Politics of Jingoism

I M Sharma

This has reference to the article on Pulwarna massacre 'Nation demands Answers' by Shamsul Islam [Frontier, March 3-9, 2019]. His equating the same (Pulwama massacre) with the 1999 Kandahar hijack situation and blaming Vajpayee government for releasing 3 terrorists (including the current JeM Chief) for more than 100 passengers has actually missed the point. That way, the hawk Ajit Doval also described the developments as due to the 'diplomatic failure' of the Government. One should remember that when Hijackers released some 27 passengers in Dubai, they also stabbed one person [perhaps trying to flee] to death and were quite merciless. Moreover, they were protected by Taliban armed personnel in Kandahar airport and Indian Government did not then have diplomatic relations or representatives in Afghanistan. What Vajpayee government did was quite correct—they could not have jeopardised the lives of more than 100 passengers for mere 3 terrorists released, especially since the government in Afghanistan itself was fanatic and near fascistic supporting the terrorists. There was no chance for any armed intervention either.

As for Pulwarna attack investigative journalism is missing in the country. The only evidence to link JeM with it is the video of the suicide bomber posted and gone viral on media almost immediately after the attack. Then there are many doubts raised on the video itself. That it was filmed somewhere in Afghanistan, that the logo or flag shown there is not that of JeM and that the weapons shown there were / are not in use by Kashmiri militants ever, that one person by name of this same Dar was arrested by Army in the end of 2016 or 2017 after an encounter in which 2 of his colleagues were killed and kept in army custody [so suspecting some sort of stage-managing too], etc. If one accuses a citizen of any other country or its government—naturally and certainly that government will ask for actionable evidence. That's what Pakistan asked in case of the Bombay attacks too and Government of India did supply some or much evidence to them in that regard. Here one may add that it was not Indian intelligence but Pakistani investigative journalists who traced Kasab's family and his village in Pakistan, went there, interviewed his relatives, and confirmed that Kasab indeed was a Pakistani native citizen when their government was denying loudly and Indian government had no proof to rebut [the denial] either.

Now the goodwill peace gesture of Imran Khan, PM of Pakistan, to release Abhinandan was/is also interpreted as a ploy of Pakistan which is being isolated in international circles due to the great victories of Narendra Modi in diplomatical field etc and more due to so-called Geneva Convention compulsions. UTTER NONSENSE. "Even by Geneva Conventions Pakistan was not bound to release Abhinandan so soon. The Convention only stipulates that PoW be released without being charged for criminal cases etc. at the earliest AFTER THE CESSATION OF ACTIVE HOSTILITIES. After the Bangladesh War India kept around one lakh Pakistani Prisoners of War for months together in detention even AFTER THE TOTAL CESSATION OF HOSTILITES AND END OF WAR and then only released and sent them back. So certainly this was a GOODWILL PEACE GESTURE by Imran Khan and also an intelligent PR exercise too and it enhanced their prestige in international circles. Tragedy is that India is still not recognising but persisting in its jingoism and chauvinism and talking as if it was all because Pakistan was afraid of India!

Now Abhinandan is released by Pakistan but still not in the open free world.

Will Wing Commander Abhinandan be released soon from the custody of military authorities and sent on leave to live with his family at the earliest? It is to be seen.

If not, now comes the need and occasion for human rights organisations to intervene in his favour and Defence.

Vol. 51, No. 40, Apr 7 - 13, 2019