It was quite jarring to see that as soon as the Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan was captured by Pakistan, Indian politicians, journalists, critics and even the common man started loudly proclaiming the Geneva Convention and demanding that Pakistan stick to it. Not only was it demanded that Pakistan return the pilot with 8 days, the more obscure and unenforceable clauses of not “showcasing” or “parading” captured soldiers were dug up to vilify Pakistan releasing a video of Abhinandan in captivity.

With such principled and vocal advocates of the Geneva Convention in India one would have hoped that these people would have held their own government to the same standards as they ask of others. Yet as the body of Shakirullah was brought over from India a day after Abhinandan was sent back, these loud voices were found to be hypocritical.

Shakirullah was arrested in 2003 after mistakenly crossing the border, and following the hysteria that gripped India following Pulwama, he was lynched by fellow inmates in India’s Jaipur Central Jail simply because he was a Pakistani. The contrast is unavoidable – Pakistan sent over a cared-for enemy combatant, India sent over a coffin containing a civilian.

No one in India bothered to ask their own government why it couldn’t be as humane.

Shakirullah is not the only victims of India’s terrible human rights record; its actions in Kashmir read like a list of the most gross violations that can be visited on a human being, and yet India seems conveniently blind to these issue. Last year, Farooq Dar, the Kashmiri man who was tied to a jeep by an Indian Army Major and used as a human shield asked “was I an animal that I was tied and exhibited?” The Indian Major in question, Major Gogoi won a commendation from the Indian Army Chief instead of receiving rebuke. Meanwhile t-shirts bearing the image of Dar tied to a jeep are still selling in India.

The Geneva Convention is a series of international diplomatic meetings that produced a number of agreements which govern the laws of warfare and humane treatment of civilians and POWs; Pakistan and India are both signatories. Yet India seems to forget all of these laws when it comes to their own actions.

Pakistan, while being showing that it treats people under its charge with dignity, must also strive to hold India’s feet to the fire regarding its human rights violations in India – this double standard must be exposed.