Nations, who shelter elements inimical to our national interests, need to be handled prudently and strongly. The debate about the moral way or otherwise are all subject to interpretation- as the famous German philosopher and thinker, Friedrich Nietzsche in his book ‘Beyond Good And Evil’ wrote “There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena,” writes former IAS officer V.S.Pandey
Every nation is bound by the Geneva convention to honor the sovereignty and integrity of other nations. It is iterated only by those nations who are generally found on the other side of the fence. The recent happenings in Canada, USA and frequent subversive militant activities of Pakistan raise a very crucial question- what kind of action can be undertaken by any nation whose integrity and sovereignty is attacked by people having acquired foreign citizenship or living abroad but who are indulging in blatant criminal activities as per the law of the victimized nation.
The culprits involved in the incident of the 1984 Air India plane bombing, the 1993 and 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Indian Airline plane hijack of 1999, the brazen attack on our parliament building and several such other innumerable happenings- are hiding in various countries. Some are openly living in Pakistan and other countries but efforts to bring them to book have failed- despite a plethora of evidence on record. Extradition efforts to bring them back to face the law have also not succeeded. These elements have caused immense damage to our national security and interests but the nations providing them safe havens overlook their mis- endeavors and allow them to carry on their nefarious activities unabated despite multiple requests by India to check them. In this situation what should any nation like India do or not do is the question.
We live in a world where might is right is the mantra being followed- as far as international relations are concerned. In the name of protecting its citizens, the USA waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq not so recently. Russia is at war with Ukraine to protect its sovereignty and for ensuring the security of its people. Recently when Israel was attacked by Hamas, it retaliated immediately and declared a full-scale war in which more than 20000 people have lost their lives so far. Where is the lip servicing of the Geneva convention now? Where are the UN agencies to protect the vulnerable civilians? Where is the sovereignty of those countries which have been trampled ruthlessly by the mighty superpowers? Ultimately history has only one lesson- victor has defended his sovereignity, the loser has none.
With a clear understanding of the milieu in which we live, nations have to decide their course of action based on the assessment of their strengths and weaknesses and the preparedness to suffer the consequences of their actions if things do not workout as anticipated. In our world, morality has no place and none of the nations on this planet can claim to be holier than thou. Every nation’s leaders are mired in petty political games and in the name of serving public interest they are serving themselves only.
History still admires and espouses dark Machiaevelian tactics and does not encourage plain speaking and honest dealings between nations and states. However the most potent weapon in our arsenal still remains – plain speaking and honest dealing. The current accusations by countries like Canada, US etc. regarding killing of certain anti national individuals on their soil should be dealt with firmly. Clearly if any nation fails to confront the threats to its sovereignty then, as is the history of our planet, it will perish sooner than later. There is no other option but to take the problem head on.
Nations who shelter elements inimical to our national interests need to be handled prudently and strongly. The debate about the moral way or otherwise are all subject to interpretation- as the famous German philosopher and thinker , Friedrich Nietzsche in his book ‘Beyond Good And Evil’ wrote “There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena.”
The way forward is to evaluate our strengths and the consequences of the actions proposed to tackle the rogue elements threatening our security and sovereignty. Stern action to convey the message clearly that militancy will not be tolerated any more has to be undertaken. Simultaneously all out efforts are needed to become an economically and socially strong nation devoid of poverty, illiteracy, injustice, and rampant discrimination. For this to happen the political class have to clean up their act, stop using divisive agendas of all kinds and shun use of black money in politics. Here also history has a lesson to offer- only just, tolerant, compassionate regimes could succeed in the long run. Short sighted and selfish policies only lead to doom . Ultimately any nation’s strength lies within itself. Military strength is the natural corollary . It we aspire for our rightful place among the comity of nations, we have to clean up our acts on many fronts. Problems are known, solutions are also known, but the will to act has been missing for decades. We have to walk the talk to become “viswa guru” now.
(Vijay Shankar Pandey is former Secretary Government of India)