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17 January 2017 | Last updated 10:50 PM
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Kargil martyr’s father doesn’t expect govt action against Pak
Despite the Union government announcing that it will move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for the brutal torture and killing of Late Captain Saurabh Kalia and five of his men during the Kargil war of 1999, the war hero’s father, N K Kalia, speaking exclusively to SHASHWAT GUPTA RAY, says he is not convinced about any strong action from the government in this case.
Q. How do you see the government decision to take your son Late Captain Saurabh Kalia’s case to ICJ? Will it help?
A. The Government of India has not come out with a clear thought or action to take the case of Capt Saurabh Kalia to ICJ. At the moment, the ball has been thrown in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India just to duck under public and media pressure. Importantly, the decision on how to deal with other nations lies with the executive and not with the judiciary of this country.
Q.What is the status of your case in the Supreme Court?
A. In last one year, there has not been a single hearing in the Apex court. Still, my last hope lies with the Supreme Court of India.
Q. In this scenario, do you think the government is serious about taking up the case with the ICJ and international community or it is just being verbose and no concrete action is likely to happen?
A. I may state that this is not a question of Capt Saurabh Kalia and his five brave soldiers on whom the atrocities were inflicted. It involves the dignity and honour of our valiant armed forces and our nation too where Pakistan dared to insult in this manner. And a national issue indeed. Looking back at the callous approach of the erstwhile governments in power in the last 16 years, I am not very sure about any strong action. Had the government acted appropriately in 1999 itself, Pakistan would not have got emboldened to behead our soldiers and play football with their heads. Still one should look forward to positive action in the coming days.
Q. What is your view on the issue of torture? Can it be officially banned by the world?
A. The issue of torture of human beings is highly condemnable. Suitable stringent and appropriate laws should be enforced across the globe in this direction. And this should not only be confined to human beings but to all living creatures. Slogans are many invented but rarely put to practice.
Q. What action can the respective country’s government or the UN can do to take action against countries indulging in such heinous crime?
A. If the governments in power are honest and sincere, they can altogether eradicate this evil on earth, but mostly, the states are themselves indulgent, sponsors and are hand-in-glove with each other in such crimes. UN has been reduced to paper tiger and a simple show piece. Otherwise, the rise of ISIS, Taliban, Al Qaeda etc occurring and daring to indulge in mass scale rapes, conversions, ethnic cleansings and genocides under its very nose happening in the gaze of entire world and UN simply a hapless spectator.
Q. Do you see the hypocrisy of human rights organisations like NHRC and Amnesty International in not raising voice against such blatant war crimes while making noise when a civilian dies in a cross fire or in case of a mistaken identity?
A. I can share my personal experience with various national and international human rights organisations. They are more or less hypocrites in their approach unless their own interests are involved while various international agencies are more concerned or active when white blood is involved and for them brown or black blood is hardly of any value. I happened to approach several human rights organisations but none acknowledged my appeal; leave alone help.
Q. How do you think these human rights bodies can help in stopping brutal torture of POWs and ordinary citizens?
A. I am afraid they don’t stand for the truth. To emphasise my point, when Capt Saurabh Kalia’s highly tortured and mutilated body was handed over to Indian Army by Pakistan Army on June 9, 1999 after a lapse of over 22 days, the Government of India approached the International Red Cross as well as Indian Red Cross authorities to examine the extent of atrocities but both of them refused. Ultimately, the detailed autopsy was done by Indian Army. Did any such agency exercise any role in getting back 54 Indian POWs languishing in Pak jails? Why they are suffering and for whom since 1971? Only for the ungrateful nation.
Q. Do you think there should be a strong law against torture, especially POWs? What are your thoughts?
A. Of course, there must be. But who will be the enforcing agency? This is a billion dollar question. The most important is implementation of laws. Here, the vested interests of the nations creep in and these allow the doers of heinous crimes against Prisoners of War (POWs) go scot free.
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