The treatment meted out by the Pakistani agencies to the mother and wife of Kulbhusan Jadhav, standing in the death row in a Pakistani jail, is contemptible. Pakistan thought it was being ‘gracious’ in allowing an interview between the condemned man (who was, it is worth recalling, not arrested on the soil of Pakistan but was abducted in Iran and clandestinely brought to Pakistan) and his mother and wife through a glass barrier. Then they were not allowed to talk in their native tongue of Marathi but English. It is unbelievable that nobody in the foreign office of Pakistan or in any of its intelligence agencies understands Marathi. But let that pass. What is stranger is that the mangalsutra of the two ladies were taken away before the interview and they were made to change their clothes and take off their shoes which, reports say, Pakistan did not return.
Pakistani intelligence agencies must be thinking that the community of intelligence people in India is totally devoid of intelligence, that only brainless cretins and morons are recruited for this job. Did the ISI or any other spook agency think that their Indian counterparts would be so naïve and unprofessional as to fix gadgets in the heels of the shoes of the two ladies or that the mangalsutra was some kind of an aerial to send secret messages to India? That the shoes have not been returned only confirms this suspicion. Obviously, the whole exercise was arranged for propaganda rather than for a genuine meeting between the two sides. Such crude tricks will not convince anyone in India and perhaps anywhere else either.
After the usual bluff and bluster, Pakistan dared not ignore the order of the International Court of Justice, staying the execution of Jadhav. Now it seems more or less reconciled to the possibility that eventually they have to release the man they have been holding as an ‘Indian spy’. Before that the Pakistanis want to rave and rant against India while at the same time try to convince the world how kind and considerate they have been to the family of an ‘Indian spy’. But Pakistan has already thoroughly exposed itself in the international arena by its double-faced and hypocritical stand on terrorism. Its promotion of terrorism as a matter of State policy has now gone to the extent of allowing Hafiz Saeed to float a political party and legitimize his participation in Pakistan’s politics. India will have to send a strong message to Pakistan that organizing terror attacks against India will prove increasingly costly for that country.

Saturday, 30 December, 2017