Pakistan has acted as per prepared script in handling Sarabjit Episode. This rustic Indian national was arrested during the prime of his youth, tried, convicted and kept in jail for 23 long years. He was not shown any consideration in spite of mercy appeals from his family, prolonged negotiations and diplomatic pressures from Indian Government or International Charter of Human Rights. Finally he was tortured, assaulted and killed inside a well protected Pakistani jail.
A mock hospitalization and end also were enacted to the precession. The family was allowed to communicate if possible, with the brain dead Sarbjit lying in coma on ventilator. All pleas to allow his treatment in India or in some other neutral country having better medical facilities were rejected without any reason. As was expected, he was declared dead.
Thereafter Pakistan Government has posed ‘gracious’ to provide special plane to transport the dead body to India where Indian Government awaited to accord state funeral to the martyr as a face saving.
The first question that strikes is – if Pakistan government could provide a special plane to transport dead body of Sarbjit to India why close relatives were not allowed to evacuate him to India for treatment when he was still alive?
Timidity of Indian Government
While Pakistan played her role as per script, Indian Government has been playing her part extempore in a directionless manner. Pakistan has been returning mutilated bodies of our soldiers in violation of Geneva conventions. The torturous treatment meted out to Capt Saurabh Kalia is still fresh. Returning headless body of Hemraj and several untraceable Indians reported to be languishing in Pakistani Jails are some of the incidents are enough to shame timidity and ineffectiveness of Indian Government.
Under pressure from Pakistan we have been releasing notorious terrorists; we were scared to hang openly convicted criminals like Kasab and Afzal, and they were accorded VIP hospitality in Indian jails. We carried bagful of evidence everywhere to demand suspected terrorists from Pakistan and got nothing in return except snubs. We lump insult every time and everywhere. Today we are friendless on the globe!
Our Blindness towards Options
We have always been scared to exercise Military option that most of the other Nations follow to save their honor. Since we claim to be Gandhians, Israel model has never interested us. As we proclaim to be peace loving, we lay at the mercy of hostile nations. Over the years all the neighboring countries around us, big and small, such as China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar or Bangladesh have been encroaching and pinching upon us to dictate their terms. We are helpless!
Why we couldn’t exercise pressure on Pakistan by:-
- Denying status of Most Favored Nation to Pakistan?
- Denying visa to Pakistani nationals to visit India for any purpose?
- Stopping exchange of cricket teams, artists and other social visits?
- Scrapping of Samjhota Express and Aman Setu type projects?
Why are we always longing for friendship with Pakistan?
Appeasement in lieu of honor
In order to wipe the stigma of incredulous acts of commission and omissions, our Government is now working to silence public outcry and win over the aggrieved family of Sarbjit by offering sops in the form of financial benefits. The first such step is the announcement of ‘State funeral’ to Sarbjit.
With utmost sympathy with the family and due respect to late Sarbjit, the matter deserves to be considered dispassionately. State funeral is accorded to those persons who die performing some outstanding national duty. Was Sarbjit performing any national duty? If the answer is no, then certainly such honors should not be used for political ends. If the answer is ‘yes’, the Government will incur liability to explain the nature of duty.
Pakistan has humiliated not only Sarbjit, but India and humanity once more!
Chand K Sharma