Indian, Turkish officials hold talks on bilateral ties

            By Ahmad Adil</p>  <p> </p>  <p>CHANDIGARH, India (AA) - Indian and Turkish officials met Wednesday in the capital, New Delhi, and discussed a wide range of topics.</p>  <p>  <p><br>

Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sedat Onal had a meeting with Gitesh A Sarma, Secretary (West) under the institutional mechanism of Foreign Office Consultations, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

It said the officials held cordial discussions on various aspects of bilateral ties, including examining opportunities for enhancing trade and investment relations.

The ministry said bilateral trade currently totals around $8.6 billion, with a target to reach $10 billion by 2020.

Enhanced cultural interaction, tourism and people-to-people contacts were also discussed, and the two sides also reviewed the current situation in their respective regions and exchanged views on several multilateral issues.

“India and Turkey enjoy close, friendly and deep-rooted ties dating back several centuries and share civilizational links. The recent political exchanges have imparted fresh momentum to our bilateral ties and opened several new avenues for cooperation,” the ministry added.

"Exchanging views. India and Turkey held Foreign Office Consultations led by Secretary West Sh. Gitesh Sarma & Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal. Discussed cooperation in trade, investment, cultural interaction, tourism, people-to-people contacts," said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Twitter.

Onal is visiting India from May 7-9 as part of a regular exchange between the two countries, said officials in New Delhi, adding he had earlier visited India as part of the delegation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May 2017.

Family of Indian 'spy' harassed at meeting, India says

UPDATES WITH PAKISTANI FOREIGN OFFICE'S STATEMENT

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI (AA) – A meeting between an Indian on death row in Pakistan and his family was carried out in an “atmosphere of coercion”, the Ministry of External Affairs said Tuesday.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death in April by a military tribunal over allegations of working for the Indian intelligence, met his mother Avanti and wife Chetankul on Monday.

The 40-minute meeting, conducted through a glass screen at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, was portrayed as a humanitarian gesture by Pakistan.

However, in a statement the Indian Ministry of External Affairs complained of harassment, intimidation and disregard for the family’s religious and cultural feelings.

The “Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” the statement said following a meeting between the women and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The ministry said the media was allowed to approach Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav and “harass and hector them”. They were also asked to remove jewelry and their bindi forehead dots worn by Hindu women as well as change their clothing on security grounds.

Jadhav’s mother was also stopped from speaking in her native language and his wife’s shoes were not returned after the visit, the statement said.

The ministry also complained that the Indian Deputy High Commissioner was not given the agreed level of access to the meeting.

“It appears that Shri Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion,” the statement said.

“Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well-being.”

In a video message filmed before the meeting, Jadhav, 47, thanked the Pakistani government for “this grand gesture”.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal later described him as the “face of Indian terrorism”.

Jadhav was arrested in Mashkel, a town a few kilometers (miles) from the Iranian border. Pakistani officials have accused him of running a spy network from the Iranian port of Chabahar.

A petition for mercy to the military is pending.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has refuted the Indian allegations as “baseless”.

“The Indian baseless allegations and twists, that come 24 hours later, about the visit of the wife and mother of Commander Jadhav, a convicted terrorist and spy, who has confessed to his crimes, are categorically rejected,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

“If Indian concerns were serious, the guests or the Indian DHC [deputy high commissioner] should have raised them during the visit, with the media, which was readily available,” it said.

* Islamuddin Sajid in Islamabad has contributed to this report.

Family of Indian ‘spy’ harassed at meeting, India says

UPDATES WITH PAKISTANI FOREIGN OFFICE'S STATEMENT

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI (AA) – A meeting between an Indian on death row in Pakistan and his family was carried out in an “atmosphere of coercion”, the Ministry of External Affairs said Tuesday.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death in April by a military tribunal over allegations of working for the Indian intelligence, met his mother Avanti and wife Chetankul on Monday.

The 40-minute meeting, conducted through a glass screen at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, was portrayed as a humanitarian gesture by Pakistan.

However, in a statement the Indian Ministry of External Affairs complained of harassment, intimidation and disregard for the family’s religious and cultural feelings.

The “Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” the statement said following a meeting between the women and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The ministry said the media was allowed to approach Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav and “harass and hector them”. They were also asked to remove jewelry and their bindi forehead dots worn by Hindu women as well as change their clothing on security grounds.

