How we’re beneficiaries of suspension of human rights

Source: LiveMint

Relevance: To understand the complexity of Human rights and national security.

Synopsis: Recent revelations in a book have revealed that State agencies do use the means like torture or violation of human rights to achieve the goal of national security.


The recent book ‘Spy Stories: Inside the secret world of the R.A.W. and the I.S.I.’ reveals how state agencies violate human rights for stealing information.

Why agencies resort to such means:
  • There is a common perception that the intelligence agency of democracy is run by humane patriots. But, the fact is that they perform many grey/dark operations to protect national security.
  • This is because they are protecting millions of lives from other people who are willing to inflict harm and damage to others.
  • For instance,
    • After 9/11, the US treated Pakistan with very little respect; The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the US wanted directly to access the ISI’s counter-terrorism wing. In 2003, the CIA instructed Pakistan’s officials to assist in raiding a house in Rawalpindi but refused to give any further details. They captured the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Soon after his capture, he was taken to secret CIA prisons in Afghanistan and Poland. There he was brutalized in various ways.
    • Even Research and Analysis Wing also carry out various operations to make Pakistan look untrustworthy in the eyes of the world. The authors of the book hint that there might be some substance to theories that Indian agents had a connection to the 13 December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.
Way forward

The boundaries of human rights become thinner in matters of national security. We need mechanisms to balance these two interests, which at times may be in conflict with each other.

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