After the Pulwama attack, Pakistan had been cornered with the entirety of global organizations and over 70 countries of the world. The façade that Pakistan had worn had finally dissipated and the world was aware of Pakistan’s associations with terrorists. Like always, Pakistan was trying to lie and spin fabrications to get out of their terrorist linkage but before they could do that India conducted air strikes and eliminated the terrorist threat. All this while Pakistan was trying to “conduct investigations”, India went ahead and took the required action. All the major super powers of the world including France, USA and Australia congratulated India for their justified action against global terrorism. Pakistan meanwhile, enraged by the situation, embarrassed for having an incompetent defense system and grieving over the loss of their terrorists, clearly in a perplexed state, took a drastic step; they initiated military action against India. Pakistan’s economy is in ruins and only a country as ignorant as our dear neighbour would think of initiating war against a country with a much stronger economy and defence coupled by international backing.
Unfortunately for the dear neighbour, things didn’t go as planned. They wanted to attack the Brigade Headquarters in Nawshera sector. They were warded off by the IAF, quite predictably, considering Pakistan attacked in broad daylight that to against a country like India with a very strong defence system in place. Subsequent to this, things unexpectedly took a turn for India and one of the IAF commanders, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman ended up on the wrong side of the border and was captured by the Pakistani military as a prisoner of war.
Taking the only route they could for saving themselves, Pakistan decided to release Abhinandan Varthaman and has been publicising on how peace loving and upright they are to want to negotiate and open talks with India. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan reportedly tried to contact PM Modi thrice to initiate talks and discuss the release of Abhinandan from their captivity, in an attempt to show the world that he is an equitable Prime Minister. But PM Modi isn’t having any of that. He did not respond to Imran Khan for he knew that the Prime Minister has no choice but to release Abhinandan. PM Modi is not willing to indulge in peace talks with a country that initiated an act of war against India and is trying to gain righteousness for returning what they shouldn’t have taken in the first place.
During a joint Parliament session, the Pakistani Premier announced that Pakistan will release the captured Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan, “as a peace gesture” to India. During his speech in the Parliament, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that Pakistan desires peace and stability in the region as it was essential for the government’s efforts to pull the people out of poverty and attract investment. He also revealed that he tried to reach out to Modi for the sake of peace in the region. This is all an effort to attract international acclaim as Pakistan literally had no choice to do anything apart from this.
The Geneva Convention is a series of treaties and protocols that establish the standards of international law for humanitarian treatment in war. India and Pakistan are both parties to the Geneva Convention. The Third Geneva Convention is relative to the treatment of prisoners of war. According to this convention, the prisoners of war are to be treated with respect and the neighbour cannot evade responsibility as is bound by the treaty. As per article 118 of the third Geneva Convention, a country cannot keep a prisoner of war if there are no active hostilities between the nations therefore Pakistan is bound to return him safely to India.
ART. 118 the third Geneva Convention — Prisoners of war shall be released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities. In the absence of stipulations to the above effect in any agreement concluded between the Parties to the conflict with a view to the cessation of hostilities, or failing any such agreement, each of the Detaining Powers shall itself establish and execute without delay a plan of repatriation in conformity with the principle laid down in the foregoing paragraph. In either case, the measures adopted shall be brought to the knowledge of the prisoners of war. The costs of repatriation of prisoners of war shall in all cases be equitably apportioned between the Detaining Power and the Power on which the prisoners depend. This apportionment shall be carried out on the following basis: a) If the two Powers are contiguous, the Power on which the prisoners of war depend shall bear the costs of repatriation from the frontiers of the Detaining Power. b) If the two Powers are not contiguous, the Detaining Power shall bear the costs of transport of prisoners of war over its own territory as far as its frontier or its port of embarkation nearest to the territory of the Power on which the prisoners of war depend. The Parties concerned shall agree between themselves as to the equitable apportionment of the remaining costs of the repatriation. The conclusion of this agreement shall in no circumstances justify any delay in the repatriation of the prisoners of war.
So accordingly, since the countries in question are signatories to the Geneva Convention, the refusal to return the IAF officer would be considered as an act of war. In that case, India could have taken military action. Another noteworthy fact is that Pakistan is the same country which is begging for money from various countries all over the globe and it can’t afford war.
Moreover, International powers condemned the Pulwama attack, and then praised India’s actions against Jaish-e-Muhammad and then subsequently condemned the military actions by Pakistan. Thereby proving their undivided support for India which led to a lot of pressure on Pakistan. In such a situation, there was little room for Pakistan to move and with every hour of indecision they knew they were pushing their country in deeper conflict.
“Tension is not in the interest of both the countries,” Imran Khan said. “I tried to talk to Prime Minister Modi yesterday…” the PM added.
By this action of not succumbing to Pakistan PM’s self-centered desire, PM Modi effectively proved that he is not willing to de-escalate the situation and this “peace-gesture” by Imran Khan is being perceived exactly for what it is. It is nothing more than a façade to hide Pakistan’s ugly intentions and saving themselves from India’s wrath, all in all wanting to gain respect in the international sphere, thereby effectively protecting the terrorists harbouring in their country.