July 22, 2006

Terror law: Yes for Mumbai, no for Gujarat

Kanchan Gupta | New Delhi

With a 600-km long border with Pakistan and a coastline that stretches across a whopping 1,600 km, providing innumerable landing spots for craft carrying explosives, arms and terrorists, Gujarat is a prime target for jihadis who have already drawn blood at Godhra and Akshardham, and carried out bombings and other assaults.

Yet, the State has been disallowed the right to have a law that empowers its police to intercept chatter, carry out pre-emptive strikes to prevent death and destruction, and prosecute terrorists in a manner that they get their just desserts. This is in sharp contrast to neighbouring Maharashtra where the ruling Congress-NCP alliance, armed with the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) can fight back terrorists and criminals by bringing them to justice.

Acknowledged as an effective instrument to combat organised crime, MCOCA was made applicable in Delhi through a Home Ministry order of February 1, 2002. But Gujarat has been denied a mirror law to fight terror.

The salient features of MCOCA, which make it a tough law to bust tough criminals, are missing from The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act of 2004 that was brought in by the UPA Government after repealing POTA. For instance, unlike the Central law brought in by the Government, which has to be followed in the absence of a State specific law to fight terrorism, MCOCA disallows suspects access to easy bail, provides for special courts for their trial and qualifies statements given to the police as admissible evidence.

While pushing The Unlawful Activities (Prevent-ion) Amendment Act through Parliament, the Government argued that a tough law by itself is no protection against terrorism and gave examples of how terrorists had struck despite POTA. As part of its policy of appeasement, the UPA scrapped POTA and left the police in States like Gujarat to fight terrorism with a law that is weaker than the ones meant to tackle hoarding and drug peddling.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, addressing a meeting in Mumbai last Monday, pointed out the fallacy in UPA's argument by stressing that "while it is true POTA did not always prevent terrorists from striking, it helped punish the perpetrators". The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act does not allow even this much.

He also disclosed how the Union Home Ministry has not cleared the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill, modelled on MCOCA, for the past two years despite several reminders and requests.

Modi's usual detractors slammed him the next day, saying he wants to arm himself with a "draconian law".

But the Bill passed by the Gujarat Assembly is no different from MCOCA. There is no reason why Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Delhi can have such a law while BJP-ruled Gujarat is disallowed the wherewithal to combat terrorism.

Apart from providing for harsh penalties, including death sentence, for committing acts of terror, the Gujarat Bill allows the setting up of special courts to deal with cases in a time bound manner. It also empowers the police to intercept, record and produce as evidence any electronic or verbal communication, allows statements made to the police to be presented as admissible evidence and makes bail provisions more stringent than those in the CrPC. In Maharashtra and Delhi, these provisions are already applicable under MCOCA. Asked why Gujarat needs the Centre's approval for its proposed law despite its passage in the Assembly, a senior official explained, "Public order is a State subject on which the State Government is competent to enact a law and the Governor has the power to give assent to it. However, since the proposed law overrides certain provisions of the Evidence Act, IPC, CrPC and the provision relating to the jurisdiction of various courts, approval of the Government of India is necessary." After detailed correspondence between the State Government and the Centre when the NDA was in power, the Control of Organised Crime Bill, already passed by the Gujarat Assembly, was amended to exclude three clauses. The amended Bill was once again passed by the Assembly on June 2, 2004, and re-submitted for Presidential approval through the Union Home Ministry on June 16, 2004. Since then, the Bill has been gathering dust in North Block despite several representations, official communications and a non-official resolution passed by the Gujarat Assembly. On April 4 this year, Member of Parliament Pushpadan Gadhvi wrote to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, requesting immediate action on the Bill. On April 7, Patil wrote back, saying the "matter was under the consideration of the Government of India".

Three days after the Mumbai bombings left 200 people dead and hundreds of others injured, Modi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention to secure Presidential approval for the Bill lying with the Home Ministry. The request has been met with silence.

Obviously, the Congress is in no hurry to empower Gujarat's police so that it can crack down on organised crime. By allowing personal animus and political bias to dictate its duplicitous policy, the Congress has chosen to wilfully endanger life and property in that State by sending a clear message to criminals: If it's a choice between protecting Gujarat and emboldening terrorists, the Union Government under its tutelage will not opt for the former.

MCOCA can, gujcoc can't

Death sentence or life term and a penalty of Rs 10 lakh

Special courts to try terrorism cases in time-bound manner

Bail provisions tougher than those in CrPC

Attachment of property bought by terror funds

Cops can intercept, record electronic & oral communication

Statements given to police admissible as evidence in court

July 21, 2006

Hindu Unity website is Number 1 !

Copy of the document released by Govt Of India ordering shut down of websites is below. Can you find where is the HU?. Yes it is No. 1

Tirupati Declaration: Hindus of the world unite

Chennai, July 18:


With Hinduism under siege from various quarters, it was time for a show of unity and purpose. And that is what was witnessed at the historic meeting of Tirumala Tirupati Samrakshana Samiti (TTSS) at Tirupati Saturday last.

The meeting's purpose was simple and straightforward ? to show in no uncertain terms the protest against the rampant and brazen evangelical activities in Tirupati and Tirmula by Christian missionaries.

Led by the two most respectable and revered sawmijis in our midst today, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Vishveshwara Theertha Swami of Pejawar Mutt, the meeting, made a clarion call against the sinister attempts at proselytization by the missionaries and adopted the historical Tirupati Declaration.

The following are the three cardinal Articles of this Historic Declaration:

I) We Hindus assembled here declare that we do not support, directly or indirectly, any group, institution, religion, media, or political force, which preaches, practices or works against Hindu dharma in this country.

ii) We appeal to all the Hindus in this country and elsewhere to subscribe to and support this declaration, the Tirupathi declaration.

iii) We want all the Hindu religious endowments to be managed by Hindu bodies, and not by the government. We want the secular government to release all religious endowments from its hold.

In addition to the above declarations, the following resolutions were also adopted unanimously:

a) Immediate action must be taken to bring under TTD control over 250 sq. kilometre area covering various Theerthams closely associated with the legend of Lord Venkateswara as against the 27.5 sq. kilometres under Andhra Pradesh Government order (G.O.) No.338. In this context, they quoted Mackenzie's manuscript of the year 1801 as per which the Seven Hills extended up to the Swarnamukhi River near Sri Kalahasti in the east, Nagapatala Devarakonda in the west, Yerraguntla Thota in Rayachoti Taluk in the north and Pillari Kanuma near Narayana Vanam in the south. Such a law would ward off any threat of non-Hindu activities on the Seven Hills.

b) Only Hindus by law should be made eligible for appointment in TTD Service.

c) Andhra Pradesh Government should immediately give up its plans to convert Tirumala into a luxury tourist spot.

d) There should be a legal ban on all non-Hindu activities in TTD. medical and educational institutions.

e) TTD funds should be used only for Hindu spiritual activities.

f) The Dharma Prachara Parishad should be renamed as Hindu Dharma Prachara Parishad.

Speaking on the prohibition of non-Hindu appointments in TTD, the Swamijis urged that immediate steps should be taken to deport 40 Christian employees and other non-Hindus at Tirumala.

The Swamijis alleged that the TTD's medical and educational institutions have become centres of proselytisation by non-Hindus. They demanded that the Devastanam should punish those non-Hindus indulging in such evangelical activities and identify the TTD and State Government Officials encouraging them directly or indirectly and to transfer them from Tirupati forthwith.

The TTSS also charged TTD with diverting devotees' offerings to other activities owing to Government political pressure. 'These offerings made by Hindu devotees were meant for running temples, conducting religious festivals and providing pilgrim amenities and propagating Hindu Dharma. They are not meant for the evangelization programmes of Andhra Pradesh Government under a Christian Chief Minister,' they said.

The TTSS also expressed its deep concern over the increase in evangelical activities at Tirumala and Tirupati and cited the documentary evidence adduced by the Five Member Fact Finding Committee appointed by the Pontiff of Pejawar with Justice Bikshapathi, former High Court Judge as its head.

The meet also cited High Court Ruling which said: 'The rights of Tirumala-Tirupati vest with Lord Venkateswara himself and the Trust Board and the EO are only trustees of the property. None can take any measures violating the right. All the Seven Hills fall under Tirumala (W.P. No. 26145 of 1996-97(2) and 59 (DB) dated 7.9.1996).

In conclusion, Pejawar Swamiji categorically told media persons that the Members of the TTSS fervently hope that their legitimate demand would be acted upon before 9 August, 2006 and that further action by the TTSS would be decided after ascertaining the nature, intention and direction of Government response.

A host of other influential Swamijis from different parts of India including Varada Ramanuja Jeeyar from Uttar Pradesh and Members of the Tirupati Fact Finding Committee, T S Rao, former Director General of Police, R. Srihari, former Vice Chancellor of the Dravidian University, Krishniah, State Backward Classes Welfare Leader and other prominent persons also attended the meeting. Several thousand Devotees deeply concerned about the need for protecting the Seven Hills and the Tirupati Temple joined in in the call.

Question Sale of F-16's and Weapons Systems to Pakistan

Lawmakers Question Sale of F-16's and Weapons Systems to Pakistan

The US-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) hosted a press conference on Capitol Hill on July 19th regarding Terrorism with a specific focus on how the recent serial train bombings in Mumbai could affect the fragile peace process between India and Pakistan. In light of the House International Relations Committee set to meet tomorrow to discuss the sale of weapons systems to Pakistan, key members of Congress and USINPAC were on hand to discuss implications forging ahead.

