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Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal
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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad
29 Nov 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com
Massacre in Mumbai: L-e-T role clear. Should Muslims continue to be in denial?
COMMENTS
ZIYA RIZVI

Isn’t it too premature and too early to label any terrorist outfit as the brain behind the ghastlty terror attacks on Mumbai?  The question of self denials or self acceptance does not arise at the moment; the nation is too shocked.  Muslims are no different; they too are horrified at what happened in Mumbai, the financial capital of their country.  Like other citizens, Muslim too knows that the bullet shot from the terrorist does not distinguish people by the religion.  The possibility of Let terrorist involved in the attack cannot be denied and so does the theories propagated by others as mentioned on your post.  The killing of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and other celebrated cops would raise the question.  As such a thorough probe into the gory act is the need of the hour if at all we have to preempt the attack in future. 

I am quoting excerpts from Rafia Zakaria article, the relevant portion.  There are other points which one may not agree

 

While responsibility for the attacks has yet to be pinned on a definitive group, rumours and speculation abound: some are blaming a local offshoot of the Indian Mujahideen known as the “Deccan Mujahedeen”, others are choosing to focus on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e Taiba.

However, the strategic dimensions of the conflict represent one plane of analysis of the macabre saga; another is the incredible burden yet another high profile terrorist attack places on the world’s two billion Muslims. Muslim minorities in various countries, already castigated through negative stereotypes and maligned as innately violent, will now have an even heavier burden of prejudices to counter. Once again, the world has been stunned by “Islamic” terrorists, whose ruthlessness and inhumanity have garnered global attention and focused the spotlight once again on a hijacked religion.

As the tragic saga in Mumbai continues, and the choral chants of “Islamic terror” emanate from a world media wedded to the inveterate clash of civilisations framework, few will pause to consider the fact that in neighbouring
Pakistan, a Muslim country, nearly 500 Muslims have lost their lives to suicide bombings just this year.

In the words of Salman Masood, who has covered many of these bombings for the New York Times, “perhaps Indians will understand how the ordinary Pakistani feels — helpless, besieged and pessimistic about the future”.

In essence, as with the nineteen who bombed the World Trade Centre seven years ago, the twenty-five terrorists who have perpetrated this mayhem in Mumbai have managed once again to take the world’s two billion Muslims hostage. Few around the world will pause to consider that the ordinary Muslim is as helpless before the nefarious agendas of terror as the ordinary Christian, Jew or Hindu. However earnest the efforts of Muslims condemning terrorism, however persistent these denunciations, they are unlikely to garner attention from an angry world that refuses to see terror as a agenda against humanity rather than a campaign lodged by the world’s Muslims against all those who oppose them.

The challenge before the world is immense. Great terror engenders great fear and fear is a blinding force. Will this latest terror attack allow India and the world to go beyond appearances and recognise that the war is not between Muslims and non-Muslims but against a committed and utterly ruthless minority that hates and destroys Muslims, Jews, Christians and Hindus with impunity?

Or will the world, reeling under the unprecedented weight of the cruelty of terrorism, once again pin blame on all of the world’s two billion Muslims?

The world stands with the Indian nation today, as it did with
America in the days after 9/11. Will India use this international solidarity to build the kind of broad consensus against terrorism that America failed to do? It needs to transcend the rapacious need for revenge and respond instead with the circumspection of a world leader that sees the urgent need to redefine the war on terror in a way that unites instead of maligns.

ZIYA RIZVI

Isn’t it too premature and too early to label any terrorist outfit as the brain behind the ghastlty terror attacks on Mumbai?  The question of self denials or self acceptance does not arise at the moment; the nation is too shocked.  Muslims are no different; they too are horrified at what happened in Mumbai, the financial capital of their country.  Like other citizens, Muslim too knows that the bullet shot from the terrorist does not distinguish people by the religion.  The possibility of Let terrorist involved in the attack cannot be denied and so does the theories propagated by others as mentioned on your post.  The killing of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and other celebrated cops would raise the question.  As such a thorough probe into the gory act is the need of the hour if at all we have to preempt the attack in future. 

I am quoting excerpts from Rafia Zakaria article, the relevant portion.  There are other points which one may not agree

 

While responsibility for the attacks has yet to be pinned on a definitive group, rumours and speculation abound: some are blaming a local offshoot of the Indian Mujahideen known as the “Deccan Mujahedeen”, others are choosing to focus on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e Taiba.

