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Press Release on Pakistan's violation of Geneva Conventions

June 15, 1999
New Delhi

The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs today. The following was conveyed to him.

"Members of the Pakistan armed forces and armed personnel under Pakistani control have committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 in the course of the military operations currently underway on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC). These included the torture, inhuman treatment, and willful killing of the Indian Air Force pilot at (i) below whose plane was shot down on 27th May, 1999 and the six officials of the Indian Army at (ii) to (vii) below who were captured while patrolling on the Indian side of the LoC on 14th May, 1999 and whose bodies were handed over by the Pakistan Army authorities on 9th June, 1999.

    (i) Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja
    (ii) Lieutenant S. Kalia
    (iii) Sepoy Mula Ram
    (iv) Sepoy Banwari Lal
    (v) Sepoy Bheela Ram
    (vi) Sepoy Arjun Ram Baswana
    (vii) Sepoy Naresh Singh

The captured members of the Indian armed forces were entitled to the full protection of the Geneva Conventions. Both India and Pakistan are Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions.

In respect of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, the parties to the Convention are required to take effective penal sanctions against persons committing, or ordering to have them committed. Grave breaches include: willful killing, torture, inhuman treatment, causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, to which the captured members of the Indian armed forces were subjected. Each Contracting Party is also under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to have committed such grave breaches, and to bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before their courts for prosecution. No high contracting party is allowed to absolve itself of any liability in respect of such grave breaches of the Convention.

The Government of India demands that the persons responsible for grave breach of the Geneva Conventions by torture, inhuman treatment and willful killing of the captured members of the Indian armed force personnel are identified and brought to justice without delay. It is further requested that a full account of the date, place and circumstance of capture, period of detention and particulars concerning the wounds and cause of death are communicated to the Government of India immediately."