Enraged India Amassing Tanks, 14,000 Bunkers Along Pakistan Border
17 February, 2019
The potential for major war to break out along the India-Pakistan border continues to build after Pakistan said it
i fighter jets over the disputed border region of Kashmir. India confirmed only one downed aircraft, and its foreign ministry also said a Pakistani jet was hit in retaliation, going down on the Pakistani side of the border, but what is known for sure is that an Indian pilot is currently in Pakistani military custody after his plane was struck.
Amidst international calls for calm led by both the US and China, the fate of the captured Indian Air Force pilot could be key to whether tensions escalate to full-blown war, or return to an uneasy status quo.
But it doesn't look good: throughout the early evening on Wednesday there are increasing reports of tanks and heavy artillery being amassed along the border on both sides, specifically near the Pakistani border town of Sialkot, where video appears to confirm major Pakistani Army deployments.
Though Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan in a televised address to the nation called for immediate peace talks between the bitter enemies, saying that “better sense should prevail,” Indian leaders and the public were enraged when Pakistan released a video of the detained Indian pilot, filmed identifying himself as Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
When an interrogator asked for more information beyond basic identifying questions, the pilot replied, “I am sorry, sir, that’s all I’m supposed to tell you.” Pakistan's information ministry had also shared footage showing the pilot blindfolded and with blood on his face.
This particular footage appears to have been taken just after he was apprehended by the army, and just after being beaten by local Kashmiris when his parachute deployed and he landed on the Pakistani-administered side.
India immediately condemned the video parading the pilot on a public broadcast as a "vulgar display of an injured personnel"which "violates all norms of international humanitarian law."
Still frames from footage released by Pakistan in the aftermath of the shoot down.
India has demanded the immediate release of the pilot amidst the continuing blame game and escalating war of words that seems quickly giving way to real war, following reports of sporadic troop clashes on the border.
A number of western legal pundits were quick to point out that Pakistan indeed likely violated the Geneva Conventions by tweeting video of captured Indian pilot, which forbids publicizing images of prisoners for “insults and public curiosity.” The information ministry quickly deleted the tweet, which included a moment in which the prisoner requested water.
Video released by Pakistan's military and information ministry that appears to have violated the Geneva Conventions.
Saved from furious Pakistani mob, captured Indian pilot AbhinandanVarthaman becomes bloodied face of Kashmir crisis
The captured pilot is seen being punched and kicked by an apparent Pakistani mob in widely shared video
Pakistan’s military later released a video of the pilot sipping tea and thanking them for behaving like ‘thorough gentlemen’