The Wire published an article on Thursday where the author, Jawed Naqvi, argued that India’s ‘new love’ for the Geneva Convention should extend to ‘all situations’.
First of all, comparing Wing Commander Abhinandan’s situation with domestic terrorists and criminals is a logical fallacy of epic proportions. Pakistan was bound by international obligations to return him safe and sound because he is an Indian citizen and not a Pakistani. Of course, as a sovereign state, Pakistan could have chosen to ignore international conventions but then, there would have been grave consequences for them which they were ostensibly looking to avoid. The fact remains that Pakistan breached Indian airspace to carry out an act of aggression by attempting to bomb military installations in India. In the process of chasing Pakistani F16s away, Wing Commander Abhinandan was captured, and that makes him a prisoner of war (POW). The action of Pakistan itself satisfies the conditions to qualify for an act of war.
Secondly, international conventions cannot be used as a means to infringe upon the sovereignty of the Indian state. India reserves full right to deal with domestic terrorists and subversions as it deems fit according to its own laws.
The Wire argues, “The involvement with the pilot’s rights in Pakistan should help the ICRC and the international community in pushing for greater access to prisons in Kashmir and other Indian detention centres to observe the state of incarcerated militants and civilians.” It might disappoint the author but it won’t ‘help the ICRC’ in any manner. Should the International Committee of the Red Cross express such a desire, the Indian state will construe it as an effort to meddle in its internal affairs and thwart their designs, as it should.
More importantly, the ICRC has no business ‘pushing for greater access’ in Indian territory. It should instead try and gain access to China’s concentration camps first. Should it succeed, then it has a million other concerns it should be dealing with. Perhaps, after it has successfully negotiated the million and one concern, it can set its eyes on India.
That an Indian media outlet wants international organizations to infringe upon Indian sovereignty ought to concern us all. At a time when passions are running high and there are tensions prevailing with a neighbouring country that harbours terrorists, that The Wire prioritizes the violation of Indian sovereignty is indeed deplorable.
The author has peddled a false narrative about Major Gogoi in his article as well, He wrote, “In 2017, the pictures and video of a Kashmiri civilian, Farooq Ahmad Dar, tied as a human shield to the front of a vehicle driven by Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, became viral on internet, stirring a major controversy. It was claimed that such action violated the Geneva Conventions.”
Yes, it was ‘claimed’ that it violated Geneva Conventions by people like him and others of the same ideological bent. In reality, it did not. As has been pointed out, Geneva Conventions do not apply to those suspected to be enemies of the State. And it can be stated safely, that the person Major Gogoi tied to his jeep wasn’t a paragon of virtue as leftist propagandists would have us believe.
The Wire is known to propagate utter lies in the name of ‘investigative journalism’. There have been numerous occasions in the past when the media outlet has spread malicious in order to peddle their preferred narrative. It appears even at a time when there are national security concerns, The Wire prioritizes prefers subjecting the Indian state to infringement of its sovereignty by international organizations rather than the welfare of its citizens.