West’s glaring double standards on terrorism First Post 16 Feb 2024 Maj Gen Harsha Kakar



West’s glaring double standards on terrorism First Post 16 Feb 2024

          The latest example of nations adopting double standards emerged post a drone strike launched by the Islamic Resistance, a pro-Iran group based in Iraq, on a US base in Jordan, killing three US service personnel and wounding forty more. In retaliation, US air force struck multiple targets in Iraq killing at least 16 civilians and wounding dozens more. The Iraqi government spokesperson responded by accusing the US of ‘violating international law and lying about the circumstances surrounding its retaliatory strikes.’

Subsequently another US drone strike killed the commander of the Iraqi militia group Kataib Hezbollah, who was an Iranian, on Iraqi soil. Similar strikes also took place in Syria. Both Iraq and Syria objected to the US unilaterally conducting air strikes on their soil. In the UN Security Council, Russia and China accused the US of violating the territorial integrity of these nations. They also accused the US of escalating the ongoing conflicts. But the US was least concerned. This is not the first time that the US has conducted strikes in Iraq.  

          Iraq is not an enemy of the US but an ally whose armed forces are being trained by them. Since when is unilaterally launching air strikes and killing scores of civilians as a counter to three soldier deaths by a militant group legally justified, especially when the nation in which they is launched is an ally. The US ignored the criticism of Iraq and did not even bother to respond or address its concerns, treating it as a non-entity, solely because Baghdad lacks military power.

At the same time, it continues to demand that India investigate who is behind the attempted assassination of a known anti-India terrorist, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Why double standards?

In the west, even joking of hijacking an aircraft or being a member of the Taliban is considered a crime. People are arrested and face jail terms. However, Pannun, who threatened to hijack Indian airlines flights is permitted to do so without even a whimper from the US and Canadian governments. If this is not adopting double standards, wonder what would be.

          Canada accused India of interfering in their elections. A declassified Canadian government document stated, ‘India engages in foreign interference activities.’ On the accusation the Indian spokesperson mentioned, ‘We strongly reject such baseless allegations of Indian interference in Canadian elections, it is not govt of India’s policy to interfere in the democratic process of other countries, in fact, quite on the reverse it is Canada, which has been interfering in our internal affairs.’

          Earlier Justin Trudeau had claimed that India was behind the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a declared terrorist by India. India refuted the accusation and sought evidence, which New Delhi claims has yet to be received. On the subject of interference, during the height of the farmers agitation in 2020-21, Trudeau had mentioned, ‘The situation (farmers protest) is concerning and we’re all very worried. Let me remind you, Canada will always be there to defend the rights of peaceful protest.’

          When Amritpal Singh, the radical Sikh preacher was arrested in March last year, Canada’s foreign minister, Melanie Joly stated, ‘We are aware of the evolving situation in Punjab, and we are following it very closely. We look forward to a return to a more stable situation.’ Justin Trudeau stated, ‘We are looking forward to a swift return to a more stable situation.’

On Canada’s truckers’ agitation over which Ottawa applied illegal laws, India’s only comments were, ‘We have noted that the government of Canada has actually invoked the Emergency Act. Let us leave it at that on that issue.’ When comments from leaders of both states are compared, it is evidently Ottawa which is commenting on India’s internal affairs, rather than New Delhi, though it accuses India of interference in its internal affairs.

Globally, India was criticized over its handling of the farmers’ strike, which remained largely peaceful, while Ottawa was backed and supported when it applied emergency laws to forcibly quell the truckers’ agitation. Why double standards?

Post Tucker Carlson’s recent interview of Vladimir Putin, the European Union began considering imposing sanctions on him. A member of the European Parliament mentioned, ‘As Putin is a war criminal and the EU sanctions all who assist him in that effort, it seems logical that the External Action Service examine his case as well.’ The sanction would prevent Carlson from entering the European Union.

Simultaneously, European nations have adversely commented on freedom of press in India. Post the detention of Mohammed Zubair in Aug 2022, the German foreign ministry mentioned, ‘Free reporting is beneficial to any society and restrictions are a cause for concern.’

After raids on the BBC offices for tax evasion, India came in for western criticism on grounds of curbing press freedom. Not a word was mentioned when the BBC acknowledged in Jun last year that it has been paying lower taxes in India. Another example of double standards.

Globally, India is ranked 161 in the press freedom index while European nations, seeking to impose sanctions on Tucker Carlson just for an interview are considered far more liberal. Simultaneously, those who interview Zelensky are praised. What a paradox.

When a Surat court sentenced Rahul Gandhi to two years in a defamation case in Jul last year, leading to his suspension from the Lok Sabha, there were negative comments from the west. The US state department spokesperson mentioned, ‘We are watching Mr Gandhi’s case in Indian courts and we engage with the Government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values, including freedom of expression.’

The German foreign office spokesperson stated, ‘fundamental democratic principles’ should apply in the case of the Congress leader’s disqualification.’ When the Supreme Court suspended his conviction, there was silence.

Surprisingly, when Trump was disqualified from the Maine and Colorado primaries, compelling him to approach the Supreme Court for justice, there were no comments from any nation, though everyone knew that this was an outright subversion of democracy. The silence was solely because a western nation was involved.

Dr S Jaishankar defined western hypocrisy excellently. He mentioned, ‘It is because the West has a bad habit of commenting on others. The West thinks it has a God-given right to comment on internal matters of other countries.’ It is time that critics of India look at themselves in front of a mirror prior to issuing negative statements about New Delhi. There is also no doubt that as Indian elections draw close the anti-India lobby would rally together, criticizing every action of the government with the intent to push for a regime change in New Delhi.     


2 thoughts on “West’s glaring double standards on terrorism First Post 16 Feb 2024 Maj Gen Harsha Kakar

  • February 24, 2024 at 10:58 pm

    hello sir , your piece is so enriched with international issues …
    great respect for you
    thankyou for your effort to make us aware about the international issue

    • February 25, 2024 at 3:49 pm

      Thank you

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