India’s state terrorism imperils int’l legal order
to be Indian citizen, claimed that he was a commander in the Indian Navy, and it has sought consular access to Yadav. During investigation, RAW agent Yadav confessed that during his stay, he contacted various Baloch separatist leaders and insurgents, including Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, to execute the task to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC).Pakistani Government and ISI have accused the Indian consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad, Afghanistan, for providing arms, training and financial aid to the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in an attempt to ‘destabilise Pakistan’.
Espionage is curiously ill-defined under international law, even though all developed nations, as well as many lesser-developed ones, conduct spying and eavesdropping operations against their neighbours.’ Examined in light of the realist approach to international relations, states spy on one another according to their relative power positions in order to achieve self-interested goals. This theoretical approach, however, not only fails to explain international tolerance for espionage, but also inadequately captures the cooperative benefits that accrue to all international states as a result of espionage. Although no international agreement affirmatively endorses espionage, states do not reject it as a’ violation’ of international law.’
As a result of its historical acceptance, espionage’s legal validity may be grounded in the recognition that “custom” serves as an authoritative source of international law. Espionage is a crime under the ‘legal code’ of many nations. According to Article 29 of customary International Humanitarian Law, “A person can only be considered a spy when, acting clandestinely or on false pretences, he obtains or endeavours to obtain information in the zone of operations of a belligerent with the intention of communicating it to the hostile party.”
Article 30 of the same law states, “A spy taken in the act shall not be punished without previous trial.” India and Pakistan have been trying spies in military courts. Sovereignty is a core precept of public international law, guarding a state’s essentially exclusive jurisdiction over its own territory. A concomitant principle is that “[e]very State has the duty to refrain from intervention in the internal or external affairs of any other State” and “the duty to refrain from fomenting civil strife in the territory of another State, and to prevent the organization within its territory of activities calculated to foment such civil strife.”
The principle of non-interference in sovereign affairs is recognized most famously in the U.N. Charter itself, which provides in Article 2(4) that “[a]ll Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The principle is, however, broader than this preoccupation with use of force suggests.
The exercise of what is known as ‘enforcement jurisdiction’ by one state and its agents in the territory of another is clearly a ‘breach’ of international law. In 2011, the Guardian published an article which mentioned that India is a ‘safe haven’ for many Hindutva (a Raw’s subsidiary) extremists and that the Indian Government has turned a blind eye to many Saffron terror groups that operate within its territory.WrightNeville, an Australian academic writes that outside Pakistan, some Western observers also believe that India secretly funds the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). In August 2013 US Special Representative James Dobbins said Pakistan’s fears over India’s role in Afghanistan were “not groundless”. Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa confirmed the presence of an active espionage of RAW within Pakistan. He elaborated, “Yadav’s mission included conducting of operations in Karachi and Balochistan…to target the Gawadar Port and the CPEC project…the apprehended spy is aware of the funding made regarding the attack carried out on the Mehran Base and that Yadav also tried to form a ‘Tiger force’ in Karachi which aimed towards spreading sectarianism in the city,” adding that “the spy was directly connected with RAW and the Indian authorities.”
While Pakistani security agencies have prepared a strong case to expose ‘collaborated Raw’s terrorist mission’ Pakistan, the Indian propaganda machinery is frustratingly asking for consular access of Yadav. Pakistani government has justifiably regretted the Indian demand. Islamabad’s notion of referring this case to the ‘UN’, is absolutely a rightful ‘legal recourse’. Since the case in point, seems virtually fit to warrant Pakistani concerns regarding India’s state-sponsored terrorism, the international community has to play its ‘ascribed role’ under the UN General Assembly’s resolution 49/60 of Dec 09 1994 and its annex on the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism. — The writer is an independent ‘IR’ researcher based in Karachi.