However, the strategic dimensions of the conflict represent one plane of analysis of the macabre saga; another is the incredible burden yet another high profile terrorist attack places on the world’s two billion Muslims. Muslim minorities in various countries, already castigated through negative stereotypes and maligned as innately violent, will now have an even heavier burden of prejudices to counter. Once again, the world has been stunned by “Islamic” terrorists, whose ruthlessness and inhumanity have garnered global attention and focused the spotlight once again on a hijacked religion.

As the tragic saga in Mumbai continues, and the choral chants of “Islamic terror” emanate from a world media wedded to the inveterate clash of civilisations framework, few will pause to consider the fact that in neighbouring
Pakistan, a Muslim country, nearly 500 Muslims have lost their lives to suicide bombings just this year.

In the words of Salman Masood, who has covered many of these bombings for the New York Times, “perhaps Indians will understand how the ordinary Pakistani feels — helpless, besieged and pessimistic about the future”.

In essence, as with the nineteen who bombed the World Trade Centre seven years ago, the twenty-five terrorists who have perpetrated this mayhem in Mumbai have managed once again to take the world’s two billion Muslims hostage. Few around the world will pause to consider that the ordinary Muslim is as helpless before the nefarious agendas of terror as the ordinary Christian, Jew or Hindu. However earnest the efforts of Muslims condemning terrorism, however persistent these denunciations, they are unlikely to garner attention from an angry world that refuses to see terror as a agenda against humanity rather than a campaign lodged by the world’s Muslims against all those who oppose them.

The challenge before the world is immense. Great terror engenders great fear and fear is a blinding force. Will this latest terror attack allow India and the world to go beyond appearances and recognise that the war is not between Muslims and non-Muslims but against a committed and utterly ruthless minority that hates and destroys Muslims, Jews, Christians and Hindus with impunity?

Or will the world, reeling under the unprecedented weight of the cruelty of terrorism, once again pin blame on all of the world’s two billion Muslims?

The world stands with the Indian nation today, as it did with
America in the days after 9/11. Will India use this international solidarity to build the kind of broad consensus against terrorism that America failed to do? It needs to transcend the rapacious need for revenge and respond instead with the circumspection of a world leader that sees the urgent need to redefine the war on terror in a way that unites instead of maligns.

Aamir Mughal

The news is old but worth reading!

Bhagwat offers proof of Fernandes' LTTE links EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

Sunday, April 25, 1999


http://www.indianexpress.com/res/web/pIe/ie/daily/19990425/ige25053.html

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 24: Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, the sacked Chief of the Naval Staff, has offered to place before a Joint Parliamentary Committee evidence to substantiate Defence Minister George Fernandes' links with the LTTE and gun-running agencies. The Admiral's hour-long address on `Challenges before the National Security of Secularist India', organised by AKG Centre for Study and Research here on Saturday evening, was replete with sweeping allegations not only against certain Sangh Parivar leaders but also against the country's Intelligence agencies and the Army.

He said arms merchants and foreign Intelligence agencies were working in tandem in the country. There is none in power now who is not under obligation to foreign agencies. A political-bureaucratic-military nexus is building up in Delhi, posing grave threat to the country's security. Affirming that he was speaking `on facts', the Admiral said that Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has a `very special relationship' with Dawood Ibrahim. Itis significant that none of the properties belonging to Shiv Sena was destroyed during the Bombay riots, but only the Government properties were the target of attack.

He said the reports of Intelligence agencies were highly biased and one of the priorities of the new Government should be the `restructuring and remanning' of Intelligence agencies. Bhagwat said he had sufficient evidence suggesting that constabulary and officers have struck deals with anti-national elements. He charged that the Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) have been penetrated by foreign agencies. The RAW functioned as a silent partner to the United States and Pakistan during the Afghan war while publicly claiming to be pro-USSR. Claiming that narcotic trade and extremism had close links as seen in Punjab and North East, the Admiral, without naming anyone, said the leader of a communal organisation has been patronising narcotic trade. "I don't care who refutes this statement," he said. He said the Parivar hasinfiltrated into ranks of the all India services and is now bent on communalising the Defence Forces, which is the `only instrumentality of the State not affected by communalism'. The `kind of games being played with appointments in the Army calls for thorough probe by the future Government.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

The Rediff Special/ George Iype

http://www.rediff.co.in/news/2000/dec/07spec.htm

It is the secret the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government wants to hide.

