Kulbhushan, Baloch Rights and Bosnian War Crimes
Pakistani Army court awarded the death sentence to an Indian citizen and so-called intelligence operative Kulbhushan Jadhav last week. Mr Jadhav is former Indian Navy officer, operating his small freight handling business in Iran’s Chhbahar port, who was arrested by Pakistan last year, while on intelligence gathering mission in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province, as per its Army sources. There are many discrepancies in the reporting of Jadhav’s arrest and many more dots are yet to be connected, many more pieces of the puzzle are yet to be put together and much more information yet to be collated. But the fallacy of Pakistani claim, that Jadhav is intelligence operative of India’s external intelligence agency RAW has been fallen flat with Pakistan denying consular access to him 14 times in a row. Had been there everything to prove that Jadhav is RAW operative, Pakistan could have given him consular access, at least to prove its credibility to the world community. But, the report corroborated by Indian agencies proves that Jadhav was picked up by Taliban in Iran border areas and sold him to Pakistan to score few points over India, by stressing that Indian agencies fomenting trouble in Balochistan!
With Jadhav’s arrest and his proposed death sentence, NewsBharati decided to go back and look into the Human Rights track record of Pakistani Army in Balochistan Vis-à-vis Bosnian War Crime trials and Jadhav episode.
Bosnian War Crime Trials: - The infamous war crimes trial of former President of Yugoslavia, Mr Slobodan Milošević, at ICTY- the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, started in February 2002 and ended with his death in 2006 March. Milošević put on trial for 66 counts of crimes against genocide, a crime against humanity and rampant war crimes committed amid Yugoslavia Wars of the 1990s. He refuted all charges.
The charges for which Milošević was prosecuted were genocide of ethnic Muslims, complicity in Muslim genocide, expulsion of minorities, murder, political, racial or religious persecutions, extermination of opposition, unlawful imprisonment, custodial torture, unlawful detention, extensive destruction, appropriation of private property, not justified by war necessity, cruel treatment, plundering public or private property, brutal attacks on innocent civilians, destruction of historic monuments.
The prosecution covered the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo within 2 years before placing evidence. During the two-year-long period, the war crime trial was being closely monitored by the people of the former Yugoslavia republics as it has covered scores of notable incidences from the war and had several high-profile witnesses on the list.
During the trial, 295 witnesses cross checked and 5,000 pieces of evidence were produced to the court, After the presentation of the case, the court accepted evidence strong enough to support a conviction on all 66 war crime counts, But due to death of Milošević on 11 March 2006 during the trial, the court gave no verdict.
Though charges against Slobodan Milošević and Radovan Karadžić couldn’t be proven at ICTY due to insufficient evidence, the court notes that gross human rights violations and planned genocide occurred during the Yugoslav War.
Baloch Human Rights Violation by Pakistani Army: - Since the independence of Pakistan in 1947 and the forceful accession of State of Kalat by military aggression against Kingdom of Khan of Kalat by Pakistani Army in 1948, Balochistan has fought five bloody freedom struggles with the State of Pakistan. Ongoing Baloch freedom is bloodiest 5th freedom struggle which started in 2005 and still taking lives in the vast province of Balochistan.
As Baloch Republican Party President- BRP- Brahumdagh Bugti always says, it is Tsunami of Human rights violations in Balochistan. Pakistan openly deploying helicopter gunships, fighter jets, rocket launchers and tanks against freedom-seeking, Baloch under the guise of war against terrorism.
So far, as per rough estimate, more than 20 thousand Baloch people are missing and International Voice for Baloch Missing People has maintained a professional record of missing Baloch people. Its website Bygwaah reports detail incidences from all over the Balochistan.
Custodial tortures, enforced disappearances, rapes, sex slaves, mass killings, burning of Baloch villages, bombarding of Baloch villages are very common in Balochistan. Since China’s ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor- CPEC has picked up the pace, which passes through Balochistan port city of Gwadar to China’s Kashgar in Xinjiang province, the Baloch resistance also increased to an optimum level, inviting more brutal ways from Pakistani Army to quench it.
Another Baloch activist and Balochwarna website’s Editor-in-Chief Mr Faiz Mohammed Baluch also puts his observations on Balochwarna site, where hundreds of incidences of racial persecution, rape and massacre are regularly reported.
Kulbhushan Jadhav Case: - As we have discussed earlier, since last one year, Mr Jadhav is languishing in Pakistani army custody, his quest for fair trial ended theirs with a death sentence by Army Court. In his case, Pakistan denied him consular access more than dozen times, no conclusive, credible evidence has been made available to him to please not only India but to the international community.
Given the standard modus operandi of intelligence agencies from across the world, no agency in the world employs the person with armed forces background, which can invite direct blame on host country for espionage in another country and which could be easily proven in a convincing manner.
Everyone knows that Jadhav is shipping businessman and he was operating in Iran for quite long time, illegally detaining him as a spy, would cost Pakistan dearly in diplomatic circles.
The Geneva Convention, which is mandatory for all member countries doesn’t allow any country to illegally detain a prisoner for such a long time without giving legal access and help, Pakistan doing the same in this matter.
Drawing Parallels: - Abysmal Human Rights track record of Slobodan Milosevic has thrown him in jail, after the Kosovo War, where he died as under trial prisoner. The Pakistani Army Chief’s ranging from Gen. Musharraf to Raheel Sharif and now Gen. Qamar Jawed, must recall the memories of Slobodan trials at ICTY, where former President of nation thrown behind the bars for committing war crimes. All retired and serving Pakistani Army officers are directly involved in major Human Rights violations mentioned above and have a direct role in the other incidences mentioned below.
The history of Pakistani Army’s war crimes is too big to narrate, that it has created history by piling up thousands of pages in the archives since the time span of just 7 years.
Since 1948 Kashmir intrusion to 1971 Bangla War, where East Pakistani leadership openly used, rape as an instrument of war against Bangla Muslims and Hindus. Thousands of women raped and culled, hundreds of Bangla political activists and leaders detained, tortured and massacred in Bengal to cool down the rebellion. Thousands of Kashmiris died in Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in India. Hundreds of Pashtuns in NWFP of Pakistan, Swat valley and FATA agency region are openly massacred in military operations. The ongoing ostentatious Operation called Zarb-e-Azb has killed countless innocent Pashtuns in Northern Pakistan under the tag of crushing Tehrik-E-Taliban Pakistan TTP, daily aerial raids by Pakistani Air Force has converted the area into the graveyard.
The Sindhi Freedom Movement in Sindh province has also created another section of human rights violation by Pakistani Army and Forces. Ah media and Muhajir Muslims in Pakistan are regular targets of predominantly Punjabi politico-military set up of Pakistan and these minority Muslims communities are at receiving the end of religious persecution from radical Jihadis firmly backed, nurtured and supported by Pakistani Forces.
Inferences: - US focus is gradually shifting from Pakistan to India. Indian political leadership under The Modi government is more assertive and India-Afghanistan combo increasing their footprint in the region. With the ever growing threat of jihadi attacks on European soil, EU nations are becoming sceptical about Pakistan and its almighty military.
In such a rapidly changing world scenario, Slobodan like War Crime trial of Pakistani Army officers is not an exaggeration, it can be a reality in near future. BRP President Brahumdagh Bugti had warned last year, to sue Pak Army officers for the war crimes committed against Baloch people!
Pakistani Civilian and Military leadership must take it seriously to avert it!