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Indian pilot to be freed Friday as ‘peace gesture’, says Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan

Indo-Pak tension: How “Geneva Conventions” can be invoked to bring our IAF pilot back

The captured Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot will be freed on February 29 “as a peace gesture”, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan asserted on February 28. Addressing a joint session of the National Assembly, he argued the India-Pakistan situation should not “get out of hand” otherwise “Pakistan will have to retaliate”, the Pakistan’s Dawn news agency reported.

“The only purpose of our strike (on India on February 27) was to demonstrate our capability and will,” said the Pakistan Prime Minister. “We did not want to inflict any casualty on India, as we wanted to act in a responsible manner.” he added. Also, He said he tried to call Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the telephone on Wednesday because “escalation is not in our interests, nor in India’s”.

Further, Indian government sources have hailed Pakistan PM Khan’s announcement two days after Abhinandan’s capture as a “major victory” for the Modi’s administration. The administration successfully mounted pressure on the global community to intervene as Pakistan continued to hold IAF pilot in captivity.

The announcement comes just hours after United State (US) President Trump argued that he had “reasonably attractive news” that tensions between India and Pakistan were set to lessen. For PM Narendra Modi, the pilot’s release will be a welcome step. When India first conducted its airstrikes on February 26, the country’s politicians including Modi’s opponents – praised the move. While Indian social media including Newspaper headlines reflected a sense of righteous revenge.

Read Also, IAF air strike in Pakistan: Pakistan claims IAF violates LoC

However, Global community are very saddened by the recent Image-Video release that one of our brave IAF pilots is ‘missing in action’, we urge the Government – Diplomats to bring him back safely as soon as well as possible in a appropriate diplomatic way.. With the same light, The government of India has successfully build a global consensus – Diplomacy to demystify the same.

Moreover, After an Indian Air Force pilot went missing in action yesterday as India responded to incursions by the Pakistan Air Force near around the Line of Control, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said that it had summoned Pakistan’s Acting High commissioner and had “strongly objected” to Islamabad’s “vulgar display” of the pilot.

Read Also, India shoots down Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 that violated Indian air space: Indo-Pak Tensions 2019

Importantly, India said that this was “in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention”. The country asserted that Pakistan has committed an “unprovoked act of aggression” by targeting Indian military posts with its air force and sought immediate and safe return of an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot in its custody.

Read Also, India demands immediate, safe return of pilot in Pak custody

The faceless voice of the Pakistani army officer then asks Wing Commander Abhinandan, “Wing Commander, you hail from which place in India?” A confident Wing Commander Abhinandan replies, “Am I supposed to tell you this? I am from down south.” The Pakistani army officer then asked, “So which aircraft were you flying.” Wing Commander Abhinandan replied, “I am sorry Major, I am not supposed to tell you this. But, I am sure you found out from the wreckage.”

Significantly, “India also strongly objected to Pakistan’s vulgar display of an injured personnel of the IAF in violation of all norms of International Humanitarian Law and the ‘Geneva Convention’. It was made clear that Pakistan would be well advised to ensure that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel in its custody. India also expects his immediate and safe return,” the statement asserted.

Indo-Pak tension: How “Geneva Conventions” can be invoked to bring our IAF pilot back:

The Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols are at the core of international humanitarian law, the body of international law that regulates the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects. They specifically protect people who are not taking part in the hostilities (civilians, health workers and aid workers) and those who are no longer participating in the hostilities, such as wounded, sick and shipwrecked soldiers and prisoners of war. The Conventions and their Protocols call for measures to be taken to prevent or put an end to all breaches.

Read Also, ‘Treated By Pakistan Army Very Well, With Respect,’ Claims Captured Indian Pilot Abhinadan Varthaman

Following by the Inputs, With over 140 articles, the Geneva treaty lists the procedures for how prisoners are to be treated in custody as well as the judicial proceedings by which they should be tried. These include offering proper medical treatment, food and quarters, and religious activities such as prayers. When a combatant is captured, there are established protocols on how the other side should be intimated about this.

In short, it is a set of four international treaties that lay out the standards to be followed by signatories on treating enemies humanely during war time. These conventions were developed in the first half of the 20th century, first in 1929 and updated in 1949 after the conclusion of the Second World War.

Read Also, Canada urges India, Pakistan to engage in dialogue

For instance, The recent incident of an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot being captured by Pakistan occured during the Kargil war in 1999. Group Captain K Nachiketa had to eject from his aircraft after an engine failure at high altitude. He was captured by Pakistani soldiers. Here, India then went to the United Nations and put enormous international pressure to secure his release about eight days after his capture. In his testimonies, Nachiketa spoke of the torture inflicted on him by Pakistan in an attempt to secure sensitive information.

Read Also, UN chief holding discussions ‘with different parties’ on India-Pak situation: Spokesperson

Notably, During the 1965 India-Pakistan war, many Indian soldiers were taken prisoner by Pakistan. In August 2015, KC Cariappa, the son of Field Marshal KM Cariappa, who was captured by the Pakistani forces, wrote in Outlook about the details of his incarceration in the military prisons in Pakistan. It took four months and the end of hostilities before he was released. Despite all of this, IAF has put on high alert all air defence systems along the international border and LoC to respond to any possible action by Pakistan Air Force, Recent attributes assumed.

Read Also, US lawmaker supports India’s stand on Pakistan after Pulwama attack

Meanwhile, National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval held talks with the US Secretary of State and their National Security Adviser after IAF pilot Abhinandan’s capture while Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj dialled the Arab nations to pressurise the Pakistanis to release the officer and not play any politics over it.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is having discussions “at different levels with different parties” about the tense India-Pakistan situation, his Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said. He refused to say who those parties were or the levels of contact but said the discussions were “to make sure that we have, we get a full picture” of the situation.

Also, Cambodia on February 28 called on Pakistan and India to exercise “utmost restraint” and avoid further clashes. “Cambodia follows with great concern the recent escalation of tensions between Pakistan and India in the Kashmir region,” the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The statement, cited by Xinhua news agency, said Cambodia believed that Pakistan and India could work through negotiation to defuse the current tension and find appropriate solution to disputes through peaceful means.

Consequently, On February 28, Government sources confirmed that IAF wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be brought back through the Wagah border in Punjab. For many experts, Here Geneva Conventions prevents insulting and generating public curiosity around a prisoner of war and with the release of these videos, Pakistan is in clear violation of the international laws.

In other words, For many scholars and diplomats Pakistan has violated the ‘Geneva Convention’ by releasing videos of a bleeding IAF pilot Abhinandan who was blindfolded and was being asked questions by the Pakistani military. On February 27, India shoots down Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 that violated Indian air space  but here Using F-16 Aircraft by Pakistan has been seen as a another violation of all norms of International Law and the United State deals with the same regard, while the F-18 were founded in Indian territory. Thus, At diplomatic level, it has been seen as a Paradigm shift in India’s Foreign Policy on act against terrorism.

Last Updated at, 8:28:11 PM.

Author – CEO, Trilok Singh, MA in Political Science, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. Founder and CEO, IASmind.Com and India’s Journal.

Indo-Pak tension: How “Geneva Conventions” can be invoked to bring our IAF pilot back

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