Jadhav’s mother was also stopped from speaking in her native language and his wife’s shoes were not returned after the visit, the statement said.

The ministry also complained that the Indian Deputy High Commissioner was not given the agreed level of access to the meeting.

“It appears that Shri Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion,” the statement said.

“Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well-being.”

In a video message filmed before the meeting, Jadhav, 47, thanked the Pakistani government for “this grand gesture”.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal later described him as the “face of Indian terrorism”.

Jadhav was arrested in Mashkel, a town a few kilometers (miles) from the Iranian border. Pakistani officials have accused him of running a spy network from the Iranian port of Chabahar.

A petition for mercy to the military is pending.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has refuted the Indian allegations as “baseless”.

“The Indian baseless allegations and twists, that come 24 hours later, about the visit of the wife and mother of Commander Jadhav, a convicted terrorist and spy, who has confessed to his crimes, are categorically rejected,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

“If Indian concerns were serious, the guests or the Indian DHC [deputy high commissioner] should have raised them during the visit, with the media, which was readily available,” it said.

* Islamuddin Sajid in Islamabad has contributed to this report.

Family of Indian 'spy' harassed at meeting, India says

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI (AA) – A meeting between an Indian on death row in Pakistan and his family was carried out in an “atmosphere of coercion”, the Ministry of External Affairs said Tuesday.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death in April by a military tribunal over allegations of working for the Indian intelligence, met his mother Avanti and wife Chetankul on Monday.

The 40-minute meeting, conducted through a glass screen at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, was portrayed as a humanitarian gesture by Pakistan.

However, in a statement the Indian Ministry of External Affairs complained of harassment, intimidation and disregard for the family’s religious and cultural feelings.

The “Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” the statement said following a meeting between the women and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The ministry said the media was allowed to approach Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav and “harass and hector them”. They were also asked to remove jewelry and their bindi forehead dots worn by Hindu women as well as change their clothing on security grounds.

Jadhav’s mother was also stopped from speaking in her native language and his wife’s shoes were not returned after the visit, the statement said.

The ministry also complained that the Indian Deputy High Commissioner was not given the agreed level of access to the meeting.

“It appears that Shri Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion,” the statement said.

“Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well-being.”

In a video message filmed before the meeting, Jadhav, 47, thanked the Pakistani government for “this grand gesture”.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal later described him as the “face of Indian terrorism”.

Jadhav was arrested in Mashkel, a town a few kilometers (miles) from the Iranian border. Pakistani officials have accused him of running a spy network from the Iranian port of Chabahar.

A petition for mercy to the military is pending.

Family of Indian ‘spy’ harassed at meeting, India says

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI (AA) – A meeting between an Indian on death row in Pakistan and his family was carried out in an “atmosphere of coercion”, the Ministry of External Affairs said Tuesday.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death in April by a military tribunal over allegations of working for the Indian intelligence, met his mother Avanti and wife Chetankul on Monday.

The 40-minute meeting, conducted through a glass screen at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, was portrayed as a humanitarian gesture by Pakistan.

However, in a statement the Indian Ministry of External Affairs complained of harassment, intimidation and disregard for the family’s religious and cultural feelings.

The “Pakistani side conducted the meeting in a manner which violated the letter and spirit of our understandings,” the statement said following a meeting between the women and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The ministry said the media was allowed to approach Avanti and Chetankul Jadhav and “harass and hector them”. They were also asked to remove jewelry and their bindi forehead dots worn by Hindu women as well as change their clothing on security grounds.

Jadhav’s mother was also stopped from speaking in her native language and his wife’s shoes were not returned after the visit, the statement said.

The ministry also complained that the Indian Deputy High Commissioner was not given the agreed level of access to the meeting.

“It appears that Shri Jadhav was under considerable stress and speaking in an atmosphere of coercion,” the statement said.

“Most of his remarks were clearly tutored and designed to perpetuate the false narrative of his alleged activities in Pakistan. His appearance also raises questions of his health and well-being.”

In a video message filmed before the meeting, Jadhav, 47, thanked the Pakistani government for “this grand gesture”.

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal later described him as the “face of Indian terrorism”.

Jadhav was arrested in Mashkel, a town a few kilometers (miles) from the Iranian border. Pakistani officials have accused him of running a spy network from the Iranian port of Chabahar.

A petition for mercy to the military is pending.