A Sufi in one of his Hikayah narrates the story of a perplexing Mystic / Peer, who over the years had mastered the realms of spirituality / mysticism and his very pessimistic wife who throughout her life had remained very displeased and unimpressed by the persona of her husband.
The Hikayat inter alia discusses an instance of their distraught matrimonial life wherein the wife calls her Peer husband a pseudo-mystic and a conman who feeds on the ignorance of his followers.
The husband feeling the intensity of the insult metered out to him asks his wife to pose him a challenge which she thinks he would not be able to stand up to and the accomplishment of which would aptly dignify his stature. The wife quickly dares her husband to “Fly like a bird” in the air and to her utter amazement he takes off right in front of his eyes. After flying for a considerably long time and performing a few un-asked for acrobatics in thin air the husband lands back on the ground and triumphantly gazes into the eyes of her wife expecting to find a glimpse of remorse or shame. He astonishingly finds no such signs in those cold eyes and proceeds to ask “What do you say now ye woman?”
The wife very sarcastically replies “You flew all right but you didn’t fly like a BIRD, you fraud.”
I am rather compelled to devote a whole paragraph to this centuries old Hikayat because I find the plot of this story very relevant and central to the cacophony which is momentarily prevalent in South-Asia and has virtually brought two nuclear adversaries to battle-stations.
On the 10th day of April 2017 the DG ISPR made public the information that, Commander Kulbhushan Jhadev of the Indian Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) has been tried by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM)and found guilty on two counts i.e. Espionage & Sabotage andresultantly he has been handed over the sentence of death. At the eve of the breaking of this news almost every single individual in Pakistan weather antagonist or pacifist looked across the border into India with the hope that he/she would find some little amount of shame on the saffron horizon of the nation which has always tried to vilify Pakistan.
After-All the saga of Commander Kulbhushan Jhadev was no simple affair. His was the most high-profile
“Espionage” case ever to have emerged in the Indo-Pak equation and globally the first of its kind in a fairly long time. Never since the end of World-War II has, a uniformed officer of the rank & stature of a “Colonel”, been arrested
“Oversees”, while directly overseeing a clandestine racket of espionage and sabotage. It is for this reason that in the instant case one was justified in assuming that India would at the least express some amount of remorse and acknowledge the embarrassment it had internationally faced for getting caught red handed while fishing in unchartered waters.
However India acted much like the “Mystic’s Wife”and instead of being ashamed rather chose to mount a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan. Highly influential ministers in the Modi cabinet resorted to melodramatic performances in the Indian parliament and did not stop short from hurling perilous threats at Pakistan.
Senior BJP officials & members of India’s national security apparatus warned Pakistan of dire consequences in case the awarded execution is practically carried out. Notable members of Indian societylike the once popular actor Rishi Kapoor and a contemporary side-star Randeep Hoda resonated along the tune being sung by the Indian State and rushed to condemn Pakistan for this alleged miscarriage of justice. Indian mediain this whole episode quintessentially behaved in the manner it is known for and adapted a hostile posture against Pakistan while supplementing the cause of its deep-state.
In short, India as a nation state exhibited a fit of rage and threw a knee-jerk tantrum which it was least expected off. Many policy makers and observers in Pakistan are rather bewildered by this irrational agony of India and wish to comprehend the reasons for it. An average Pakistani is astonished at the fact that India instead of looking down in shame is opting for a stare of death.
If one was to go by the tit-for-tat tactic he/she would conveniently say India is acting like a state which has been infected by a spiral lunatic virus but in case one does want to make head or tail out this brazen behavior of India he/she would have to critically introspect the arguments being put forth by the Indian state through its pet-mouthpiece the “Press.”
