Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: India and Pakistan

Commando operation

Many Indians want India to send commandos to Pakistan to kill India’s Most Wanted in Pakistan. Operation Geronimo by USA is the inspiration. When asked by journalists army chief and air force chief have said that India is capable to commando operations.

The idea is fine but needs to be tested. India is not USA. India does not have the technology that USA has. In India’s case there is no room for error. Every commando operation is not a success. USA’s attempt to rescue hostages in Iran in 1979 was a disaster. Operation Geronimo was a success in that it achieved its aim of catching Osama Bin Laden dead or alive but one helicopter could not fly back and had to be destroyed. USA has inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can hit any country in the world. Pakistan does not have ICBMs. India and Pakistan do not need ICBMs to hit each other. India does not have stealth helicopters that can evade radar detection.

India can start by rescuing sailors held hostage by Somali pirates. That will test India’s capability to carry out commando operations and the probability of success. India can also carry out commando operations when various groups engage in abductions and hijackings in India.

There are various suggestions to deal with India’s Most Wanted in Pakistan. Announcing prizes to those who kill them or hiring Pakistanis to kill them are two of them.

Operation Geronimo was about one person. India’s wanted are 26. They are in different parts of Pakistan. Some lead secret lives. Others appear in public. A single operation to catch the 26 is difficult. It will need many commandos and helicopters and if something goes wrong in one place other places will be alerted. Separate operations by air, land or sea will mean each subsequent operation will be more difficult than previous one and there is danger of war after the first operation.

Americans do not give up. They get things done. They do it through UN. When UN does not oblige they do it through NATO. When NATO does not oblige they do it themselves with whoever is on their side. They persevere. Indian leaders suspend talks with Pakistan for some time. Then they give up saying there is no alternative to talks. Indian leaders do not get things done or persevere.

Some say a stable Pakistan is in India’s interest and India should not do anything that destabilizes Pakistan. A stable Pakistan that abets and shelters terrorists against India is not in India’s interest. After cricket diplomacy things were looking bright but Operation Geronimo has changed the mood in the country.

Poona Blast

On 13/2/2010 in the evening, according to one report at 6.52 p.m., there was a blast in German Bakery at Koregaon Park in Poona. The bomb used is said to be a mixture of high intensity RDX and ammonium nitrate. At last count nine were dead and around forty were wounded, including some foreigners.
It is said that Chabad House and Osho Ashram were original targets of terrorists. However security there unnerved the terrorists and they planted bombs in German Bakery.
There are people who say this is a terror attack in India after 26/11/2008. They are wrong.
Terror attacks take place frequently in Kashmir. Naxals carry out terror attacks in many states of India, including Maharashtra. In some attacks more people have died than in Poona blast. Chidambaram had asked Naxals to abjure violence and come for talks. He had not asked them to lay down arms. Naxals continued with their violence.
India should be tough with all terrorists. Naxals did not surrender. A deadline should be set for them to surrender. If they do not surrender by then they should be caught dead or alive.
There should be no negotiation with terrorists for release of people in case of abduction, hijacking or kidnapping. TV channels should not have discussions with spokespersons of terrorists.
India needs tough laws against terrorists. Terrorists should be de tried in special courts. They can hire lawyers at their own expense. State should not provide them lawyers. Trial must get over fast. Should not drag on for years. Terrorists should be tried for their specific roles. In a terrorist attack when different places are attacked separate chargesheets should be filed for each place. That makes trial fast.
There should be no politicisation of terrorist attacks. Political parties defending terrorists on the basis of their religion should stop.
India should provide justice for all. Many times riot victims do not get justice. That causes some members of the community of victims to become terrorists. Injustice could be a reason for some becoming Naxals.
India blames Pakistan for cross border terrorism. Pakistan blames India for terrorism in Baluchistan. Blame game has to stop.
As of now Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan scheduled for 25/2/2010 are on. It is possible that people who did not want peace between India and Pakistan carried out the Poona blast to derail peace talks.
Mercy petitions of all murderers sentenced to death lying with the President should be rejected immediately and all of them should be hanged soon. That will send a strong message to terrorists. Let us not be fooled by the argument that terrorists are ready to die and death penalty will not make any difference to them. Very few terrorists are suicide bombers. Most of them operate secretly and do not want to be caught. Many are told that they can return safely after accomplishing their mission. They are unable to escape and die fighting. Let us also be not fooled by the argument by the argument that death penalty to terrorists will make them martyrs. Law must take its course and whether they become martyrs in the eyes of some is immaterial. Besides some associates of terrorists will engage in abduction, hijacking or kidnapping and in the past India had released terrorists in exchange of hostages and that gave boost to terrorism. Terrorists caught must be tried and hanged soon.

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Explusion of Jaswant Singh

BJP expelled Jaswant Singh on 19/8/2009. He was its member since its founding in 1980. When NDA was in power he was Foreign Minister, Finance Minister and for sometime held additional portofolio of Defence. He was to take part in BJP’s chinthan baithak in Simla on that day. He was told not to attend.

Jaswant Singh’s book Jinnah – India, Partition, Independence was first criticized by Congress for what he said about Nehru. That was not a problem for BJP or RSS. They were offended because Jaswant Singh had criticized Vallabhbhai Patel. That caused expulsion of Jaswant Singh. Jaswant Singh should have known that his book would be unpopular with many Indians.

Praising Jinnah got Advani in trouble in 2005. Jaswant Singh had researched for his book. He did not lay all the blame for partition on Jinnah.

It is necessary for all Indians to view history in proper perspective. Jinnah was a Congress member. He left it and joined Muslim League. In 1937 elections Congress won most seats and formed provincial governments. Muslim League did not do well. If Jinnah expected coalition governments he was mistaken. In 1940 resolution for Pakistan was passed and on 16 August 1946 Jinnah called for Direct Action for the creation of Pakistan.

India’s national motto is Satyameva Jayate – truth always triumphs. If Indians and Pakistanis accept that their leaders were not perfect many problems will be solved. There will be peace between India and Pakistan. Money spent on defence will be reduced and will be spent on solving problems of hunger, disease, illiteracy, drought and so on. India and Pakistan need more people who write what is right.

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