Kulbhushan Jadhav meeting: Sushma Swaraj to address India’s Parliament on Thursday

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo / TV GRAB (PTI4_5_2017_000040a)

NEW DELHI: Amid the claims and counter-claims over the treatment of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadav’s family members in Islamabad, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will make a statement on the issue in both Houses of Parliament on Thursday. She will first address the Rajya Sabha at 11am on Thursday and the Lok Sabha at 12 noon.

The moment Parliament met after a four-day break, Opposition members condemned the alleged hostile reception accorded to Jadhav’s wife Chetna and mother Avanti during their visit.

“We condemn the way Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife were treated in Pakistan. Kulbhushan Jadhav should be brought back to the country,” Leader of the Congress in Loksabha, Mallikarjun Kharge claimed.

Shiv Sena, AIADMK and Trinamool Congress were among the parties who joined the protests in the House. Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant also raised the issue and said India should not keep silent in the matter.

Describing Pakistan as “hypocritical”, Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy said the incident should be criticised and demanded that Swaraj should speak on the issue.

Condemning the incident, AIADMK M Thambidurai said, “asking a woman to remove her ‘mangal sutra’ is an insult to the country”.

On Tuesday, India accused Pakistan of violating the conditions it had laid down for the meeting between Jadhav and his family members. MEA said Jadhav’s responses were tutored and the entire exercise “lacked any credibility.” It also said that Jadhav was under “considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion”.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office in a statement on Wednesday categorically rejected Indian allegations that the meeting of Kulbhushan Jadhav with his mother and wife, was conducted in an “intimidating” atmosphere as “baseless and twisted.”