Congressman Eliot Engel (D NY-17) with USINPAC Executive Director Supriya Christopher
and Legislative Assistant Sumit Dasgupta

Commenting on the recent attacks, senior member of the House International Relations Committee Eliot Engel (D NY-17) said, “Last week in Mumbai, the horror of terrorism struck. We stand with India during this dark hour.” He added, “Pakistan has not moved forward with promises of democracy or fighting its internal extremists. Pakistan should not count on my support for the sale of F-16s.”

Earlier this month, The Bush Administration announced plans to move forward with a five-billion-dollar arms deal with Pakistan. The sale includes, among a plethora of artillery and electronics, up to 36 nuclear enabled F-16 fighter jets.

Congresswoman Diane Watson (D CA-33) labeled the deal indicative of an “utter lack of strategic vision.” She added, “Rather than pushing arms sales, we should be exploring how trade, education, and development support can strengthen Pakistan and defeat the forces of terror.”

After listing heavy artillery to be included in the transaction with Pakistan, Congressman Frank Pallone added, “there was no reason to believe that [these weapons are going to be used for the War on Terror].” The long-time champion of Indian-American issues went on to suggest a resolution of disapproval as well.

Congressman Ed Markey (D MA-7) praised India for its “tremendous restraint” in the wake of the transgressions in Mumbai. Highlighting the need for better transit security both abroad and in the US, Markey also called the Mumbai explosions “an attack on every American.”

Commenting on USINPAC’s role in the event, Executive Director, Supriya Christopher said, “At such a sorrowful time, USINPAC was compelled to address the Pakistani weapons sale further.”

For up-to-date information regarding USINPAC’s ongoing efforts on this issue, please check

An India beyond vote bank politics

Vinod Naidu
Posted online: Friday, July 21, 2006 at 1526 hours IST
Updated: Friday, July 21, 2006 at 1539 hours IST

July 21:

Mumbai blasts, the Gujarat carnage, Varanasi blasts, attack on the Parliament.....will this stop in the future ? Of course it can, just bring sanity, logic, reason & transparency into governance.
But then we may begin by putting in place a system that allows election of persons with principles, some substance, integrity, and who see India for what it is - a diverse country - and are driven by a great desire to integrate this diverse nation into a single India. Too idealistic ? Not so...there are a huge number of politicians, babus, police, religious heads....etc that are secular and with a great desire to change India for the better but they are not in a position that can effect the desired change.

So, instead, our country is governed on the bases of vote bank politics, and this is, and will continue to be the greatest threat to national development, national unity, national integrity and internal security because majority of the people feel excluded and lacking in opportunity to help themselves to a better life.

The success of vote bank politics lies in maintaining the status quo of the ‘poor people’ and with this it will be hard to ring in the much needed change. It is almost impossible to wait for the ‘poor people’ to awaken. What we can do is to unite – i.e, the middle class, the ‘intellectuals’, the media, the business community, film & sports personalities, the NRI and any one with a voice should think together and get together and kick up a storm sufficient enough to change vote bank politics from being religion & caste based to being based on performance and good governance.

If this does not happen, the ‘poor masses’ will continue to be so and India will be what it is today....disunited in many areas and on many issues with rampant corruption thrown in, a fertile breeding ground for development of all kinds of militancy, with thugs running around as ‘leaders’ etc...etc.

The general public have managed to live in peace and harmony in spite of the ‘governance’ this far. It is this central character of the Indian people that is being gnawed at now and therefore It is time we go beyond passive resilience.

Perhaps we should select a day and time in the future...say August 15th , 2006 and designate 12 noon as the ‘hour of change’ wherein we organize ourselves into groups and those with a voice or are ‘popular’ or ‘famous’ or are ‘celebrities’ take the lead in peacefully demonstrating on the streets, telling the Indian politicians that dividing and ruling India as it was done is now over and that India wants, drinking water, proper roads, world class infrastructure, health care, primary and secondary schools, care for the aged etc...etc.

The rest of us can send SMS messages, emails, letters etc to every politician, the police, the babus, the ‘religious heads’ telling them that they are the main players in making India a safe, prosperous and a great super power and that this will be most beneficial to us & them and our children and their children and their children's children and not to wait for the ‘poor masses’ to wake up and demand change. The poor are so crushed they simply cannot do that now. They need our help to help themselves.

Think !!

7/11: Infinite Patience?

Even the PM agrees that "in the backdrop of this ghastly tragedy .. we reflect on our relations with Pakistan ... We will look at whatever options that are there." What are those options?

On July 11, 2006, more than 200 persons were killed and 714 others injured in seven bomb blasts that targeted seven locations on the local railway network in Mumbai, India's commercial capital, between 18:24 and 18:35 (IST) (an eighth device was located and defused at the Borivili station). Peak traffic on first class compartments of trains at Mira-Bayandhar, Jogeshwari, Mahim, Santacruz, Khar, Matunga and Borivli stations was targeted, as commuters returned from work. While this stands out as the second largest terrorist outrage in India's history in terms of fatalities, repeated attacks in the past have been engineered to provoke communal polarization and riots in Maharashtra and across the country, and to disrupt the economic progress of the nation.

Mumbai is now the only city in the world to have been attacked by terrorists twice with mass casualty soft targets. It first came on the the terrorist radar on March 12, 1993, when a series of 13 explosions killed 257 persons and injured 713 others. Dawood Ibrahim, prime protagonist of these blasts, is ‘safely' ensconced in Pakistan and is, according to reliable sources, constantly on the move, particularly after he graduated to the US list of ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists' in 2003.

Since March 12, 1993, there have been several terrorist attacks in Mumbai that have targeted civilians and state installations.

An analysis of patterns of activity and of disclosures by subversive modules neutralised in Maharashtra since January 30, 2006, indicates that terrorists were planning to carry out a high-intensity attack in the state. On June 1, an attempt to attack the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu organisation, was foiled at Nagpur, when three suspected LeT terrorists were shot dead in an encounter with the police while trying to enter the heavily-guarded premises. Between May 11-14, 2006, police neutralised three Pakistan-backed Islamist terrorist modules in Aurangabad, Manmad and Malegaon in the state. While there were 11 LeT operatives among those arrested, a large quantity of arms and ammunition, including almost 60 kilograms of explosives, 16 AK-47 assault rifles, over 3,500 rounds of ammunition, and 100 hand grenades were seized.

No official determination has been made thus far regarding the group responsible for the serial blasts, but an analysis of preliminary evidence and past trends – including the various arrests and seizures in Maharashtra in the recent past – point unfailing to one or another of the many terrorist groups based in Pakistan. Sources told SAIR that the attacks were engineered by the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) with possible logistic support from the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). SIMI's activities and connections with the LeT, including its network in Maharashtra, had been reviewed in some detail in the July 10 edition of SAIR, a day before the 7/11 attacks.

Meanwhile, on July 15, the Lashkar-e-Qahhar (LeQ, Army of the Vanquisher), an LeT front, claimed responsibility for the blasts. Its e-mail to the Aaj Tak Television News Channel stated that the LeQ had organised the serial blasts with a module of 16 people who it claimed were all safe. The blasts, according to the e-mail, were in retaliation to the ‘ground situation in Gujarat and Kashmir' and were part of a series of blasts planned on targets that included the Mumbai International Airport, the Gateway of India, the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort, among others. The LeQ was first heard of after it claimed responsibility for the serial blasts in Varanasi on March 7, 2006.

It has no existence on the ground, and is essentially a fake identity put forward by the LeT, which has traditionally sought to distance itself from high-casualty civilian strikes, such as the Mumbai blasts and the attacks at Varanasi.

The cumulative thrust of available evidence clearly indicates that the 7/11 outrage at Mumbai was engineered by the LeT. That the LeT remains the most lethal jihadi group with strategic networks across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and its headquarters in Pakistan, is now clear. More certain is also the level of protection and patronage it secures from the Pakistani state and its covert agencies. In what was a clear give-away, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri held out what sounded, to Indian observers, like a thinly veiled threat, on July 12, in the immediate aftermath of the 7/11 attacks, that such incidents could be expected to continue unless "outstanding disputes" were resolved, "particularly the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir."

Indeed, the latest Mumbai serial blasts confirm "the strategic continuity of Pakistan's broad orientation towards India, and its sustained enterprise of encirclement, penetration and subversion, with an objective to do as much damage as is opportunistically possible, under the cover of (no doubt diminishing) credible deniability." It is also abundantly clear that the ongoing peace process has encouraged Pakistan to simultaneously keep a twin track of negotiations and terrorism open, even as it reaps the benefits of augmenting international aid which rewards the legitimacy secured through the charade of negotiations and the pretence of participation in the "global war on terror".

While approximately 350 people have been detained for questioning, no formal arrests have been made at the time of writing. However, Rahil Abdul Rahman Sheikh has been identified by security agencies as the principal organizer of 7/11. He is reportedly based in one of the several ‘safe houses' operated by the LeT in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu. The LeT and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's external intelligence agency, have adroitly exploited the functioning anarchy in conflict-ridden Nepal to advance their strategy of India's encirclement.

Praveen Swami reported in The Hindu that Sheikh, originally a resident of Mumbai's Grant Road area, handled communications between LeT cells in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi and the outfit's Pakistan-based ‘commander' for operations targeting India, Azam Cheema — the man who would have authorised and overseen the serial bombings. The ‘faceless' Sheikh (he has never been photographed), operating under the direct control of a Dhaka-based Pakistani LeT ‘commander' code-named ‘Junaid', was also responsible for funneling Lashkar recruits, raised mainly from the ranks of the SIMI, to training camps in Pakistan. Intelligence sources said Sheikh, along with Zulfikar Fayyaz Qazi and Zabiuddin Ansari, set up escape plans weeks before 7/11.

