they humiliated them, accused them."
"Jadhav's wife was forced to take off her shoes, they said it had a camera. Then they said it had a recorder. What I want to know is that she took two flights - one Air India and then Emirates - and even if we assume that Air India allowed her safe passage, was recorder, chip not noticed during checking at Dubai Airport?" she asked.
While Swaraj's verbal attack sought to blunt Pakistan's charges, there have been numerous protests elsewhere in India and even abroad. Many have expressed their dismay at the treatment meted out to Jadhav's family even as Pakistan continues to refuse India's repeated requests of consular access.