to indicate how disgustingly animal like the Pakistani Army is.
Ray, having fought the packees in two wars (or more?) do you really believe what you wrote or are you saying that to placate the people over here?
I believe in professional circles I do have a reputation of speaking my mind without fear of the consequences. Therefore, if I did not believe in what I write, I would not have written.
That said, I will amplify the issue.
Pakistanis are not reputed to be the type to extend courtesies to the prisoners and are also reputed to be animal like. Since I have not been their prisoner, I cannot say it with the authority of having had the experience. It is hearsay as far as I am concerned, though I have seen their 'handiwork' and heard from those who were afflicted with the misfortune of being their prisoners. I have no reason to disbelieve them since they are persons not prone to falsification.
In so far as being brutal, it is a matter of psychology and societal upbringing. Certain races and tribes are brutal in their psychology. Certain people imbibe brutality by being brainwashed to hate - like the irrational Pakistani hatred for India, Hindus and to a lesser extent, other minorities. Sikhs, however, they hate the most since historically they have been 'taught' many a lesson when they messed with the Sikhs.
Armchair critics rightfully opine from the comfort of their homes of going hell for leather and massacring every single Pakistani soldier on can lay his eyes on. Indeed, it is a 'noble' thought and very 'patriotic'. I appreciate this psychology; though I beg to be left out of such barbarism for many a good reason which I will explain.
I am not holding a brief for Jesus Christ's or Gandhi's philosophy to extending the other cheek. But then, I also do not subscribe to becoming a guttersnipe or a developing a slum dweller attitude or even becoming a madrassa trained maniac who has sold his heart and soul to the Devil, hatred and warped religious justifications or becoming a mere barbarian. I have, will, and shall continue to remain the Master of my Fate and Captain of my Soul.
Those who have not seen bloodshed, the uncertainty of life and death in war, the pains and agony of combat, can without impunity hector, criticise and advise. Those who have been through the gory realities are more philosophical in their workings and more humane, since to use a cliche - been there, done that! To be truthful, the more one sees the devastation of battle and more one sees senseless deaths, the more one becomes a better human being without, of course, becoming a pacifist.
There is no doubt that when one sees or hears of the atrocities by the enemy, the blood boils. But then, one must not lose one's head when others are losing theirs. There are different ways to solve the issue, like let us say, girding up the loins a wee bit stronger and with more resolve to take the next hill and throw the scourge off our land. If one brutally does tit for tat, the anger will wane and will be unproductive. It is better to focus this anger in getting the job with resolve and more importantly, with brains so that while our casualties are lower, the enemy's is more! It is better to have the enemy surrender than butchering the lot. It is better because those who are captured and then returned in droves demoralises not only their Army but also their population. The Pakistanis cannot live down the 93,000 PsW. Had they been butchered, who would know how many were so done to death? It would not have the propaganda value that 93,000 live men marched back to their country with full publicity of the maganimity of the victor! Think that over.
I sincerely believe that if one behave like a human being with their prisoners (and that does not mean mollycoddling), it will help them to surrender faster than if they were treated brutally. Ask the Indian PsW of 1962.
Just some food for thought and I am not in any way criticising those who perfer barbaric ways to deal with the enemy. Who knows, they maybe right and I am wrong.
But come what may, my upbringing in my family, school, the Army, the Regiment makes the idea appear a wee bit revolting for me to practice. My men too share my thoughts.