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Published On: Wed, Feb 27th, 2019

India Demands “Immediate, Safe Return” Of IAF Pilot ,Calls To Follow Geneva Convention

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remote.axdNEW DELHI : With an Indian pilot in Pakistan’s custody following an aerial encounter with the Indian Air Force over the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir today, there were calls to treat him humanely and in accordance to the Geneva Conventions.

According to experts, Pakistan had violated the conventions by releasing a purported video showing him tied up and bloodied on social media. The video, however, was soon removed from their official Twitter accounts by the Pakistan government.
The Indian government said an Indian pilot was in Pakistan’s custody after a fighter jet was shot down in an encounter with Pakistani Air Force planes trying to target military installations in India this morning. It said it expected the pilot’s immediate and safe return. This came after Pakistan claimed “strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace”, in the worst escalation of hostilities between the countries in decades following India’s air strike to target a terror camp in Balakot on Tuesday.
The Geneva Conventions were signed by world leaders in 1949 following the horrors of the second world war. Ratified by 196 countries, it is the most widely-supported international treaty of its kind. The Geneva Conventions extensively defined the basic rights of wartime prisoner, including civilians and military personnel, established protections for the wounded and sick, and established measures to safeguard civilians in and around a war-zone.

The government today said it expects the “immediate and safe return” of an Indian Air Force pilot captured by Pakistan after an air combat between the two sides for the first time since 1971, which marked the worst escalation between the neighbors in decades.In a demarche handed over to the Pakistani envoy in the evening, India lodged a strong protest at what it called an “unprovoked act of aggression by Pakistan”, saying its jets had targeted military installations in India a day after India’s air strike to target a terror camp in Balakot.

Pakistan initially claimed it had two Indian pilots, but amended later that “there is only one pilot” and he is being treated “as per norms of military ethics”. In various videos circulated by Pakistani accounts, the pilot was seen blindfolded and wounded, his arms tied behind his back, being interrogated. The videos were quickly taken off as Pakistan faced allegations of violating the Geneva Convention for prisoners. Later, a video showed the pilot sipping tea, saying that “officers of the Pakistani army have looked after me well”.
Meanwhile, Pakistan said in a statement that it had carried out “strikes across Line of Control from within Pakistani airspace”. Islamabad said it was “not retaliation” and it had “no intention of escalation”, but a demonstration that it was fully prepared to do so if forced. “That is why we undertook the action with clear warning and in broad daylight,” it said. In response, the government said its pilot was “missing in action” after shooting down a Pakistani aircraft that was targeting Indian military installations.
The Pakistani F-16 aircraft, shot down by the MiG Bison, crashed on Pakistani territory in the Lam Valley area.Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a televised address, called for dialogue and said: “It was our plan to not cause any collateral damage, and not to cause any casualties. We simply wanted to show capability. Two Indian MiGs crossed Pakistan’s Borders, and we shot them down. I want to now address India and say let sanity prevail.” Better sense should prevail, he said, adding, “We should sit down and talk.” The air strike by the IAF’s Mirage 2000s yesterday was carried out in response to the Pulwama terror attack
Amid rising tension, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the military chiefs, the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the Defence and Foreign Secretaries and intelligence officials. He called the military chiefs again to his home for discussions. The Prime Minister was targeted by 21 opposition parties who, in a statement after a meeting, condemned “blatant politicization of the armed forces” and criticized political programmes attended by top BJP leaders amid the deepening crisis.(With Agency Inputs ).

 

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