Indian Air Force's Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman

Editorial: Two Mistakes That Future Pakistani Generations Will Regret

4 mins read

The pointed press briefing by the official spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Raveesh Kumar, this afternoon after the reported transgression by Pakistani fighter jets earlier in the morning might have left many unsatiated, but it threw ample light upon the course of action that India might take in response.

That is what concise, carefully-worded diplomatic notes are all about.

By stating that the Pakistani jets attempted to target Indian military installations, the Indian government has made one thing absolutely clear ㅡIndia has no choice but to treat the Pakistani action as a ‘military act of aggression, or, in more simpler words, ‘an act of war.

And by making that assertion, it has left itself ㅡ and quite rightly so ㅡwith no other choice but to respond.

Retaliation by India is absolutely certain.

And going by the track record of the current dispensation, it would be a retaliation like no other. Pakistan can now be sure that almost nothing is off the table now. Absolutely nothing.

The only thing that makes the government’s future course of action ‘mildly complicated’ (absolutely no disrespect or insensitivity meant) is the issue IAF’s Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, which the Indian spokesperson stated is ‘missing in action’.

Unfortunately, much before that statement, and a follow-up, which said that India is now considering Wg. Cdr. Varthaman as a prisoner of war, Pakistan had already released a video claiming that it is of an Indian pilot named Abhinandan.

In the video shared by almost all of the 200 million Pakistanis (and their proxies in India), a person wearing a flight suit is heard saying that he is Wing Commander Abhinandan. He is blindfolded and gives out his service number. He then asks if he is in the custody of the Pakistan military.

Notably, in the video, he refuses to answer certain questions saying he is not supposed to reveal the sought information.

India’s brilliant son Wg Cdr Varthaman was found lying in a ravine by locals, who beat him up and, as per some reports, broke his nose. Pakistani security personnel moving him around while his face was covered in blood has now entered the timeline of almost everyone who uses social media ㅡ along with the video.

The release of photos and/or video of a prisoner of war is a gross violation of Article 13 of the Geneva Convention which forbids “exposing #POWs to public curiosity“.

Thankfully for India, in publicly accepting that he was alive and healthy when captured, Pakistan now has no option but to return him not just alive but also just as healthy as when captured.

That it would, but what about the added pressure now it has put on the Indian government to avenge the ill-treatment of one of its officers?

Make no mistake, Pakistan has ended up making two very, very costly mistakes. By attacking, or trying to attack, India’s military assets, it has declared war on India. And by ill-treating a prisoner of war, it has violated international laws.

The coming generations of the Islamic state are going to pay the cost of these mistakes.

Jai Hind! Vande Mataram!

PS: India stands with Wg Cdr Varthaman. He WILL be back soon!

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