In order to maintain deniability, the ISI is reported to have outsourced part of its subversive enterprise that targets India to tightly controlled groups and individuals in Nepal and Bangladesh, and some elements in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The Mumbai bombers, sources disclose, were either trained in Bangladesh or had spent time in that country after training in Pakistan. "At least three of them were Bangladeshi nationals who had entered India illegally. The rest, including those who provided the logistical support to the bombers, were either trained in Bangladesh or had entered India through that country."

In another significant development, the Chief of the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Maharashtra Police, K.P. Raghuvanshi, confirmed that 11 persons arrested on July 14 by the Tripura Police while trying to cross into Bangladesh, were from Maharashtra. The Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami – Bangladesh (HuJI-B) and other Islamist extremists reportedly operate terrorist training camps at Cox's Bazaar, Bandarban, Chittagong, Rangamati and Brahmanbaria.

At least 65 Pakistan-backed Islamist terrorist modules have been neutralised in India in just the last seven months, according to a senior security official. Security agencies also have evidence that many more ‘sleeper cells' have been ‘re-commissioned' to engineer terrorist attacks in the proximate future. While it is true that groups like the LeT have managed to recruit some local support, a security official disclosed, "none of the controllers is Indian."

Sources indicate that LeT modules are increasingly pooling resources with SIMI, which has strong pockets of influence across Maharashtra (as well as Uttar Pradesh and Kerala). This assessment is derived from the scale of the attacks, specific information on LeT cells and the stockpiling of arms and explosives in Maharashtra. Areas such as Aurangabad, Malegaon, Jalgaon and Thane in Maharashtra have remained SIMI strongholds. There are more than 3,000 seminaries in the state, with about 200,000 students. Approximately 500 Madrassas are located in Mumbai alone. LeT has conducted aggressive recruitments in both Maharashtra and Gujarat and SIMI appears to have provided it with manpower for this drive. The Mumbai Police are also currently probing the involvement of two lesser-known groups – the Gujarat Revenge Group (GRG) and Tableeq – in the serial blasts. While the Gujarat Revenge Group is said to be active in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the Tableeq primarily consists of SIMI cadres. Riaz of the GRG and Imtiaz Batkal from Tableeq appear to be involved in providing logistics to the group that carried out the 7/11 explosions.

In Mumbai on July 14, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh declared that the peace process would now remain frozen "till Islamabad starts acting on its assurance to crack down on the terrorist elements on its soil… Pakistan has given us this assurance that its territory will not be used for any activity against India. That assurance has to be fulfilled before the peace process moves forward." He added further, "The 7/11 blasts are bound to affect relations with Pakistan." The India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary-level talks, scheduled for July 21, have been postponed indefinitely.

Evidently, even India's patience is not infinite.


Kanchan Lakshman is Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management; Assistant Editor, Faultlines: Writings on Conflict & Resolution. Courtesy, the South Asia Intelligence Review of the South Asia Terrorism Portal

Post Script: At the end of his three-day visit to St Petersburg, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has today once again addressed the subject of relations with Pakistan by saying, "For the time being, I think the dialogue process has suffered, I wouldn't call it a setback ... We will look at whatever options that are there." On putting off of the Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries slated for July 20-21, the Prime Minister said it was "inevitable in the backdrop of this ghastly tragedy that we reflect on our relations with Pakistan". But he indicated that he was not shutting the door for the peace process. "I have said more than once that the destiny of the people of South Asia is closely interlinked. Both our countries need peace and stability to realise our developmental ambitions," he said, but added that "anything that gives a setback to that process is not something we should be happy about".The Mumbai blasts that left 200 killed and over 800 injured was an "onsalught" that has to be met, he said, with "full force and full determination".

Clever guide by Christians to circumvent anti-conversion law

Minority Gospel Rights Protection Forum in Simmakkal, Madurai, Tamilnadu, have brought out a booklet in Tamil captioned “Approach to combat Anti Conversion Law”. This booklet of 56 pages outlines under 13 chapters the methods to be observed for this purpose by individual Christian members. It is mentioned in the booklet that this is being published with a view to educate the Christian Missionary involved in conversion on the Legal aspects of the Law. Some excerpts from this Booklet are given below.

In the article under the headline ‘Position of Indian Christians today’, the following are the facts accepted by them.

The position of the Indian Christians in the beginning of the 21st century is in contravention of the basic Christian Principles. It is a common practice nowadays for Christians to pass by another Christian even without wishing him. The reasons that can be attributed for this are, lack of unity, disrespect to others, lack of tolerance, economic disparity, casteism, greed for money, division of rich and poor, different churches for different castes, desire to capture power of clergy, exercising hired muscle power, talking ill of other Christian sects, churches engaged in amassing wealth, luxurious life, misbehaviour, misconduct, etc.

By this Booklet, they have themselves demystified the common belief that Christianity is pure, lovable and service-minded.

Another chapter headlined “Today’s position of churches and Christian missionaries”, discloses the fact that instead of preaching the teachings of Christ, speeches degrading other churches are made, and more time is spent on minor rituals and functions. This is advised to be avoided as this dampens the enthusiasm of the people to come to churches.

In Western countries, churches are being sold for the simple reason that they have lost the godliness and are turning into Recreation clubs and money-earning organizations. Disgusted by this, people have stopped attending the church. It is felt that this position is spreading here also.

The following are a few of the tips given in the chapter with the headline “Methodology for rapid spread of Christianity”,:

1. No church should act or encourage any caste.

2. No caste rift should be there in clergy elections

3. There should not be any caste segregation in cemetery.

4. No church or missionary should collect any money either from its own members or from new converts or from other religion members by coercion or threat, as this will antagonise the public and give an impression that churches are money-grabbers.

“Unlike in Hindu Faith, there is no caste difference in Christianity. Equality and fraternity are keystones in this religion.” These are the oft-repeated phrases of Tirumavalavan of Dalit Panther and Dr. Krishnaswamy of Puthiya Thamizhagam (Dalit political parties). Much to the chagrin of these two speakers campaigning vociferously for Christianity, the contents of the booklet admittedly reveal that these qualities do not exist nowadays. God save these two Hindus campaigning for Christianity.

Following are the directions given in the chapter “Precautions to be taken while effecting conversion”. No documents either for conversion or baptism should be given to the converts.

No recording in any register is to be made. Visual testimonies like photographs, videos, etc. should be completely avoided. On no account, the people converted should adopt new Christian names. Each church should get to know themselves voluntarily the personal details of the people being converted, to avert the possibility of RSS or VHP activists being converted. The reason for this is the fear that these RSS/VHP activists would, before conversion, pretend and say that the conversion is free from coercion, but subsequently after conversion will complain that they were converted by coercion and were tempted with cash. This will lead to litigation.

An easy method to convert either an individual or a group or family, is to take them to the nearby State, like Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka or Andhra Pradesh and effect the conversion there. Since there is no Anti-conversion Law in these States, no case can be booked against them in Tamilnad.

For marriages under the Christianity Act, both the bridegroom and the bride should be Christians. If one of them is a non-Christian, conversion should not be made for purpose of marriage under the Christianity Act. The marriage should be got registered under the Tamilnad Marriage Registration Act. The fear here is that when a strife or misunderstanding erupts between them later, it is possible that the convert may allege that the conversion was effected by lure of cash or girl.

Another guideline that is given while converting SC/ST and Backward classes is that no written document evidencing the conversion should be given to them. Instead of telling them that they are being ‘converted’, they should be told that they are only ‘changing their mind’ and are following the teachings of Jesus Christ. No changes are to be effected in their education or other certificates as this change will deprive them of the facilities they are getting from the Government.

When the Hindu organizations pointed out that SC/ST and Backward classes continue to enjoy the concession even after conversion, the churches were denying this: but in this booklet, this fact has been inadvertently accepted.

In page 22, the chapter, “Religious congregations – Legal guidance”, advises not to mention the people of other religions as ‘sinners’. In public meetings or in private TV channels while canvassing for the religion, speakers should avoid addressing the people of other religions as sinners, talking ill of their method of worship or beliefs, tell them that hell awaits them, etc.

In fact, the demand of the Hindu organizations all these days was to tell them to refrain from such talks, but this went unheeded. Due to the Anti-Conversion Law, through this booklet speakers have been bridled. Apart from all the above, guidelines have been given for Legal safeguards against various religious crimes.

To put it in the nutshell, the purpose of this booklet seems to educate all concerned in conversion, as to how to go about conversion without getting entangled under this Act, and to give all Legal procedures. It is now the turn of the Hindus to be agile and alert to prevent the covert and overt actions of the Christians and defeat them. Only then, we can prevent their illegal actions and methods to over-ride the Anti-Conversions Act. It is foolish to think that by enacting the Law, conversion will not take place as this booklet gives possible ways to circumvent the provisions of the Law without getting caught.

July 20, 2006

Apologists of Islamist terror


Explanation that frustration and alienation breed Islamist terrorism is too glib; the secularists must do better than this, says Kalavai Venkat

Every time Islamist terrorists bomb a train or a civic building, apologists quickly offer two explanations: First, poverty is forcing some Muslims to take to terrorism. Second, Hindus have alienated the minority Muslims, some of whom have taken to terrorism out of frustration.

Let us put this "blame-it-on-the-victim" apology to litmus test. In Jammu & Kashmir, seven lakh Hindus have been ethnically cleansed. Out of those, four lakh face deprivation, poverty and deaths in refugee camps. How many Kashmiri Hindus have become terrorists? Tibetan Buddhists have been expelled from their country. Their spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, lives as a refugee in India. How many of them have become terrorists?