Unfortunately, Union Home Minister L K Advani does not think so. Which is why, on November 13, he despatched a high level team of officials from the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency -- an outfit with officers culled from various intelligence agencies -- to Sri Lanka.  Officially, their brief was to seek the extradition of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief V Prabhakaran.  India first put in an official request for Prabhakaran's extradition in 1993, after he was identified as the chief conspirator in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The request has been pending with the Sri Lankan government since.

Why did Advani suddenly feel the need to despatch MDMA officials to Colombo to press the extradition request?

The home minister told Parliament last week that India wanted to speed up Prabhakaran's extradition.  That statement, though, is nowhere near the truth. Sri Lanka's Attorney General K C Kamalasabyason pointed out that the Indian team did not make any formal or informal request for Prabhakaran's extradition.

What, then, was the MDMA team doing in Sri Lanka for 10 days?

Officials associated with the Indian mission in Sri Lanka say the team was there, under Advani's orders, to probe the growing links between India's politicians and the LTTE.

Was the mission successful? Yes.

But it has left Advani in a quandary.

The MDMA team gathered evidence on the alleged nexus between India's politicians and the outlawed LTTE. The Sri Lankan government apparently stated that the LTTE's biggest supporter in India is Defence Minister George Fernandes. Others on the LTTE sympathisers's list include some Tamil Nadu ministers and the Bharatiya Janata Party's partners in the ruling National Democratic Alliance. The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Pattali Makkal Katchi, in particular, are said to hobnob with the LTTE.

According to highly-placed sources at the home ministry, the MDMA is in the process of producing a secret report that discloses the alleged links between Fernandes, other Indian leaders and the LTTE. The Sri Lankan government has apparently said the defence minister may be a hero among the Tamils, but is a villain for the Colombo administration and the majority Sinhalese community. For many years now, Fernandes has been an LTTE supporter. Before he joined the Vajpayee government in 1997, the Socialist leader organised a controversial public convention of pro-LTTE elements in New Delhi. When the home ministry objected to the meeting, Fernandes changed the venue to his official bungalow, where he hosted LTTE delegates from Sri Lanka, India, Australia and France.

"The basic purpose of this convention is to make the people of India aware of Tamil Eelam and make them part of their struggle. Their cause is just," said Fernandes as he inaugurated the convention. A few months later, he was appointed defence minister by Prime Minister Vajpayee. In July 1998, he reportedly stopped the Indian Navy from intercepting ships suspected of carrying illegal arms to Tamil guerrilla groups. As a result, three such ships were let off the hook. Later, he is said to have ordered Indian security forces to downgrade their patrolling of the Palk Straits that separates Sri Lanka from India. Fernandes was also a patron of the LTTE-backed Fund Raising Committee, set up to help the 26 accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

Home ministry officials claim the Sri Lankan government dislikes Fernandes more than they dislike the Tamil Nadu politicians. Some months ago, Sri Lanka's leading newspaper The Island said most Sinhalese would be happy to see Fernandes sacked from the Vajpayee government. In an edit page article in the newspaper, former Sri Lankan ambassador Kalyananda Godage said: 'Fernandes's flirtation with the LTTE is ominous for Sri Lanka.' He went on to describe Fernandes as 'St George in love with the dragon.'

Last year, the pro-LTTE Tamil magazine, Thinamurasu, said, unlike Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, who backed out of his commitment to the LTTE after coming to power, Fernandes remains committed to the cause even after becoming defence minister. The magazine referred to him as 'an iron man.' The home ministry's special report on the alleged links between Indian politicians and the LTTE is expected to be a matter of concern for both Vajpayee and Fernandes. It begs the question: What prompted Advani to probe Fernandes's alleged LTTE links at this juncture? There are, apparently, two reasons. First, some alliance partners have occasionally hinted that Fernandes can be a contender for the prime minister's chair if and when Vajpayee leaves office. Second, the defence chiefs are reportedly upset that the minister's official residence continues to be a hub for Myanmarese and other rebels and their sympathisers. Officials say the government's decision to despatch the MDMA team to Colombo was linked to the kidnapping of Kannada superstar Dr Rajakumar by Veerappan with the help of Tamil militants. There are reports with the government which say militant groups have revived in Tamil Nadu, thanks to the legitimacy granted to them by some political parties. Prominent among them are the MDMK and PMK -- both parties have listed demands similar to the extremist groups's call for a Tamil homeland.

