Month: February 2019

Why Pakistan couldn’t make Abhinandan a bargaining chip?

Abhinandan Varthman

When the video showing Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthman being paraded by Pakistani security personnel and civilians (with his face covered with blood) must have made a billion Indian hearts cry when it went viral in social media sites on Wednesday. For many, the memory of Captain Saurabh Kalia who was martyred in Pakistani prison was still green.

But come Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announces that Abhinandan is to be released on Friday. (He touted it as a peace gesture.) The move must have surprised many who had felt that the pilot would be used as a bargaining chip.

But analysts say that Imran Khan is making virtue out of a necessity. Pakistan had no option but release him at the earliest. Here are the points they offer in support of their argument:

  • Pakistan was under tremendous global pressure to do something to deescalate the situation
  • Abhinandan was captured at the time he was part of the squad that was pushing back a Pakistani aggression, with their F16 fighter jets intruding into air space to attack Indian military installations.  They even reportedly deployed laser guided missile(s) which narrowly missed their target.
  • Abhinandan was showcased as prized asset on Pakistani television screens, making the whole world take a note. Countries like the US and Germany called for his immediate release.
  • Hence, Pakistan boxed itself into a corner and had little elbow room to make the pilot as a bargaining chip.



Blacklisting Masood Azhar means…

Masood Azhar
Masood Azhar

The United States, France and the United Kingdom have proposed to the UN Security Council to blacklist Masood Azhar, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammad that had unleashed a  dastardly terror attack in Pulwama on February 14.

If the proposal goes through without China blocking it, Masood Azhar will be disgnated as a global terrorist and face these five restrictions:

  • All UN member nations would freeze funds, financial assets and resources belonging to him and his terror outfit Jaish.
  • No one in these countries would be allowed to financially help him or his group.
  • These nations would not allow him enter their countries, or allow transit through their territories.
  • Member countries would need to prevent direct or indirect supply of any kind of weaponry or technical services to him or his group.

Incidentally, Pakistan, which has provided him a safe haven to establish and operate his terror networks, is also a UN member country.