Millions of Hindus and Buddhists have been raped, butchered and ethnically cleansed from Bangladesh. They live in abject poverty in refugee camps in India. How many of them have become terrorists? So, the reason has to be something other than poverty. Could it be the alleged alienation of Muslims?

Jews came as refugees to India 2,000 years ago, Orthodox Christians 1,500 years ago and Parsis 1,100 years ago. Instead of alienating them, Hindus encouraged them to retain their uniqueness and flourish. These groups produced some of India's renowned industrialists, generals, educationists and lawyers.

In every society - France, Spain, the UK or the US - Muslims complain of alienation. There are numerous immigrant and minority groups - Jews, Chinese, Indians, Filipinos - that live in these societies but never complain about alienation. They are content educating their children and enjoying a good life. It seems that every society singles out Muslims for alienation. It must be a global conspiracy against the "religion of peace".

How about some introspection? Muslims ruled most of India for nearly a millennium and imposed the jiziya on the majority Hindus. If the Muslims are still educationally backward, they have only themselves to blame. They did not value education. They opted to put their daughters behind a burqa, instead of sending them to schools. They preferred the madarsa education to modern scientific education. Whose fault is this?

Neither poverty nor imagined alienation causes terrorism. Many terrorists are well educated and affluent. They have not personally faced deprivations in life. They do not know their victims personally. They select their victims in a cold and calculated manner so as to inflict maximum damage.

The jihadis are influenced by Islamic fundamentalism that teaches Muslims to alienate themselves from "infidels". Islam sanctifies the killing of those it has arbitrarily branded "infidels." Even Prophet Mohammad is said to have persecuted the pagans, Jews and Christians.

Millions of madarsas across the country brainwash gullible Muslim children into emulating the Islamic fundamentalism. These madarsas impart obscure ideas in the name of education, and inculcate anger and imagined notions of persecution in the minds of Muslim children. Islamic mosques complement this paranoia with weekly doses of impassioned appeals.

Is it a wonder that some adolescents exposed to this heady mix of intolerance end up as terrorists? Nearly 200 people have been bombed to death in Mumbai. Hundreds more have been maimed. They have left behind orphans, widows and aging parents. The jihadi fire has torched their hopes and dreams.

Let us sympathise with the innocent victims of Islamist terrorism, not with the terrorists. It is time to call a spade a spade.

'It's an all out invasion of India'

Last week's serial blasts in Mumbai was not just a major failure of the Indian intelligence agencies, it was also a salvo fired by jihadi outfits bent on dismembering India, believes Maloy Krishna Dhar.

In the first of a two-part interview with with Deputy Managing Editor Ramananda Sengupta, Dhar, who retired as joint director, Intelligence Bureau, after 30 years in the organisation, explains what needs to be done to avoid such incidents in the future.

Would you attribute the Mumbai blasts to a failure of intelligence?

There has been intelligence, operational and normal policing failure. The Intelligence Bureau had some intelligence based on the interrogation of jihadis arrested in Kashmir and from other sources that the jihadis were planning stunning action in Maharashtra and Mumbai. They had no tactical details.

The IB did not work out the operational details of the information by activating ground operatives, human assets and technical operations to monitor subterranean plans, induction of explosives, monitoring of clandestine communications and placing watch on the known and suspected 'modules' and 'cells' of the identified jihadi tanzeems (associations).

The Mumbai police and Maharashtra police also failed in all these sectors. They had no human intelligence at all to warn that they were sitting on a volcano. They all miserably failed.

What steps can the government/intelligence take to prevent such incidents?

In a nutshell, both IB and State intelligence and police forces should

Generate Human Intelligence.
Penetrate the jihadist modules.
Penetrate the electronic and line communication systems of the jihadis like cell phones, satellite phones, the WWW jungle, fax, phones and coded e-mail communications. They do not have adequate resources to monitor this large volume. They do post-mortem analysis.
Generate intelligence on pan-India connectivity of the jihadi tanzeems and decipher their transactions with Pakistani, Bangladeshi tanzeems and global jiahdist tanzeems like Al Qaeda.
The agencies should be allowed to function without political interference.
Adequate preventive laws should enacted to empower the intelligence and police community and the discarded 'local khabri (informer)', 'mohalla nighrani (neighbourhood watch)' and 'community policing' systems should be revived.
Legal measures should be taken to make it compulsory for local self-government officials and their employees at all levels to report all suspicious movements in their areas to the police post.
Create specialised police strike forces like the Anti Terrorism Squad in every district and insulate it from day to day policing. These units should work in close liaison with IB and state intelligence units.
Educate people about the threat quantum from the jihadists and advise them to interact with police and intelligence fearlessly.
The National Security Council and other national nodal bodies to carry out quarterly national intelligence and threat assessment reviews and advise government to empower its agencies adequately. This system is not in position.
Fastest possible communication between the central and state agencies.
Assess and augment border security and coastal security and intelligence system.

What objective do you think the perpetrators of this attack had?

I would like to shout: 'You idiots, it is not ballot box and communal strife. It is an all out invasion of India.' Civility does not permit that. Politicians on either side of the 'secular fence' should tell people that Pakistan has now attacked the heartland and peninsular India after targeting the northeast, Punjab and Kashmir.

It is an extension of the international Islamist jihad of which the high priests are the Jamia al Salafia, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda Inc, Pakistan's ISI and over 35 tanzeems operating from Pakistani and Bangladeshi soil.

There are over 25 such collaborative tanzeems in India. These forces are trying to create ferment and alienation amongst Indian Muslims and drag them to the arena of global Islamist jihad, leading to demands for more 'partition of India'.

The political, bureaucratic and even intellectual minds are missing out that point. I have highlighted this aspect to some extent in my book Fulcrum of Evil-ISI-CIA-Al Qaeda Nexus.

Do you agree with the notion that this is the price we are paying for getting close to the US?

I do not agree. This is a India-specific global jihadist thrust. It is a continuation of the 'two nation war' and 'war for a Muslim homeland.' All Indians, irrespective of religious affiliation, should fight it. It existed when we were poles apart from the US.

We should take help from the US and other countries to combat this menace and win this war. This war is waged by the International Islamist Inc from their bases in Pakistan and Bangladesh often using Nepal as a transit point.

From the time that you retired as joint director IB, to now, do you see any changes in the Bureau?

One thing I have noticed is that there has been a proliferation in senior-level posts. The other thing I have noticed is that the organisation is facing much more complicated challenges compared to what it may have been 10 years back.

Another thing is that the organisation still suffers from an in-built contradiction, which is that it is not accountable to the topmost authority of the country, which is Parliament, but is accountable only to the prime minister or maybe to the home minister. That reduces its effectiveness and credibility.

Given the great technological advances over the past decades, how important is human intelligence in the Intelligence profession?

Technology application in intelligence gathering is an important aspect, nobody can deny that. And there have been tremendous advances in this field over the past 15 years. But all said and done, if you have seen the Americans working in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, you will find that human intelligence still continues to be supreme.

All the advanced American technologies have failed to give it the so-called edge over terrorists, particularly the most heinous attack on America on 9/11. Unless you have superior quality of human penetration, human assets, you cannot just do with technology. It can only supplement human intelligence.

During your time, you were responsible for stopping several aggressive moves by Pakistan. How do you rate the relationship now?

Our relationship with Pakistan is a very peculiar one. Sometimes we dress up like brides and grooms, dance around each other, and for a short period we think things are hunky dory between us. But in effect, nothing has basically changed. Because the main points of contradiction between India and Pakistan continue to dog us.

The only thing that has made some difference is that America's Afghanistan war, America's Iraq war, and the so-called Islamic war against American interests all over the world has created a new security dimension in the region in which India and Pakistan are being forced to live together for some time in a make-believe world of cooperation. But the basic flash points continue to be as they were in the past.

What is the real role of an intelligence agency?

An intelligence agency is a system and tool of governance. It has various roles. One, we have diplomacy as a weapon. To maintain relationship with a country, or to fight a war with a country. Or even to place yourself vis-à-vis that country in a geo-political situation. Sometimes when you cannot do that through diplomacy or statesmanship, you have to take recourse to intelligence agencies to do a part of that job. So that your diplomacy and statesmanship are supplemented by this. This is the geo-political role of an intelligence agency.

As far as the internal situation is concerned, in a country like India, where there are several fault lines, historical fault lines as well as fault lines created by ourselves, our ruling system and governing system, we have to have a very strong intelligence systems to keep the people who govern this country informed and tell them what is going wrong where and what should be done. Irrespective of who may be their political masters.

Therefore, I think in our country there is enough reason to strengthen the intelligence system by a hundredfold from the strength and resources it has got now. Because we are being engulfed by more and more complicated problems inside the country as well as outside.

So is the intelligence system a kind of a watchdog?

No, it is not a watchdog. It is a tool in the hands of the people, maybe the hand of the government. But basically a tool in the hand of the people to save themselves from certain security related situations, both internal and external.

India now aspires to be power on the world stage. How realistic are those aspirations?

Let me not start with a pessimistic note. Since China is emerging as a world superpower, it is imperative on our part to strive to emerge as a superpower otherwise we will be reduced to an non-entity as far as our international and national existence is concerned.

By compulsion, we have to grow as fast as possible. But not just economically. Along with the economy, we also have to grow militarily, not only for attacking others, but to defend ourselves from certain forces which are well known to us.

Without a strong defence, a strong economy is meaningless. And without a strong economy, a strong military is meaningless, like the Russian situation. They had a strong defence system, but didn't have a good economy. We have to have a marriage of both.

And do we have that?

At present we don't. But we are inching towards that direction, not striding towards it like China is. We have to accelerate the process. To do that, we have to forego some of our conservative economic thinking, we have to bring about a perfect marriage between our global economy and our rural economy. Because if only the urban areas think about growth while the rural areas don't, this country has no future.