Headed by Vaiko -- V Gopalaswamy -- and Dr S Ramdoss respectively, both the MDMK and PMK are part of Vajpayee's coalition government. What sets them apart from other NDA partners, though, is their ideological thesis of Tamil nationhood, their subdued demand for the secession of Tamil Nadu and their vociferous call for a separate Tamil nation for Sri Lankan Tamils. "The government is unable to curb the LTTE's activities in India because some of its members are powerful pro-LTTE supporters," says an official. "The Congress governments -- led by both Indira and Rajiv Gandhi -- supported the LTTE openly. But the Vajpayee government does not want any of its ministers and partners to be LTTE sympathisers." Which is why, to begin with, the home minister wants the defence minister to hoist a 'No Entry' board in front of his home to pro-LTTE Tamil nationalist leader P Nedumaran, who successfully negotiated Dr Rajakumar's release from Veerappan's custody. Nedumaran stays with Fernandes whenever he comes to New Delhi. In the meanwhile, fireworks are expected between Advani and Fernandes after the home ministry finalises the report on the defence minister's alleged LTTE activities and submits it to the Prime Minister's Office.

Aamir Mughal

Close friend received secret letter from Hemant Karkare

28 Nov 2008, 0256 hrs IST, TNN

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Nagpur/Close_friend_received_secret_letter_from_Hemant_Karkare/articleshow/3767156.cms

NAGPUR: Col (retired) Rahul Gowardhan was travelling in a train to Nagpur from Mumbai when he got a call from his wife Anuradha informing about the death Karkare.

Just some hours before that, Karkare had sent a letter to him in an envelop which had some “personal” content. “Hemant had called me up on Wednesday,” said Gowardhan, a top official with MSEDCL.

“As I was in a meeting, we decided to postpone the talk. He hung up saying he would be sending me an envelope. When I wanted to know the content, he told me to just read the letter that’s inside it. I returned home and read it. I cannot share the content of the letter with anyone,” said Gowardhan. In the night, Gowardhan got the news of his friend’s death. “I wanted to return to Mumbai immediately but I had to drop my mother in Nagpur. Now I’m going back by evening flight to attend Hemant’s funeral.

Hemant Karkare's wife turns down Modi's offer Nirmala Ravindran
Mumbai, November 29, 2008

http://indiatoday.digitaltoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&issueid=81&task=view&id=21311§ionid=4&Itemid=1

Karkare's wife turns down Modi's offerEven as hundreds of thousands of Mumbaikar's came out onto the streets to pay their respects to national hero Hemant Karkare. Politicians who came to pay their respects were sidelined by both the common man as well as the family of the deceased. Karkare's wife, Kavita Karkare, refused to receive the amount from the Rs 1 crore reward announced by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for the families of the martyred officers.

She refused to meet any politician.

Just to recall, Modi along with other leaders of the BJP including prime ministerial candidate L. K. Advani and others from the Shiv Sena have been baying for Karkare's blood post the Malegaon investigations into the allegations of terrorist activities by the saffron brigade.

 

Razi Rizvi
Date:       Sat, 29 Nov 2008 16:43:24 +0530 [04:43PM IST]From:    Razi Rizvi To:        Sultan Shahin <editor@newageislam.com>The Wahhabi Terrorists in Mumbai?It is very much unfortunate and severely condemnable the terrorist attacks going on in Mumbai since last night. These savages are humans in disguise, Satanic in nature. The enemies of the humanity. These killers emulate Yazid, Shimr, Ibne Ziyad, Ibne Muljim, Saddam, Osama etc etc. They have no mercy for innocent women and children. These blood suckers call themselves Muslims and followers of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w), but have no respect for the Prophet (s.a.w.) and claim that He (s.a.w.) was like an ordinary human being like them. These Pseudo Muslims (PM) forget that the holy Prophet (s.a.w.) was mercy for the entire universe. They are the friends of the oppressors and tyrants, and they pray for the forgiveness of the tyrants like Yazeed. These PMs have defamed Islam by their wrong beliefs and methods and use force on others to implement the obedience to Islamic laws. These people have typical and absurd dress code appearing like blokes. These PMs are breed hatred among the mankind and the whole world know that where they are financed from. These are known as WAHHABIS.Posted by Razi Rizvi at 4:56 PM 
Mubashir

