New Delhi: After a Kargil martyr's father requested the Supreme Court to direct the government to raise the issue of his son's killing at the International Court of Justice, the government on Tuesday said it has taken up the matter at the highest level and will do "whatever is possible" in the case.
Reacting to the petition filed by Lt Saurabh Kalia's father NK Kalia in the apex court, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, "Whatever is possible would be done but I do not want to give you a commitment now of any nature of what is possible or what is being done.
"This is a matter we have taken up at the highest level over the years and we have not yet been able to get adequate stands of the matter being addressed, that is absolutely true."
Capt Kalia of the 4 Jat Regiment and five other soldiers of his patrolling team were captured alive on May 15, 1999 and kept in captivity where they were tortured and their bodies mutilated.
Khurshid said the incident was "an extremely distressing event" and such violations were completely unacceptable even in times of war. He said the matter was with the Supreme Court and if the apex court requires, "I believe an adequate response would be given to the SC. The Ministry to do so I hope and I expect would be the Defence Ministry who are more closely related to the welfare of martyrs of armed forces."
He said whatever representation would have to be done at the international forum, "we will continue to do so". He said the country has very important wish list of things to do with Pakistan.
"We have not succeeded in many of them. And this is not a secret from anyone in this country. Our distress and concern have been expressed many a times by people at different levels and this truly again is a very important issue," Khurshid said.
Reacting to the reports, the Defence Ministry said it was going through its records and will take appropriate action in this regard.
NK Kalia has alleged that his son Capt Sourav Kalia was captured as a prisoner of war but was killed in a gruesome manner in violation of the Geneva Convention. The petition filed through his advocate has alleged that despite making several representations to the government no steps have been taken to raise the killing at the ICJ.
Kalia along with five soldiers - Sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh - of the regiment had gone for a routine patrol of the Bajrang Post in the Kaksar sector in Ladakh.
They were encircled and captured by Pakistani troops. Their mutilated bodies were handed over to the Indian side later.
Meanwhile, in response to a letter sent by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on the issue of Lt Saurabh Kalia, former External Affairs Minister SM Krishna had said the government had raised the matter with Pakistan and several international fora.
"It is indeed unfortunate that our efforts have not borne fruit. This, however, does not in any way imply that we have forgotten our brave sons or that we are giving up efforts to ensure that the guilty responsible for perpetrating such heinous acts are brought to justice," he had said.