Is that happening?

That is not happening, I am sure about that. Half the nation is dependent on the begging system. The government will give dole, in this form or that form, through this relief or that relief, so almost 35 to 40 percent of our people will survive on dole and will become beggars. This is unthinkable. We must have everybody productive in this country, like China is trying to do. If everybody is productive, the productivity adds to the GDP of the country. Then only can we reach what China is doing today.

Given the two disparate economic and political systems, is the comparison between India and China valid?

There are two points of view. One is our national point of view, another is the global point of view. India and China are emerging as the biggest markets of the world. Whenever they talk of China, they don't appreciate that China is emerging as a stronger nation. They appreciate that China is becoming a bigger market for them. Similarly they appreciate India if it becomes a big market for them. But not as a competitor.

Therefore, they would like India to develop in such a manner that it becomes a good market for them. And to absorb their marketing system, we have to have a strong economy of our own. And our own strategic point of view is that if China becomes stronger and stronger with their own resources and foreign money coming in so rapidly, we don't have any chance to survive in this region of the world.

But what I was asking is, given the different economic and political systems, what are we comparing?

It is not a question of economic or political systems. China pursues its own political system, we are pursuing our own system. Our political system is more akin to the American system, the British German and French systems. Are they not prospering? So what is the problem with us?

There might be a big gaps between our political and economic systems. That means our political economy and the economy of elections are not matching, unlike in the countries I just mentioned. Our politicians and our economists need to sit down and think about whether the two systems are matching properly or not.

As far as China is concerned, their political and economic systems are matching well. Because people are not looking beyond the present political system at the present point of time. At a later date, they will find their own solution, we cannot impose a system on them. Our political system is not far removed from the systems of the really advanced countries. If they can advance, why can't we?

I don't think we cannot develop the way China is doing even if we have a different political system.

HHR Press Release Protest to the Indian Government

HHR Press Release, 20 July 2006

Announcement of a Protest to the Indian Government

The horrific terror attacks on 11 July in Mumbai have caused outrage across the world but following similar attacks in London, Madrid and New York it comes as no huge surprise. That these attacks seem to have received less attention in the West is another story but Indian citizens have become used to the world ignoring terror attacks in India. More worryingly however is the general attitude of the Indian government to terror attacks on its own citizens and Hindu religious sites. Already this year there have been numerous attacks on civilians and especially children in India.

Further, it is the Indian government itself which is largely responsible for creating the arena of hatred against Hindus and Hindu culture through its policies since Independence. The education system in India openly discriminates against Hindus and Hinduism which fuels the cycle of denigration we see in the Indian media. It is also the government of India which has continued and extended colonial policies designed to impoverish local economies through the taxing and land grabbing of (only) Hindu temples. The government’s example is carried through to its logical conclusions with the ethnic cleansing of Hindus from the state of Jammu & Kashmir and in North Eastern India. Parts of India’s countryside are also now in the control of Maoist terrorists, supported by their allies in the Indian government and responsible for killings of Hindu villagers and Hindu tribal peoples.

On the 15th of August 1947, Mahatma Gandhi refused to celebrate India’s Independence because he was dismayed at all the killing that was taking place in the wake of this freedom. On the 15th of August, the government of India will celebrate 59 years of Independence from British Rule but the same violence observed by Gandhiji has continued until this day. This year, on the 15th, Hindu Human Rights invites everyone to boycott the “celebrations” and join us to register their protest at how the Indian government has abused its position and used the Constitution and Law to fan the flames of hatred rather than serving the people it is supposed to govern.

Protest begins at 2pm until 5pm on Tuesday 15 August 2006 outside the High Commission of India, India House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4NA, nearest tube stations: Charing Cross (Northern, Bakerloo lines) or Embankment (District, Circle, Northern, Bakerloo lines) We thank you for your support.

Hindu Human Rights,

Serving Hindus Worldwide

July 18, 2006

Rigging in elections mars its outcome in Pakistan controlled Kashmir

Mumtaz Khan
International Kashmir Alliance

The elections in Pakistan administered Kashmir are over but its outcome are widely disputed and controversial except the party which was awarded the power in response of its unconditional loyalties its leadership promised to the military regime in Pakistan. The open rigging in elections has marred fairness and impartiality of elections since Pakistan military regime has first used the most controversial constitutional restraint to bar the 72 nationalist candidates from participating in the elections. The constitutional restraint had been enacted in 1974 interim Act: the Act that had been written by then Pakistan’s Law minister Abdul Hafiz Pirzada and had been passed within two hours time without any debate in so-called Assembly. The electoral clause stating that no individual or party shall be permitted to propagate the political views prejudicial or detrimental to the ideology of “state’s accession to Pakistan” and places restriction over the candidates who refuse to embrace or subscribe it. This controversial constitutional clause that is widely disputed and controversial but is designed to oust the political opponents from electoral process to ensure the smooth sailing of their cronies to propagate internationally that Kashmiri’s are with Pakistan.

While all other Political parties, except only one political party that was ensured her smooth sailing in elections again this time, opposed the constitutional restraints and demanded the revocation of discriminatory clause. The former PM Sultan Mahmood Choudhry and head of recently formed political party PML, included in its election manifesto to revoke the controversial discriminatory constitutional clause if was elected to the power. But his changed stance made him to lose the elections as prior to the elections government of Pakistan had promised to stay neutral in elections and general impression was that military and Choudhry’s support Choudhry Sultan who probably had gone to the stage in defiance to challenge his party leadership by putting his candidate in Kashmir council elections to win military’s confidence. But just a week before elections Mushraf’s intervention changed the political scenario when he met Saradar Attique President of Muslim Conference along with his father Sardar Qayum and in press he stated that he supports Muslim Conference. And after the meeting both son and father began public and media campaign that center has given them green signal to form the next government before the elections that made elections a futile practice only for eyewash.

As election’s results in Pakistan controlled Kashmir are largely controlled, manipulated and determined by the secret agency ISI, and no pro-Pakistan political leadership affords to challenge their undisputed power and position they enjoy in the Area. Past track record is witness that elections were widely rigged every time and only that party came to the power which had had support of Islamabad. Sardar Qayum once crony of GHQ dominated in the polity of Azad Kashmir for last four decades except a brief period of Mushraf when he took over the reign in Islamabad sidelined him politically. And his rival Sikandar was made the PM because Sardar Qayum probably failed to maintain the agencies trust. Serving army general Anwar Khan landed at Muzafarabad as president just week before his selection he was retired and constitution was amended over army order in a in a day to clear the way for General to be President. If Military has means and will to change the fate of the politics in Pakistan, Its controlled Kashmir its viceroy is core commander Murree, as sitting PM sikandar Hayat confessed many times recently in the media by ridiculing himself that what kind PM he was when he has to seek the permission of GOC Murree to change the Deputy Commissioner.

The brief period Sardar Qayum saw the political crisis by losing the military’s confidence despite his utmost efforts to regain the lost confidence finally paid him this time as general Mushraf has declared him PM before the polls but it made elections completely useless. As it is the common practice of ISI to divide all political parties to ensure their complete control n them has not spared the Azad Kashmir where there assurances and close association of Chodhry Brothers to Choudhry Sultan mahmood first led him to lose the PPP’s leadership in Azad Kashmir and ultimately his departure from PPP resulted in his political demise after losing the elections on his hereditary seat of his uncle.

Choudhry was confident enough to be rewarded to put the dent on PPP but soon all dreams shattered. Army got its job done to split PPP probably helps it to bargain with BB.

While Sardar Qayum succeeded to have his name removed from bad cops to the good cops of ISI this time by using his political vision skillfully to hang between moderation and Kashmir unity, by claiming the legacy of Sheikh Abdullah, offered his grand son Umar Abdullah a grandeur reception in Islamabad whom others were reluctant to shake hands lest this practice should not make them black listed in ISI’s files. While Sardar Qayum castigated the Jihadi’s and Jihad during his visit to New Delhi to keeps Delhi smiling as well. Despite the fact that he ran the Mujahideen Camps to liberate the Indian controlled Kashmir but soon overpowered by other Jihad organization and closed down the camps under the scandals of misappropriation 60 crore which latter military has widely used against him to keep him mum and mute. But he knows to sail through the troubled water and fishing in deep water, and this time troubled water brought him good luck by crowning his son and sidelining his rival Sikadar Hayat through same ISI, to earn bad name by rigging the elections especially the notoriously abused and misused 12 seats of refugees.
The controversial 12 seats of refugees have always been soaring point in the polity of Azad Kashmir where elections on these seats were always widely and completely rigged every time who ever was in power in Pakistan. This time was not different than before as MC bagged six with two MQM seats eight while remaining were independent who can easily switch their loyalty.
Election results were disputed by all parties leaders especially 12 seats where Nazims, ministers in Pakistan had already filled the ballot boxes when people began to arrive to the polling station and were not allowed to cast their vote, and signed ballot papers were presented to the media to show the elections irregularities by the rival candidates.

The PML head Sultan Mahmood Choudhry former PM of POK, PPP head Ishaq Zafr and Jammet-e-Islami head Ajaz Afzal including the nationalist Alliance APNA accused the government of Pakistan committing open rigging to bring Muslim Conference in power made the elections only eyewash. They demanded the probe be made in the elections rigging and also questioned the Mushraf’s claim of self-governance that he proposes to India but violates same in its controlled part.

