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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Three Columns of Interest on 11/7 Terror Bombing

I have seen three columns that I thought were interesting - there are, of course, plenty more that have nothing new to offer to explain or understand the current situation in better light. Some excerpts from the three.

First is The Hindu's Praveen Swami. Based on his previous articles on spectre of terror cells and the complex interactions between them and with their bosses in Pakistan, he creates narrative speculating who may have created this cranage.

""THE HINDU," wrote the Lashkar-e-Taiba's founder and spiritual guide Hafiz Mohammed Saeed in 1999, "is a mean enemy and the proper way to deal with him is the one adopted by our forefathers, who crushed them by force."

...In December, the Intelligence Bureau and the Mumbai Police arrested National Conference-affiliated municipal councillor Arshad Badroo along with two other Jammu and Kashmir residents — the key figures, it turned out, in a Lashkar bombing operation targeting the city.

Last month, evidence emerged that the Lashkar continued to seek the resources needed for a major strike. Acting on information provided by the Intelligence Bureau, the Maharashtra Police arrested 11 members of a Lashkar cell that had shipped in an incredible 43 kilograms of explosives, along with assault rifles and grenades. Several had links to SIMI — just like Raza and Sheikh. Soon after, three Lashkar operatives were killed while attempting to storm the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's office in Nagpur.

Another Dawood Ibrahim lieutenant, Fahim Machmach, helped a separate group of terror recruits transit through Bangkok, including two Bangalore residents who identified themselves using the code-names `Iqbal' and `Sohail.'..."
Link (Bold mine)

Second is Indian Express columnist Shishir Gupta. He expresses dismay at UPA, especially Manmohan and Shivraj Patil's, lax attitude towards internal security and intellegency gathering.

"But the Intelligence establishment under the UPA is in denial. The comfortable theory about terrorism is that it is imported into this country. And that is still true. But the UPA, it seems, simply can’t accept that jihad now has a domestic manufacturing facility. Shivraj Patil wants us to think of boys gone astray...

... The PM has allowed his national security adviser, M.K. Narayanan, the home minister, Shivraj Patil, to put the party first in engaging ULFA and the Naxalites. The Naxalite strategy badly backfired. But even after that the government halted the army’s anti-ULFA operations in the Dibrugarh-Saikhowa forests earlier this year.

Management of internal security has suffered after the rule of two-year fixed tenures was instituted for home and defence secretaries, R&AW and IB chiefs. Here merit was not the criterion. Comfort levels with the Congress were the yardstick. While the R&AW fumbled from spy to spy (Rabinder Singh to Ujjawal Dasgupta), the IB lost key people in its Kashmir, anti-Naxalite and Operations wings due to office politics.

...The counter-insurgent Salwa Judum movement in Naxalite-infested areas of Chhattisgarh occupied as much time and attention as Kashmir violence. The Left criticised the BJP taking over a movement started by a Congress MLA."

And finally Rediff's Saisuresh Sivaswamy compares American reaction after terror attacks on its soil verses Bharatiya reaction after terror attacks on its soil - both after 1993 Mumbai's Bombay Stock Exchange and current Mumbai attacks.

"I cannot but notice that the United States of America, which then declared its biggest offensive since Pearl Harbour and which action brought it tonnes and tonnes of international criticism -- not to mention unveiled threats of attack from Osama bin Laden, abduction of US nationals and their murder -- has not faced any terrorist attack since 9/11.

...With these words America went to war.

I had waited in 1993 for the majesty of the Indian State to similarly display itself, as I waited many more times for it to happen. I waited for it last night as well, and finally I saw the display.

On the streets of Mahim, close to where we work, the majesty of the Indian State was on full display as Congress president Sonia Gandhi accompanied by Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Railway Minister Lalu Yadav drove past, en route to the blast site. My colleague counted 38+ cars in the motorcade that swept past, as other traffic on the road was kept frozen in place by the security phalanx. It was truly an impressive sight -– only, I couldn't help thinking, it was put on for someone who doesn't hold an office of authority. While the man who does, simply reviewed the security situation in the face of the Srinagar and Mumbai blasts, and directed that New Delhi's security be beefed up.

This was the majesty of the Indian State on display yesterday. I could have wept.

When somebody directs terror at you, nation-States are expected to hit back with maximum force, carry the fight into the enemy camp. It is not enough to possess unrelenting, unremitting muscle power -- it also becomes necessary, once in a while, to display that power. And not merely through caparisoned missiles parading down Janpath once a year, but by responding forcefully to challenges to the State's very existence.

All your nuclear weapons, your missiles, your tanks, come to nought when you don't have the steel in your soul to defend yourself and your subjects -- at any cost.

And finally, a supreme court lawyer says this in his article in Indian Express on July 12, 2006, under the title A nation of wimps

" A distinguished analyst of South Asian affairs once told the Pakistani government that “India does not react to the loss of people. They have just too many. India only reacts to the loss of territory”."

True indeed. Both the statement and the title of the article.


Atanu said...

That statement about India not caring about the loss of people is true even in non-terrorism context.