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‘Why are you lying about my working for an intelligence agency?’ asks Jadhav

Sushil Kutty

Did Kulbhushan Jadhav pull a fast one on his captors? The abducted Indian national on death row in Pakistan is heard asking in the fourth Jadhav video (JV), “Why are you lying about my working for an intelligence agency?”

He asks the question immediately after he tells “the people of India and the Indian Navy” that he remained a “commissioned officer” of the Indian Navy. Who did Jadhav direct his question “Why are you lying about my working for an intelligence agency?” to? To his Pakistani captors or to the government of India? Was he sending a message?

The full quote heard in the fourth JV is, “I want to tell the people of India and the Indian Navy that I am a commissioned officer in the Indian Navy. Why are you lying about my working for an intelligence agency?”

Taken literally, it could mean that he was telling somebody that he was not working for any intelligence agency. Who has been saying time and again that Jadhav was an R&AW spy? Pakistan. Who was “lying”? Pakistan.

With every new JV, Jadhav’s minders and tutors in Pakistan’s Foreign Office are getting better and better at producing JVs. The fourth JV is in response to India’s critique of Pakistan’s “humanitarian gesture” to allow Jadhav’s mother and wife to meet him, a vile “spy” who had killed “hundreds of Pakistan citizens.”

Shouts of “Qatil Ki Ma” followed Avanti Jadhav from Foreign Office to Islamabad airport. She returned to New Delhi and narrated a story of Pakistani subterfuge and perfidy. She was repeatedly asked not to speak with her son in her mother tongue Marathi, and the conversation was stopped altogether when she persisted.

Her claim that she and Jadhav’s wife Chetna were strip-searched and divested of their mangalsutra and bindis were also played up by Indian media and the MEA. India also questioned the glass barrier that separated mother and son, husband and wife.

The “humanitarian gesture” became a public relations disaster for Pakistan. Chetna Jadhav’s shoes were taken from her and not returned, she had to walk barefoot. It was another reminder to Pakistan of “the best laid plans…”

The fourth JV came ten days after the Christmas meeting between Jadhav and his mother and wife. Time enough to tutor Jadhav to deliver nuggets such as “thanks to Pakistan” and “Pakistan is taking good care of me”.

Is this what they call Stockholm syndrome?

It is strange but it took four videos for Jadhav to suddenly remember to tell the “people of India and the Indian Navy” that he was a “commissioned officer” of the Indian Navy. In the normal course, the introduction should have been done with in the first video itself, not in the fourth.

India has been insisting all along that Kulbhushan Jadhav was a retired officer of the Indian Navy and not an R&AW “spy” as claimed by Pakistan.

India’s demand that consular access to Jadhav be allowed has been repeatedly refused by Pakistan forcing India to take Pakistan to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Something very rotten was going on in Islamabad. The ICJ told Pakistan not to execute Jadhav till further orders. A second hearing in the ICJ is scheduled for later this month and Pakistan is desperate to build a case in its favour, ergo the Jadhav Videos.

In the fourth JV, Kulbhushan Jadhav appears far more animated than in the previous three. He is seen standing and talking with a lot of hand movements. In the previous videos he is shown sitting. In the first JV it appeared like he was under duress.

The third JV shown on December 25 at the press conference at Pakistan’s Foreign Office shortly after Avanti and Chetna Jadhav met Kulbhushan Jadhav was shot before the meeting and delivered as if “live”.

In the fourth JV, Kulbhushan Jadhav is heard saying he saw “fear in the eyes of my mother and wife”.  It was released by the Pakistan Foreign Office “after critical Indian media coverage of his Christmas meeting with his family.”

Jadhav is also heard saying that an Indian diplomat accompanying his mother and wife was “yelling at her”. “Why were Indian diplomats yelling at my mother after her meeting with me?” he is heard asking in the video. “During the meeting, it looked like my mother had been beaten and threatened and brought here on a plane.”

The diplomat who accompanied Avanti and Chetna Jadhav was India’s deputy high commissioner to Pakistan JP Singh. But Singh was separated from the two women in the Foreign Office building. Even when the mother-wife pair was talking to Jhadav, Singh was barricaded from them by a glass barrier.

When Singh, Avanti Jadhav and Chetna Jadhav came “outside”, they were in the full glare of the “international media”. Reporters were “yelling” at such high decibels that it would have been impossible for Jadhav who was not within earshot to hear Singh “yell” at Avanti and Chetna if had yelled at all. A check of what the media captured in their cameras would tell the true story.

Jadhav did not walk out of the building with his mother and wife. He was taken someplace else.

Equally, it was impossible for him to see the “fear” in the eyes of his mother and wife. There was the glass barrier between them and Jadhav was slumped in his chair. Besides, they were talking through an intercom. According to Avanti, she point-blank asked him, “Why are you lying? Why are you telling Pakistan you’re a spy?”

Jadhav is also heard saying in the fourh JV that his mother was “very happy” to see him and that he is “in a good state”. “She said, ‘I’m feeling very relaxed after seeing you’,” he is heard saying, and “not been subjected to any sort of torture in Pakistan.”

Avanti told MEA on her return to India that she was interrupted again and again by the Pakistani minder and told to speak in English not Marathi. But she continued to speak in Marathi and, finally, the “enemy” put an end to the conversation by switching off the intercom.

So, who is lying – the mother or the son? The mother is free, the son is a captive. That leaves only Pakistan.

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