"There were 10 Terrorists, 9 have been killed, one is being interrogated"


"There were 10, Three were caught, alive and they are being interrogated"
"They landed by boats"
"Some of them came in as students from Mauritius and took up residence in the city about a month back" 
"They came from Pakistan"
"One got job in the hotel that was stormed"
"Some of them were home grown"
"Underworld connections"

Can we please wait for investigation to complete before reacting to rumors?
Thanks.
A.M.Jamsheed Basha, Chennai, India.

What one can infer from the series of articles and comments posted here that the recent terrorists attack on Mumbai was the result of a greater conspiracy. Whether it was CIA-Mossad-Safron Brigade combined or any thing of the sort, it is for the investigating agencies to unravel the mystery. Truth would soon come out.  But what baffles was the speed and precision with which these terrorists made their way into so many busy places in Mumbai, albeit after due preparation and planning. What is also not understood is how the terrorists were in the right place to gun down Hemant Karkare and company so casually, pull down their bodies on the road and drive away with their vehicles. It may be remembered that Hemant Karkare just received a deathe theath from Pune for his role in the investigation of the Malegaon blast in which Sadhvi, Purohit and Pandy along with scores of other Hindutva activists were arrested. He was to unfold many such links in the near future, that the forces that were inimical to him saw to his end in such a brutal manner, is really a mystery. Investigating offiers have to look into these aspects of the hand of "insider" to the brutal killing of Hemant Karkare and company.

Where was Raj Thackery and why was he and his MNS were maintaining eerie silence during the entire operation at Mumbai? This question is being asked by millions of sms users to the television channels and others. Another important question asked was, why he did not raise objection to the non-Marathi commandoes battling the planned terrorists attacks at Taj, Trident and Nariman House in the busy Nariman Point? Why he did not insist on the Marathi uniformed men to handle the situation? The absurdity is absent and he was found missing along with his other vocal uncle, Bal Thackery and his son Uday Thackery. In the end it was Mumbai which was bleeding.

This is not an ordinary terrorists attack. It is something of an urban guerilla like attack in which well trained men have taken part to cause colossal damage of high magnitude to men and properties. They were successful but met the fate not before causing damage to innocent lives and properties. Whatever may be the short term objectives of these outfits, many questions remained unanswered till date. Was it an intelligent failure or a locally hatched conspiracy, or its a case of hired mercenaries or the uniformed men and coastal guards were involved in it or looked the other way and many more questions to be answered by the investigating team after the dust settles down.

Truth would soon come out, till then, it's time for introspection. Let's search for missing links in our own intellegence apparatus and the weaknesses associated with it. Govt should also examine how to modernise the police force to meet the emergent situation like the one we saw in Mumbai without waiting for the elite commando to come to rescue. It's not only training in combating modern guerilla war fare but also provide them modern weaponary to match the terrorists. Induct more men in uniform police services to match the growing population. Post elite commando unit each in such vulnerable metros across the country to come to aid of the local police in any emergent situation. Strengthen intelligence apparatus, strengthen medical services and para medics, police the sensitive coast line especially bordering vulnerable points near the hostile neighbours etc., are the steps that should be urgently taken by the Govt.

Tears have dried up after the trauma is over, giving way to anger and anguish. People are upset with the politicians seen nowhere near the scene of the attack. Shivraj Patil, as Home Minister failed miserably. He has no charisma nor a steely will to fight the menace. This  docile looking Home Minister was a picture of pity looking bewildered and clueless to what was going in the country. It is time for him to bid farewell the department he mismanaged so far. Dr. Manmohan Singh should show him the door, if it is to demonstrate that the Govt is keen to place active people in right place to deliver the resuslts. It is no time to harp on the false prestige or buckling under pressure. It is time to act fast to assure the people of this country that India is not a soft state but possess a steely will to resolve such problem on its own. There is no need to look for ouotside help from either infamous Israeli Mossad or CIA or the Scotland Yard Police to help our well trained Police force. What is needed today is the combined political will to stand upto these challenges and face them. It is not a time for political one-upmanship with an eye on the next elections. It is also no time for political rhetorics to score over their rivals. It's a time to unravel the mystery of the great conspiracy to create panic and spread hatred among various sections of the people to bring down the soaring image of India in the world stage. It is time not to play into the hands of the forces inimical to the prosperity of the country. It is time to identify such forces within and such parties that are trying to sabotage the otherwise good work done by the UPA Govt.