- One of the most vocally& vehemently argued points of Indian defence revolves around the venue and modus operandi of Kulbhushan Jadhav’s arrest. India asserts that Commander Jhadev was abducted from Iran by a Taliban syndicate and later sold to Pakistan’s Inter-Services-Intelligence. This assertion is based on an alleged statement made by a former German diplomat & ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Gunter Mulack. Reliance on this stamen is however preposterous and manifests a total of void of intellect. Dr. Mulack (Who had retired from German Foreign Service 7 years prior to the arrest of Commander Jhadev) has himself admitted in an interview with the Times of India (12 April 2017 Edition) that this statement of his was based on the “Speculation” of a source which is highly unlikely to be “True”. Secondly if any such event had indeed transpired withinthe territorial jurisdiction of Iran why till date has India not lodged a criminal complaint of abduction in any Iranian Police Station? This question either calls for an answer or an expeditious resignation by the Indian External Affairs Minister for her sheer incompetence and inability to act.
- India has raised a plethora of questions with regard to the fairness &sanctity of the procedure through which Commander Jhadev was tried &convicted. It has been asserted that a Military Court (FGCM) does qualify to be a competent court of trial under the realms of International Law. India however while adapting this argument choses to ignore the fact that Commander Jhadev was a uniformed officer indulging in Sabotage and thus he fell well within the definition of an “Enemy Combatant.” In the age of evolving terrorism even countries such as the United States of America have constituted Military Courts (The United States Military-Commissions Act 2006 HR-6166) to deal with “Enemy Combatants” such as Al-Qaeda operatives. It thus should not come as a surprise if Pakistan decided to try an officer of the Indian Navy by a “Jury of His Peers” and bring him to justice.
- India has alleged bias towards the court (FGCM) which tried Commander Kulbhushan Jhadev and has claimed that being a command oriented Military Court it was duty-boun to pronounce a guilty verdict. India firstly does not take into account the fact that Commander Jhadev confessed to his crimes before a “Civilian Judicial Magistrate” who operates under the ambit of Pakistan’s fiercely independent judiciary and secondly forgets that very recently a military court acquitted an Indian citizen Hamid Nehal Ansari of the charge of Espionage and thus the impartiality of these courts stands well established.
- India has severely objected at Pakistan’s persistent (14 Times) denialto the grant of diplomatic consular access to Kulbhushan Jhadev. It asserts that such refusal is testimonial of the malafide on Pakistan’s behalf and thus casts aspersions of its conduct. India however forgets that its own closet is not empty of skeletons when it comes to granting of “ConsularAccess.”In 2013 it refused to grant this access to as much as 197 Pakistani prisoners (The Nation 10 June 2013 Edition) and thus keeping the reciprocator nature of Indo-Pak relations should have expect the same courtesy.
- India while upping its ante against Pakistan has continuously remained mum on questions which cast a mysterious shadow on the character of Commander Kulbhushan Jhadev. For example India till date has not placed in public domain any record which substantiates its claim that Commander Jhadev had quit the Indian Navy in 2002 neither has it negated the statement of Jhadev’s kin that runs contrary to this assertion and states that Jhadev was still a part of the Navy (DNA 27th March 2016 Edition). India has also not been forth coming w.r.t the confusions which looms around the real identity of this spy. Up until the time India clarifies who indeed is the man languishing in a Pakistani prison, Kulbhushan Jhadev or Hussain Mubarak Patel,it is absurd of her to demand any relief on his behalf.
In view of the foregoing one is forced to reach the conclusion that India’s objections and apprehensions, with regards to the fairness of trial awarded to Commander Kulbhushan, stand far from being true. Pakistan has through a 1 year long exhausting process brought Commander Jhadev to justice and has given some amount of reassurance to the families who lost their loved ones in the abominable acts of terrorism carried out by his network.
All legalities have been accounted for in this process andCommander Jhadev will get further opportunities to establish his defence in the appellant fora. Larger Collective Conscience of Pakistani’s is at ease and International obligations have been discharged.
“Pakistan can however not help if India call it a fraud because it fails to fly like a BIRD.”