These rigged election results were certainly being watched outside world that further undermines its credibility and moral authority of Pakistan on claiming to be champion of Kashmiri’s right to self-determination. The right Pakistan government violates in its controlled parts by denying people to their political choice by restricting the candidates and rigging the elections. India has rightly questioned Islamabad to its position on political and economic conditions in her controlled parts. Now that pro-Pakistan political Kashmiri leaders blaming Pakistan for violating the rights of the people question its morality or credibility of suggesting self-rule that it does not grant in its controlled parts undermines Pakistan’s claims.

What is a terror module?

Source: Rediff

July 18, 2006

To understand the magnitude and significance of last week's serial blasts in Mumbai from a police angle, rediff.com correspondents spoke to a senior police officer. Speaking on condition that he would not be identified for this report, this is his explanation of what a terror module is:
Tmost important member of any terror module is the bomb-maker.

He usually stays some place else, comes to a targeted city like Mumbai to assemble the devices and returns to his base the morning before or a day before the acts of terrorism happen.

He is much too valuable to the terrorists. Bomb making is only known to a few people and the terrorists cannot afford to lose him, which is why they protect him the most.

Part I: Who could the terrorists be?

The bomb-maker may or may not be known to other members of the module. If they know them, they would almost certainly not know his real name.

Looking at the photographs of the damaged train compartments in last Tuesday's blasts I believe RDX was not used. RDX in a closed environment like a train compartment could have caused many more casualties. The impact of the blast would have been considerably higher.

Gelatin sticks were used in the 2002-2003 blasts in Mumbai. They were sourced from a quarry in Hyderabad. In those cases, three to five kilos of gelatin sticks were covered with clothes, food and other things and put in duffel bags and left on buses and trains. Gelatin sticks are easily available and can cause the kind of damage that one saw last Tuesday.

The handler is the individual who runs the terror module. In most cases he is a Pakistani. He coordinates everything -- from deciding which group will carry out the act of terror to determining the targets. It has to be a small group. It cannot be 25 people, which increases the possibility of the plot being leaked out.

The handler could be a member of an organisation like the Lashkar-e-Tayiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad. He is in constant touch with his bosses in Pakistan. Members of the module may only know him under an assumed name.

The handler usually stays in a city different from the one that is being targeted. In the 2003 blasts in Mumbai, the city police discovered that the handler was based in Pune for three months and made two or three trips to Mumbai every month. He had been in India for three years, posing as a salesman and living in cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore.

The July 11 blasts were the first serial explosions in Mumbai since the ten bomb blasts of March 12, 1993. There have been other blasts since then, but they were not executed in such a precise manner. This module appears well coordinated. They must have conducted dry runs and on the day itself they must have moved the bags in quickly.

If we are lucky we won't have another incident within the next month. The terrorists have been unsuccessful in their objective of provoking communal riots in Mumbai. So they will try again and see if they succeed the next time. But no crime is perfect. These terrorists should remember that.

July 17, 2006

Indians never learnt anything from history

" One Army Colonel was recounting instances from history to bring home the point that Indians never learnt anything from history. He told us that from 1000AD to 1900 AD, totally 156 people invaded India and they were all successful. How ironical it was that 12 year and 16 year old kids invaded India with the army of merely 10000 or 20000 men and routed Indian armies which were 100000, 200000 men strong consisting of Rajputs, the bravest of the brave people. It was only because Rajputs refused to use treachery and tactics, as they beleived that Dharmashastras did not allow it. How sad is that no one gave an example from the Gita that Lord Krishna himself justified treachery against a mean enemy. Time and again our people made the same mistake , otherwise history would have different."

Advani urges Centre to revive POTA

Pioneer News Service | Bhopal

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha LK Advani has asserted that the Centre should consider the revival of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) to effectively combat terrorism.

"The BJP is ready to support the Centre in the interest of the country if it announces it will bring POTA back during the first day of the Monsoon Session of Lok Sabha," he said.

Today, the country is looking towards the Union Government for taking strict action against terrorism, and if at this hour POTA is revived, people would welcome it.

Describing the recent serial blasts that shook Mumbai, killing close to 200 people and injuring over 700 others as the first of its kind in the world, Advani squarely held Pakistan responsible for the blasts. He was addressing a party workers' meeting organised to protest terrorism on Sunday.

"Until Pakistan stops fostering terrorism, no dialogues should be held with that country," he said, welcoming the calling off of foreign secretary-level talks with the neighbouring country.

Advani hoped during his visit to St Petersburg for the G8 summit, the Prime Minister, would "expose these activities being carried out by Pakistan and build up international pressure to declare Pakistan a terrorist nation."

Saying that terrorism could not be tackled without implementing strong laws, the BJP leader said to buttress his point, "America had taken the attack on the World Trade Centre not as an incident of terrorism but as an attack on the country."

Going back to the NDA Government regime, Advani said that then the Government had enforced POTA on the advice of the United Nations.

"By repealing POTA, the Congress-led UPA Government has sent a message to terrorists that it was not capable of fighting them," he said, adding that this has emboldened terrorist organisations like Al Qaeda, which have set up terror modules in the country.

Attacking the Centre's soft policies for increase in terrorism, the BJP leader said though the country was facing serious challenges, the UPA Government was busy in party politics.

Taking a dig at the Centre's policies, Advani accused the Congress of abandoning policies being practised by previous Governments under pressure from allies. He quipped that, on one hand, the Congress was making statements that the BJP had become a spent force, and on the other, it was afraid of seeking fresh mandate.

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi stressed on the need for a debate for ending terrorism in the country. He accused Pakistan of attacking economic, cultural and spiritual centres in a bid to destabilise the country. He referred to the attacks on the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Sankatmochan Hanuman temple in Varanasi, IISC in Bangalore and Mumbai train blasts in this regard.

He pointed out that a State's Chief Minister has described outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as a nationalist organisation and announced to withdraw all pending cases against it. Joshi called for the need to formulate a common policy under which people involved in anti-national activities would be strictly dealt with.

Earlier, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said Madhya Pradesh would not allow terrorists to strike roots in the State. State BJP president Satyanarayan Jatia also addressed the programme.

Israeli military estimates up to 25% of Hizballah’s rocket assets destroyed

Israeli military estimates up to 25% of Hizballah’s rocket assets destroyed in six days. No immediate timeline for ending operation

July 17, 2006, 1:53 PM (GMT+02:00)

They say it is too early to discuss a new international force for South Lebanon. DEBKAfile adds: Hizballah still has three quarters of its 10-13,000 rockets intact, and, moreover, according to our sources, is receiving fresh supplies through smuggling routes across Syria into the northern Lebanese pocket of Hermel. It is therefore impossible to draw up a time table to end the Israeli campaign to crush Hizballah’s war machine.

The IDF still relies mostly on its air force to destroy Hizballah stores and infrastructure. Sunday night saw 60 Israel air strikes over Lebanon, reported to have killed 23 people. Israeli artillery, responding to every-deepening Hizballah rocket attacks, is shelling suspected rockets stores secreted in the homes, garages and schools of south Lebanese towns and villages, after advising southerners to leave their homes. Elite troops also took part in these operations.

Tyre, whence Hizballah fired the 15 rockets that killed 8 civilians in Haifa, was targeted Sunday. Eight Canadian dual citizens were killed. Later 5 Hizballah rocket crews were taken out. Nine Lebanese troops are reported killed in raids to knock out their coastal radar stations which assisted the Hizballah attack an Israeli warship last Friday.

The southern suburbs of Beirut and fuel tanks at the international airport took a pounding too, as did the Hizballah’s logistics and training centers in the Beqaa Valley and roads connecting Lebanon to Syria to cut off Hizballah’s supply routes.

Hizballah leader Hassan Nassrallah holed up in Hermel

DEBKAfile Exclusive reveals: Hizballah leader Hassan Nassrallah and top command are holed up in Hermel, the northern Lebanese panhandle bordering Syria

July 17, 2006, 11:02 AM (GMT+02:00)

Among them, according to DEBKAfile’s military and Iranian sources, are Hizballah’s “chief of staff” Ibrahim Akil, its head of intelligence and terror Imad Mughniyeh and commander of special operations Halil Harab.

The group fled their Beirut HQ Saturday night, July 15, and went to ground in the emergency staff bunkers prepared in advance of their July 12 attack on Israel.

After failing to prevent the top Hizballah leaders’ escape from Beirut, the Israeli air force headed north Monday morning, July 17, and is clobbering the Hermel region.

DEBKAfile adds: The Hermel drug-farming pocket bordered north and east by Syria is the haunt of smugglers who use the remote, strategically placed region to move fighters, weapons, cash and drugs across Syria into Iraq and as a staging post to other parts of the Middle East. The smuggling gangs’ overlord is Mughniyeh, a triple Hizballah-Iran-al Qaeda agent and terrorist executive, who has figured high on the US wanted terrorist list for more than two decades. On his orders, the smugglers recently relocated their main operation from the Syrian-Iraqi border to the Syrian-Lebanese border in preparation for the new warfront against Israel. In the last 48 hours, Iran has used this illicit route to beat the Israeli air, sea and land blockade and pump quantities of rockets, anti-air and anti-tank missiles and other advanced weapons systems to Hizballah for a fresh escalation.

Syria's role in this smuggling operation is critical.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources add that the holds of all the Iranian passenger flights landing in Damascus from Thursday, July 13, have been crammed with weapons for Hizballah.

Friday and Saturday, 25 Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, anti-tank and anti-air missile experts, arrived in mufti in the Syrian capital. They were led by the smugglers across mountain routes into Lebanon. Mughniye, a confidant of Iran's Ali Khamenei and Osama bin Laden, is constantly at Nasrallah’s side. He is believed by Israeli intelligence to have engineered the kidnap of the two Israeli soldiers on which sparked the hostilities July 12.



by B. Raman

I am repeating below the replies given by me to some mails from readers of my earlier articles on the Mumbai blasts of July 11, 2006.