Peoples' anger is well directed against the politicians and colossal laxity shown in handling an unprecedented attack, so naked, so well orchestrated and executed leaving the establishment and securities baffled. Unless Govt acts fast, peoples' anger would soon turn the table in the next elections.

In the end, Muslims of India joined in not only condemning  the dastardly act of insanity perpetrated by the terrorists from across the border, but also joined millions in mourning the loss of life and offer prayers for the dead. We have seen that those who were mouned down in the CST Railway station were six members of a Muslim family who were on their way to their native in Bihar besides others including Hindus, Christians and Sikhs. The  bullets of the terrorists did not distinguish between faith of the victim before piercing their bodies. It was barbarism at its worst.

In the end, Indians are known for their resilience and what is required to maintain calm and peace to defeat the nefarious designs of our enemies. Let Govt take whateve steps required to tackle the menace. We the citizens of this great country should strengthen the hands of our Prime Minister. Lets be vigilant in our own streets, town and cities and keep a close watch on the suspicious movement of people of doubtful origins and inform the police. Its a duty cast upon each and evey one of us. Let us display it more in deeds. Jai Hind.

Md Ahmad

Sunday, November 30, 2008
Editorial: Cooperation without blame-game

After the Mumbai terrorist attack, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari severely condemned the incident as terrorism and, in the face of some early speculation on Pakistan’s involvement, offered India “cooperation” in the investigation of the whole affair without indulging in the familiar blame-game the two countries have succumbed to in the past. On Friday, a Foreign Office statement in Islamabad explained Pakistan’s stance more clearly:

“Pakistan is ready to deepen its engagement with India, including on combating terrorism but it is important to avoid blame-game and knee-jerk reactions. Terrorism is a global problem that needs to be combated in all its forms and manifestations through serious, sustained and pragmatic steps”. The statement came after the prime minister and the president had telephoned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and offered Pakistan’s assistance in probing the attacks.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Mr Shah Mehmood Qureshi, then in India, also issued a statement saying, “We are confident that the government of India will respond positively to Pakistan’s offer to cooperate in the investigation of the Mumbai attacks. It is in the interest of Pakistan and India to enhance multi-track cooperation on anti-terrorism”. There was an indirect reference in this statement to the Pakistan-India mechanisms of cooperation for combating terrorism, including a Joint Anti-Terrorism Mechanism (JATM). The subject also forms one of the baskets in the Indo-Pak composite dialogue on normalisation of relations.

Thereafter, upon receiving a request from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister Gilani agreed to send Director General ISI to India. Soon, the rank was changed from DG to “representative of the ISI”. The army spokesman, speaking on the first version, had expressed surprise that the ISI chief was being sent for consultation and pointed to lack of precedent in this regard. The media also thought that Pakistan was exposing its intelligence agency to a session of “levelling of charges” by the Indians. This was said in the light of the remarks made by many in India that the attack had come from Pakistan. Prime Minister Singh had also implied that the territory of “neighbourhood” states could have been used.

Prime Minister Gilani first reacted to objections by saying that he did not think Pakistan had anything to hide. In fact Pakistan wished an upgradation of JATM when the foreign minister’s statement in India said, “Pakistan had proposed closer intelligence cooperation and meetings between the intelligence chiefs of the two countries”. The JATM was set up after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf met in September 2006, on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Havana. The second JATM meeting in October 2007 had gone into the terrorism on Samjhauta Express. The third meeting was scheduled for 2008 at the additional secretary level. It is clear that a mechanism of cooperation does exist at a low level and doesn’t yet involve the intelligence agencies.

Has the time come for the two countries to move to a higher level of consultation on terrorism? Given the nature of the threat to both states there is no doubt that it has. Objections on the Pakistani side to Mr Gilani’s offer of sending the DG ISI were justified, though. The JATM is too “preliminary” at the present time to become the framework for it. There are also complications. In the early meetings of JATM, Pakistan’s request to leave Jammu & Kashmir out of the ambit of consultation was not accepted by India. Mutual suspicion weighs heavy on all efforts to advance at the rapid pace towards the goal of cooperation demanded by the Mumbai attacks in particular and the terrorism threat in general.

