Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Indian Embassy

USA and ISI

For long India said ISI was behind terrorist activities in India. USA was quiet. For some years Afghanistan said ISI was behind terrorist activities in Afghanistan. That included Indian Embassy. USA was quiet. When American Embassy was attacked USA spoke. Americans wanted Pakistan to take action against Haqqani group, veritable arm of ISI, or they will act on their own.

India should have acted on its own. USA has its interests. It will not act in favour of other countries unless it is for its own advantage or there is a lobby in USA that wants USA to act in favour of another country like Jewish lobby’s support for Israel. ISI got away with crimes against Indians and Afghans and became bold enough to attack Americans.

Pakistan’s army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who was once ISI chief, threatened retaliation if American soldiers entered Pakistan. He said Pakistan is not Iraq or Afghanistan and a nuclear power. It meant Pakistan will drop nuclear bombs on American soldiers. It halted American entry in Pakistan. Drone attacks are different matter.

It is unlikely ISI will stop its operations against Americans. Pakistan wants to control Afghanistan. Many Pakistani’s feel time is on their side, Americans will have to leave Afghanistan and after that Pakistan can dictate terms to Afghanistan. If USA stops assistance they can get it from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has emerged as a force. They have troops in Bahrain and have supported Saleh in Yemen. Saudi Arabia will support Pakistan against USA. China may sell arms to Pakistan but will not give assistance.

Some Pakistani politicians are not happy with ISI sponsoring terrorism but as long as army dominates Pakistan they cannot do much. When army domination ends Pakistan’s government can put an end to ISI activities. That does not seem possible in the near future.

WikiLeaks and India

WikiLeaks on 26/7/2010 made public many secret documents dealing with Afghan War. Some of them have relevance to India.

ISI played a role in terrorist activities against Indians. ISI paid the Taliban and Haqqani network to target Indians, Indian Embassy, Indian Consulate in Kandahar and other places. Indians have died. India has suffered loss of property.

It is futile to expect Pakistan to act against ISI or USA to do anything significant. India has to act on its own.

India should file chargesheets in Indian courts relating to attacks on Indians. ISI persons and their collaborators should be named in the chargesheets and should be summoned for interrogations. If they fail to turn up they should be declared persons Wanted Dead or Alive and rewards should be announced for persons who hand over wanted persons dead or alive. Ashfaq Kayani was head of ISI for three years. His term as army chief was to end in November 2010 has been extended by three years which reflects poorly on Pakistani army. Hamid Gul, former chief of ISI, played a role. Their names must be included.

Obama administration claims the documents relate to the period before he became president but he has continued the policy of previous administration. Afghan War is not popular in USA.

The documents show drones used by USA are not effective as they are not made out to be and crash many times. India should develop drones that do not crash.

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Naxal Menace

Naxal menace grew when Shivraj Patil was Home Minister of India. He was soft on Naxals, called them sons of India, and dissolved Joint Co-ordination Committee between the six most affected states in 2005. Police forces that surrounded Naxals in a forest in Andhra Pradesh were told to call off the operation and let Naxalites go. The country is paying a heavy price for his follies.

After Chidambaram became Home Minister of India he has tried to tackle the problem of Naxal menace. For a long time terrorist activities of Naxals were ignored. For Sangh Parivar all terrorists were Muslims. Left Front allowed Naxals to grow till the Naxals became too powerful to tackle. Now states ruled by Congress & NCP, NDA, Left Front are affected by Naxal menace.
Lack of development is cited by some as reason for Naxal growth. Naxal’s want power through revolution. There is no revolution without violence. They are open about it. Poverty is an excuse. Poor people can not afford guns and ammunition. Naxals do not want to learn from history. Their ideology failed in USSR and many other countries.

On 8/10/2009 17 people died in a bomb blast outside Indian Embassy in Kabul and 17 people died in Gadchiroli fighting Naxals. Rahul Gandhi had mentioned Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa as states where there is no development. This happened in Maharashtra.

Chidambaram asked human rights activists to choose which side they are. The activists who spoke of state violence and never condemned Naxal violence were another face of Naxals. If the Naxals are popular they can win elections, form governments and reverse the policies. They have not done it.

There is a debate whether army and air force should be used against Naxals. Naxals have waged a war against India. If air force planes comes under fire they should have the right to self-defence or they should not be used against Naxals. Special forces need to be raised to tackle them.
Other problems need to be addressed. Governments should not acquire land for private industries. Media should not glorify Naxals or make them respectable by airing their interviews.

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