Generals should never step into political matters. They should examine the law AFSPA (Armed forces special powers) as it is ultra vires the Constitution. – Simranjit Singh Mānn
The Indian Express Dated 16th January, 2021
Comments by Simranjit Singh Mann: Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) states that our Party is of the opinion that we do not think that army Commanders, Lt. General Y K Joshi should delve into political matters like the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A of the Constitution, as this matter is sub- judice before the Supreme Court. Moreover, the people of Kashmir are against this abrogation.
But Army Commander of the North Command should tell us whether the law AFSPA (Armed forces special powers) is Constitutional or not as this contravenes article 21 of the Constitution, whereby the Constitution states that – no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
General Joshi must be aware that under the law – AFSPA the security forces can kill, maim, torture, molest, rape, kidnap, abduct and detain a Kashmiri indefinitely, all with impunity.
Military officers must be aware of the principles laid down by the Nuremburg Trials after the conclusion of World War II, which states that armed forces cannot violate the Human Rights, which are God given and sacrosanct, that they cannot make the excuse that they were (the violators) following orders of their superiors. In fact we would expect General Joshi to issue instructions based on the Nuremburg Trials to all officers and soldiers under his Command.
The armed forces must know that before British troops were ordered by Premier Blair into Iraq, his top military Commander asked his Premier that the forces would go to Iraq but before that he must assure the Commander that they would not face charges of committing war crimes. If this question was important for the British Commander then it logically follows that the principle of not violating Human Rights must be regarded as essential for the armed forces in Kashmir.
We do hope the armed forces will tread cautiously in any civilian sector they are deployed in, as the safe guard of Human Rights is an important factor where the military is deployed.
In this context of the Chief of Northern Command Lt. General Joshi must tell us why Communist China’s PLA infiltrated into Ladakh in April – May 2020 and what his Command is doing to push back the PLA. It is easy to fight one’s own people but difficult to face Communist China’s PLA.
When I was a young officer, I played golf at the Chandigarh Golf Club. One day a very senior officer asked me how my perfection in the game was progressing. Very confidently I replied – my drive goes to almost three hundred yards. The senior officer then asked how about my pitching and putting. I replied I had to perfect these two strokes. The senior officer then shot back – you’d better perfect these because any ass can kick. That was a good lesson for me.
Facta non Verba.
Simranjit Singh Mānn,
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar),
facebook page: @sardarsimranjitsinghmann