In the final analysis, both countries will have to move to a regular framework of intelligence cooperation. The incidence of terrorism on both sides is now quite apparent and it is no longer enough to say that “we too are victims of terrorism”. The gesture by Mr Gilani should be appreciated by the Indian side and no effort to politicise the down-gradation of consultation from the ISI chief to “representative” should be made to make it look like a proof of guilt. Two, the rhetoric of objection to Mr Gilani’s gesture should not be allowed to grow to a crescendo in Pakistan. The sooner the two countries clear the decks for meetings between the intelligence chiefs through a proper framework the better. *

Second Editorial: Exit National Security Council

The National Security Council (NSC), constituted during former president Pervez Musharraf’s regime has been dissolved by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Like Article 58-2(b), the NSC was supposed to stave off martial law. General Musharraf wanted it in the Constitution but could not get the clerical alliance MMA to agree to it in the 17th Amendment. So NSC, in which the generals would meet and consult with the civilian government regularly, was set up with an act of parliament with a simple PMLQ majority. The Prime Minister already had his defence committee of the cabinet (DCC) where he could consult with the army chief if he wanted.

The PPP government has got rid of the NSC in deference to the views of the PMLN and in consonance with the general feeling among the political parties. The general who first scared everybody off was army chief General Aslam Beg who began throwing his weight around in the PM’s defence committee. An NSC would have become an arena of a full-dress top brass display. Just before General Zia forced the National Assembly in 1985 to accept the infamous 8th Amendment, he dropped the idea of setting up a Council of Defence and National Security Council (CDNS) within the ambit of the Amendment. He probably thought Article 58-2(b) was enough to give him the kind of stranglehold on the civilian government he wanted. The Musharraf experiment has demonstrated that military takeovers are simply unpractical these days. Military thinking is so divorced from reality that NSC can only be an impediment in evolving better policies of national survival. This has become more than apparent from the statements being issued by the retired generals on all kinds of subjects relating to Pakistan’s security. *
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\11\30\story_30-11-2008_pg3_1

Md Ahmad

 Cross-border co-operation
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The prime minister's move to send an ISI official to India to help with inquiries into the terrorist attack on Mumbai has instantly given rise to controversy. In response to a request from his Indian counterpart, Mr Manmohan Singh, who during his talk with Mr Gilani spoke of evidence of possible Pakistani involvement in the daring assault on India's main commercial centre, the Pakistani prime minister agreed the ISI chief would visit India. A short while afterwards, possibly in response to fierce criticism of the decision from former ISI chiefs and other retired generals, the PM's secretariat announced that rather than the DG ISI himself, an official of the agency would represent it in New Delhi.

There can be no doubt that cooperation between the two countries in battling terrorism has much potential. Rather then 'bowing under India', the move to extend help is a sign of a genuine desire to tackle the menace that faces us. Both countries have been victims of militancy. Pakistan is in a position to help India better understand the problems posed by the radicalization of its young Muslim population. This is an issue that country has been reluctant to face up to. The new extremism among the Muslims of India, who have grown up watching the violence directed against Kashmiris by Indian state forces or the killings of Muslims in places such as Gujrat, is linked to the wider developments in the Islamic world. Pakistan is familiar with these and has fought its own armies of extremists. It can as such offer India much guidance. In turn, it can also learn from the experiences of India, and, as the prime minister has said, forge a joint front to battle terror.

But its first priority at this moment must be to stem the increasingly hysterical accusations of Pakistani involvement emanating from India. The latest of these hone in on what is described as the 'Punjabi' accent of the terrorists – a pointer, Indian officials allege, to their Pakistani identity. This is obviously absurd. Indeed, Pakistan has done well to call India's bluff and send across an ISI representative, apparently taking Mr Manmohan Singh by surprise. The gesture, an unprecedented one in the history of Indo-Pak relations, goes to show Islamabad has nothing to hide. The notion that a group of young men could simply set of from Karachi aboard a rubber dinghy, land at Bombay, walk through the India Gate that stands just beyond it shore and then embark on a shooting spree is nonsensical. The men who laid siege to eight separate sites in Mumbai and killed 145 innocent people obviously knew the city inside out. They realized the trendy, but little known Café Leopold, which was among their first targets, would be one place to gun down westerners visiting the city. They were aware of the existence of a Jewish centre where the Rabbi and his family died and they seemed familiar with each corridor, each lobby of the three massive hotels they entered. All these factors point to locals who had repeatedly visited these places. The ISI, now joining in the investigation of a terrible crime, must also make sure these leads too are taken on board and that Pakistan is cleared of the charges levelled against it in the aftermath of the tragedy at Mumbai.

