Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik took up the cause of prisoners, including retired Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav jailed in Pakistan, in an open letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. In the letter released to the media here yesterday, he said that he was “touched” by Swaraj’s speech in Parliament on December 28 about the treatment meted out to Jadhav’s family in Pakistan. “…your words touched the chords of my heart and as a person who has seen the miseries of jail life, I could envisage the tribulation Jadhav’s wife and mother had to go through,” he said. The JKLF chief called upon Pakistan to follow in letter and spirit the rights of a prisoner. “Allow me to use this occasion to call upon Pakistani authorities…their (prisoners’) right to mutual meetings and a fair trial are well established facts that need to be pursued in letter and spirit,” the letter read. Malik, however, added that India’s record on the matter was also “not dazzling”. India has accused Pakistan of violating mutual understandings on Jadhav’s meeting with his wife and mother in Islamabad on December 25.
Jadhav, who was captured in March last year, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged spying, an accusation that India has dismissed as concocted. New Delhi says Jadhav was kidnapped in Iran where he had legitimate business interests, and brought to Pakistan. To save Jadhav, India moved the International Court of Justice, which ordered Pakistan in May to stay his execution.