Why attacks on trains?

We had the first attacks on trains in India in December, 1993, by the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). It was not well organised and the casualties were small. Random explosions in railway trains now and then, here and there keep taking place. They do not make much of an impact. The Mumbai blasts of 11/7 made an impact because the blasts were multiple, well-synchronised and took place one after the other in quick succession. And the fatalities were large (184).Terrorists like to attack railways because they will always be soft targets whatever be the physical security. Successful attacks on trains dramatically demonstrate to the ordinary people the inability of the State to protect them. The intimidatory effect on the general population is more than in the case of attacks on civil aviation. Planes are used mostly by the moneyed elite. Terrorism as a means of waging a war has four objectives---to intimidate the state and the civil population; to demonstrate the inability of the State to protect its civilian population; to generate pressure on the State from its population to settle with the terrorists; and to create feelings of battle fatigue in the State as well as its population. In the calculation of the terrorists, all these objectives are facilitated by successful attacks on mass transport systems----trains, buses or ferries. Terrorists have convinced themselves that it was their successful strike on trains in Madrid in March, 2004, which forced the Spanish Government to withdraw its troops from Iraq and that it was their attacks on the transport system in London in July last year that set in motion the political weakening of Mr. Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister. Mumbai was a copy cat of Madrid, but on a larger scale. There were only four explosions in Madrid, but seven in Mumbai. There could be copy-cats elsewhere too---in India as well as abroad. In 1967-68, when the PLO took to plane-hijacking, there were copy-cat emulations all over the world by different terrorist groups for nearly a decade. Concerted measures for tightening civil aviation security brought this to an end. Such concerted measures are difficult in the case of mass transit systems, but one has to find ways of making terrorist attacks on trains more and more difficult. Mass casualty attacks on trains has been mainly the defining characteristic of jihadi terrorist organisations, which specialise in the use of explosives. Whichever country has jihadi terrorism with expertise available to the terrorists in the use of explosives becomes vulnerable to Madrid and Mumbai style attacks. Preventive security measures would entail large expenditure and countries in Asia and Africa may not be able to make that kind of investment. Hence, they become more vulnerable than Western countries.

Why terrorists have been repeatedly attacking Mumbai since March, 1993?

Mumbai is India's New York and Chicago (of the 1920s and the 1930s) rolled into one. It is the economic capital of India. Many foreign multinationals have their corporate headquarters in Mumbai. It contributes more to the Indian exchequer than any other city. It is also the mafia capital of India. Many mafia groups of South Asia have their active presence in Mumbai. One finds the nexus between terrorism and organised crime most vividly demonstrated in Mumbai. Mumbai is India's economic nerve-centre. If it decays, India decays. Anybody, who wishes ill of India and wants to prevent it from emerging as a major economic power----whether it is Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) or Al Qaeda or the Pakistani jihadi organisations---would target Mumbai. To strike successfully, terrorists need money, sanctuaries, arms and ammunition and explosives, logistical support, alienated pockets of the population wanting to give vent to their anger etc. All of them are available in plenty in Mumbai. There has been a deterioration of the quality of urban policing in India. Nowhere has this deterioration been more disturbing than in Mumbai.

When did the ISI develop an interest in targeting Mumbai?

In the early 1990s. An arrested Khalistani terrorist told the Police during his interrogation that during his training in Pakistan, the ISI had asked him to join the Mumbai Flying Club, take a plane up on a solo flight and crash it on the Bombay High off-shore oil installations. He said he did not do it because the Khalistani terrorists were against suicide terrorism. When Dawood Ibrahim, the Indian mafia leader, and his boys sought training and arms assistance from the ISI for the blasts of March, 1993, it was the ISI, which gave them a list of carefully selected economic targets to be attacked. Recent reports speak of an ISI interest in attacks on economic targets in Bangalore.

Why do the Pakistani jihadi organisations, which are members of Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front (IIF), try to repeatedly attack Mumbai?

It is the ISI, which insists on their attacking targets in Mumbai in return for its assistance.

What has been the history of Pakistan-sponsored jihadi terrorism in the Indian territory outside Jammu & Kashmir?
It started after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya by a Hindu mob in December, 1992. There were three attacks of jihadi terrorism in 1993-94----- the serial blasts in Mumbai organised by the Dawood Ibrahim mafia, the explosion outside the office of a Hindutva organisation in Chennai organised by Al Ummah, an organisation of Tamil Nadu with close links with the SIMI, and the explosions in railway trains organised by the SIMI in North India. There was a lull from 1995 to 1997. Jihadi terrorist attacks in the Indian territory outside J&K resumed again after the Government of Shri A. B. Vajpayee came to power in 1998. These attacks have continued off and on since then. There was again a lull between September 2003 and July, 2005. Since July, 2005, these attacks have been resumed and made more and more lethal.

Would it be correct to say that there would have been no jihadi terrorism in the Indian territory outside J&K if the Babri Masjid had not been demolished?

No.Pakistan's plans for spreading jihadi terrorism to other parts of India had been drawn up even in the 1980s when Gen.Zia ul-Haq was in power. A small group of SIMI had gone to Pakistan clandestinely and Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islami arranged for its training by contacting the ISI. After they returned to India, they had difficulty in organising acts of terrorism for want of support from the local Muslim community. This support started coming in after the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

What has been the role of Indian and Pakistani Muslims in jihadi terrorism in the Indian territory outside J&K?
In the initial wave of anger after the Babri Masjid demolition, all the terrorist strikes of 1993-94 were carried out by Indian Muslims trained and armed by Pakistan. From 1994, jihadi terrorism by sections of Indian Muslims declined. The ISI asked the Pakistani jihadi organisations, which had started operating in J&K from 1993 onwards, to spread out to other parts of India and take over the leadership of the jihadi terrorist movement there. This started happening from 1998. The serial blasts in Coimbatore in February, 1998, were the last attack planned and executed exclusively by a group of Indian Muslim youth belonging to the Al Ummah. In all subsequent jihadi strikes in the Indian territory outside J&K, the leadership role was exercised by Pakistani organisations, with participation by recruits from the Indian Muslim community in India and the Gulf.

What has been the role of Al Qaeda in India?

The Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM), which are active in J&K since 1993 and in other parts of India thereafter, are members of bin Laden's International Islamic Front (IIF) formed in February,1998. Al Qaeda, as an organbisation , has reportedly no presence in India, but it operates through its Pakistani surrogates. Since 9/11, there have been three indicators of possible Al Qaeda links with elements in India. After the arrest of Abu Zubaidah, the then No.3 of Al Qaeda at Faislabad in Pakistan in March,2002, sections of the Pakistani media had reported that he had done a course in computer training at Pune in India before crossing over to Pakistan and joining Al Qaeda. The report of the US National Commission, which enquired into the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US, refers to a visit to India by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who was believed to have orchestrated the 9/11 strikes in the US, but it does not give any other details. It also refers to the use made by Al Qaeda of the services of one al-Hindi (Bilal al-Hindi) for collecting target information from New York. Subsequent reports from American and British investigators identified him as a Hindu convert to Islam, whose Gujerati family had migrated to the UK from East Africa. It was also reported that he had been visiting J&K. One does not know whether these indicators were thoroughly followed up by Indian investigators in order to build a full picture of any Al Qaeda cells in India. At present, the presumption is Al Qaeda has no cell in India. This may be wrong.

What has been the attitude of Al Qaeda to India?

Before 1993, bin Laden and Al Qaeda used to criticise the US for allegedly supporting India on the Kashmir issue. There was no criticism of India itself. From 1993 onwards, Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's No.2, started referring to India and the Hindus in the context of his attacks on Gen.Pervez Musharraf. He accused Musharraf of paving the way for the take-over of Pakistan by the Hindus. Since the visit of President Bush to India in March last, bin Laden himself has started criticising India. He and Al Qaeda have started speaking of a Crusader-Jewish-Hindu conspiracy against Islam. Al Qaeda has also been accusing India of using Bush to exercise pressure on Musharraf to stop supporting the "freedom struggle" in J&K. Now whenever Al Qaeda talks of the global jihad, it refers to Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Darfur in the Sudan, J&K and Chechnya.

What has been the attitude of the Indian Muslims to Al Qaeda and bin Laden?

The Kashmiri jihadi Muslims, who look upon the US as their objective ally, have been keeping away from them lest their support for Al Qaeda be misunderstood by the US. They have, however, been totally supporting the Pakistani jihadi organisations, which are members of the IIF. Support for bin Laden among the non-Kashmiri Muslims has been increasing, though it is still small. While very few Kashmiri Muslims joined the anti-Bush demonstrations in March last, a large number of non-Kashmiri Muslims joined. Some of these non-Kashmiri Muslims even shouted pro-Al Qaeda and pro-bin Laden slogans, particularly in Mumbai.

Is there any likelihood of any convergence of interest between the ISI and Al Qaeda in India?

Both are concerned over the growing strategic relations between India and the US----each for its own reason. Pakistan is peeved at the Indo-US deal for co-operation in the development of civilian nuclear power and is annoyed at the US refusal to sign a similar agreement with Pakistan. It is upset over the US efforts to build up India as an Asian power on par with China. Al Qaeda's objection is more ideological. It looks upon anyone having having close relations with the US and Israel as its adversary. The ISI and Al Qaeda would like to hamper, if not disrupt, this growth. Al Qaeda attacks on US nationals and interests in India at the instigation or with the complicity of the ISI, is therefore a possibility.

Are there any other factors requiring attention?