http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=149679

Md Ahmad


November 30, 2008
India’s agony —Mobasher Javed Akbar

I am an Indian and a Muslim and proud to be both. Like any Indian, today I am angry, frustrated, and depressed. I am angry at the manic dogs of war that invaded Mumbai. I am frustrated by the impotence of my government in Mumbai and Delhi, tone-deaf to the anguish of my fellow citizens

In most cities of South Asia, hidden beneath the grime and neglect of extreme poverty, there exists a little Somalia waiting to burst out and infect the body politic. This netherworld, patrolled and nourished by criminals who operate a vast black-market economy, has bred, in Mumbai, a community that has utter contempt for the state, because it knows that its survival depends on corrupting the police. Like underground magma, that underworld has now burst into the streets of Mumbai.

Because the denizens of this netherworld know neither patriotism nor morality, they are easily lured into partnership with terrorists, particularly when they have reason to feel aggrieved. In Mumbai, a large proportion of them are Muslims who were denied space in the formal economy and have developed strong vested interests over the past 50 years.

Details about the Mumbai outrage, where terrorists killed almost 200 people, are still unfolding. But we do know that at least 30 men armed with AK-47 rifles and grenades held India’s business and financial centre hostage, targeting both Indians and foreigners, particularly Americans and Britons. It is likely that this operation was propelled from Pakistan through the Lashkar-e Taiba, a terrorist organisation sustained by hatred of secular India and backed by shadowy Pakistani agencies and street support.

In the blood and drama of the events, however, we might miss a significant element of the story. The attacks were an operation that must have required months of planning: serious weapons were deployed, a small army was mobilised, targets were studied, transport was organised, and weak points identified. A plan of attack that involved hundreds of people was put in motion, and yet the massive infrastructure of India’s government discovered nothing.

The chief of India’s Anti-Terrorist Squad, Hemant Karkare (who lost his life in the battles that raged through the night), received a death threat from the nearby city of Pune, but his own unit did not bother to investigate it, since it was busy playing games on behalf of its political masters. Complacency and politics gave the terrorists more protection than silence or camouflage ever could.

Indeed, the attacks represent more than a failure of police work. They represent a collapse of governance; these are the wages of the sins of administrative incompetence and political malfeasance.

India is a tough nation. No one should have illusions about that. It has fought off Muslim terrorists in Kashmir, Sikh terrorists in Punjab, Christian terrorists in Nagaland, and Hindu terrorists in Assam and across the country. It understands that you cannot blame the whole community for the sins of a few.

But under ineffectual governance, particularly during the last three years, India is in danger of degenerating into a soft state. Instead of being an international leader in the worldwide war against terrorism, it is sinking into the despair of a perpetual victim. Indeed, India stands only behind Iraq in the number of people killed each year in terrorist attacks.

Three years ago, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rather smugly told President George W Bush in Delhi that Indian Muslims were not involved in any act of terrorism. The implication was that the integration of Muslims in Indian society constituted a success story. Muslims, Singh implied, also benefit from the virtues of democracy, a conclusion that Bush happily repeated. But Singh certainly did not fool any of the terrorists, some of whom may have read his self-congratulation as a challenge for them to act.

I am an Indian and a Muslim and proud to be both. Like any Indian, today I am angry, frustrated, and depressed. I am angry at the manic dogs of war that invaded Mumbai. I am frustrated by the impotence of my government in Mumbai and Delhi, tone-deaf to the anguish of my fellow citizens. And I am depressed at the damage being done to the idea of India. —DT-PS

MJ Akbar, a former member of India’s parliament and advisor to the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was the founding editor of The Asian Age and is an Asia Society Associate Fellow

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\11\30\story_30-11-2008_pg3_4

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