Pakistan’s criminal military
The same terrorism which is now tearing Pakistan apart was a creature of the Pakistan military, from the times that it was also the government. But the criminal acts of the armed forces apparently were not restricted to this alone. IBN Live carries a reminder:
Thirteen years on and still no justice for Kargil hero Lt Saurabh Kalia who was captured by Pakistan during the war in 1999. His mutilated body bearing torture marks was later sent to his family after 15 days. His father Dr NK Kalia, who approached the Supreme court, is now demanding that the court direct the Centre to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan.
The family wants that the torture of their son be declared a war crime and also want Pakistan to apologise. But despite his appeals, Dr Kalia says the government has done nothing. Dr Kalia said, “The then Prime Minister and Defence Minister had promised to take up the issue. Why have they not done so?” Lt Saurabh Kalia’s mother said, “We didn’t get justice for the past 13 years and so we were forced to go to the Supreme Court.”
Jaswant Singh, who was the External Affairs Minister at the time, condemned the incident and said, “I was personally anguished. As a former soldier I felt my body had been violated. This is totally unacceptable.”
Captain Kalia of the 4 Jat Regiment and five other soldiers of his patrolling team were captured alive on May 15, 1999 and kept in captivity where they were tortured and their bodies mutilated. [Salman] Khurshid said the incident was an extremely distressing event and such violations were completely unacceptable even in times of war.
Reacting to the reports, the Defence Ministry said it was going through its records and will take appropriate action in this regard. Dr NK Kalia has alleged that his son Lt Saurabh Kalia was captured as a prisoner of war but was killed in a gruesome manner in violation of the Geneva Convention.
Meanwhile, in response to a letter sent by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on the issue, former External Affairs Minister SM Krishna had said the government had raised the matter with Pakistan and several international fora. “It is indeed unfortunate that our efforts have not borne fruit. This, however, does not in any way imply that we have forgotten our brave sons or that we are giving up efforts to ensure that the guilty responsible for perpetrating such heinous acts are brought to justice,” he had said.
The Hindu expresses sketicism about the outcome:
A Supreme Court petition demanding that the government take the case of the alleged torture and murder of six Indian Army men in Pakistan during the Kargil war to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) may flounder, legal experts say. They point out that the government’s own stated position in the 1971 Prisoner of War case is that Pakistani concurrence would be required for such a move.
Earlier, in the case of 54 missing Prisoners of War of the 1971 conflict with Pakistan, the government’s position was that it was trying to resolve the matter without third-party mediation. The government told the Gujarat High Court that was hearing a petition: “There is no scope of passing any direction upon the Union of India to refer the dispute before the International Court of Justice as such a reference can be made only on the joint prayer of both the countries and thus it is not possible for the Indian government alone to approach the International Court of Justice without the concurrence of the Government of Pakistan.”
The High Court rejected this stand and directed the government to approach the ICJ. But in May of this year, based on the government’s plea, the Supreme Court stayed the operations of this aspect of the Gujarat High Court judgment.
TOI puts a very positive spin on some carefully worded political-correctness:
Pakistan’s former federal minister for human rights Ansar Burney vowed to back the family if the allegations of torture levelled against Islamabad were proved. UK-based rights activist Jas Uppal has also promised support to the Kalia family.