The dubious role of Iranian intelligence agencies. There were some indications that the Iranians played a role in instigating the anti-Bush demonstrations---particularly in Lucknow and Hyderabad, which have a large Shia population. The Iranian intelligence has been trying to create difficulties for the UK-led NATO forces in Afghanistan by assisting in the resurgence of the Taliban. It has also kept Iraq boiling. The Iran-backed Hezbollah in the Lebanon has been targeting Israel. One has to pay greater attention to any clandestine activities of Iran in India. The ISI, the Iranian Intelligence and Al Qaeda might find a convergence of interest in disrupting Indo-US relations.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: itschen36@gmail.com)

July 16, 2006

7/11: Narsimha Rao was efficient than Moron Manmohan

By B.Raman

There has so far been no breakthrough in the police investigation into the seven well-synchronised explosions targeting train commuters in Mumbai on March 11,2006, in which 180 persons were killed and over 700 injured.

2. Compared to the serial bombings of March,1993, the progress in the investigation has been much slower this time with no breakthrough in sight . In March,1993, the initial breakthrough came within a few hours of the blasts because the terrorists had placed the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in stolen cars. The number plates of the cars provided a useful starting point for the investigation. Moreover, one of the IEDs failed to explode and was recovered intact. An abandoned car with some AK-47s of Chinese make and hand-grenades of Pakistani make was found.On checking the immigration records at the Mumbai international airport, the intelligence agencies found that an entire Muslim family, engaged in the travel business, had left Mumbai for Dubai in two batches---one batch before the day of the explosion and the other on the evening of the day of the explosion. Checking of the airport records at Dubai showed that some of them had travelled to Karachi a few weeks earlier by the Pakistani International Airlines and returned to Dubai some days later. They travelled with visas on plain paper issued by the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai so that their passports did not carry any entry regarding their travel to Karachi. Some of the perpetrators fled to Kathmandu by road and from there to Dubai. Those days, the terrorists did not observe much of communication security. Many of the telephone calls between Dawood Ibrahim, the mafia leader then based in Dubai, who organised the explosions with the assistance provided by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and his men in Kathmandu, who were monitoring the progress of the police investigation and reporting to him, were intercepted.There was excellent co-operation from the Nepal Police.

3. Within a few hours of the explosions, P.V.Narasimha Rao, the then Prime Minister, took the following action:

He asked Rajesh Pilot, then Minister of State for Internal Security, to fly to Mumbai in a special Air Force plane with senior officials of the Government of India dealing with internal security to visit the scenes of the explosions, discuss with the Chief Minister of Maharasdhtra and his officers and report to him (the PM) their observations with recommendations for action by the Government of India.
He asked Shri Abdul Kalam, who was then Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister, and some of his scientists to fly to Mumbai to assist the Mumbai Police in the forensic examination and particularly in determining the nature of the explosives used.
He directed the heads of the intelligence agencies of the Government of India to fly to Mumbai and assist the Mumbai Police in the investigation.
He directed the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) to contact the heads of the intelligence agencies of the UK and the USA and request them to depute their counter-terrorism experts to Mumbai so that they could inspect the scene for themselves and come to their own conclusions regarding any Pakistani involvement.
He rang up the heads of the Governments of the United Arab Emirates and Nepal and sought their co-operation in the investigation.
He set up a special group in New Delhi to continuously monitor the progress of the investigation and keep him informed. It acted in tandem with a similar group, which had been set up in Mumbai by Shri Sharad Pawar, the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
4. The Mumbai Police has been facing difficulty this time because the terrorists would seem to have kept the IEDs in brief cases. Not a single IED failed. The terrorists have taken great care not to leave tracks of their involvement. No incrminating material in the form of abandoned weapons, railway tickets, mobile hand-sets etc has been found. Terrorists operating all over the world are much more security conscious today than those of a decade ago and observe communication security. The Nepali Police and security agencies are in a state of demoralisation because of the witch-hunt being carried on by the present Nepalese Government against them under pressure from the Maoists.

5. It is disturbing that even five days after the blasts our forensic experts have not been able to establish the nature of the explosives used.Initially, it was reported that RDX might have been used. Then, the suspicion fell on dynamite. The latest needle of suspicion points to ammonium nitrate. I heard a local official associated with the investigation say on the TV on the afternoon of July 16 that forensic evidence collected from the scene has not so far enabled the forensic experts to determine the nature of the explosive used.

6. One does not know what follow-up action has been taken by the Government of India to assist the Mumbai Police in their investigation.Two claims of a dubious nature have been made after the explosions. The first claim reportedly came in the form of a telephone call from an individual who gave his name as Abu Abdul Rehman al Ansari. He claimed that an Al Qaeda unit has been formed in Jammu & Kashmir and that he has been appointed its chief.

7. One should not take this claim seriously for the following reasons. Firstly, there is so far no evidence of any support to Al Qaeda from Kashmiri Muslims. They have been supporting the Pakistani jihadi organisations, which are members of Osama bin Laden's International Islamic Front (IIF), but they have been keeping away from Al Qaeda and bin Laden. The Kashmiri jihadi organisations believe they cannt achieve their aims without US support.They feel any support from them to Al Qaeda might cost them US support. Any evidence of support for Al Qaeda and its ideology has come from non-Kashmiri Muslims living in other parts of India.More non-Kashmiri Muslims demonstrated against the visit of President Bush to India in March than Kashmiri Muslims.

8.Secondly, for their kuniyats (assumed names) Al Qaeda members choose the names of one of the companions of the Holy Prophet. No jihadi would assume a kuniyat similar to what this telephone caller has assumed. The Hizbul Mujahideen, one of the indigenous Kashmiri organisations, which has its headquarters in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK), has said in a statement:"Al Qaeda had neither any base in Jammu and Kashmir in the past nor does it have any at present." This statement is meant to reassure the Americans, one of the benefactors of the indigenous Kashmiri jihadi organisations. One should not forget the active involvement of Ms.Robin Raphael, then posted in the US Embassy in Delhi, with the Kashmiri jihadi organisations in the early 1990s before President Clinton selected her for the State Department.

9. The second claim has come from an organisation calling itself Lashkar-e-Qahhar. A claim from an organisation with a similar name had also come after the explosions in Varanasi in March last. This claim has come in the form of an E-mail signed John Smith. I am inclined for the present to doubt the authenticity of this claim too because no jihadi organisation worth its salt would use a Christian or Jewish Kuniyat.

10. In the absence of concrete leads about the persons actually involved, the media---print and electronic--- have been circulating a lot of other names of persons suspected to have been involved. Among these names are Rahil Abdul Rahman Sheikh, Zulfiquar Fayaz Qazi and Zabiuddin Ansari, all said to be Indian Muslims from Maharashtra, belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba. There was reportedly suspicion of their involvement in the smuggling of a large consignmrent of RDX explosives recovered by the Police in the Aurangabad area in May,2006.

11. The smoking gun of 11/7 is yet to be found.

(The writer is Additional Secretarey (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: itschen36@gmail.com )

Indian Policy towards Pakistan should be "Talk, talk, bite, bite"

-- B Raman

During his meeting with Shri A.B.Vajpayee, the then Indian Prime Minister, at Islamabad in January,2004, Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf gave a formal assurance that he would not allow the use of Pakistani or Pakistani-controlled territory for acts of terrorism againt India

Even before Gen.Musharraf's commitment to Shri Vajpayee in January,2004, one had noticed two significant changes in the activities of the Pakistani jihadi terrorist organisations operating in the Indian territory.First, there was a sharp drop in acts of Pakistani-sponsored jihadi terrorism in the Indian territory outside J&K. There was no major act of jihadi terrorism in the Indian territory outside J&K between September,2003, and July,2005. This was attributable to two reasons. A Pakistani decision to keep the operations of the organisations sponsored by it confined to J&K and successful preventive actions by the Indian intelligence, which detected and neutralised many sleeper cells in different parts of the country.

Second, the Pakistani organisations operating in the J&K started concentrating on attacking the security forces and their political masters and avoided attacking civilians. There were instances of civilian deaths as collateral damage, but very few targeted attacks on civilians. This change was probably motivated by the bad name which Pakistan was getting from the international community.

Why this reversion to the pre-September,2003, version of the use of the jihadi weapon against India and Afghanistan?

Two explanations are available from an analysis of reports from reliable Pakistani sources and Pakistani media reports. Firstly,an assessment by the Corps Commanders of the Pakistani Army in June last year that the non-use of the jihadi sword could result in the de facto status quo in J&K and Afghanistan becoming a de jure reality. They felt this would be detrimental to Pakistan's interests.

10. Secondly, Musharraf's need of the assistance of the jihadi organisations to defeat the attempts of Mrs.Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians and Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League to win next year's general elections. In the elections of October,2002, Musharraf used the fundamentalist organisations, which contested the elections, and the jihadi organisations, which worked in the field without contesting the elections, to defeat the candidates of the parties of Ms.Bhutto and Mr. Sharif. The result: the coming to power of the fundamentalist parties in the NWFP and Balochistan. This gave a filip to the activities of the remnants of the Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which enjoy the support of the ruling dispensation in these two key provinces.

11. It is said that Musharraf has already asked the ISI to give the jihadi organisations all the assistance they need for their operations in India and Afghanistan in return for their support to him and the parties controlled by him in next year's elections. He has also ordered the suspension of all action against madrasas, which have been training foreign jihadis.

12. It is, therefore, likely that the activities of the ISI-sponsored jihadi terrorist organisations in India and Afghanistan would continue and escalate in the coming months, irrespective of whether there is any progress in the dialogue between India and Pakistan or not.

What should be India's response in respect of the peace process and the Pakistani-sponsored terrorism?

13.Under Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and P.V.Narasimha Rao, India followed a policy of "talk, talk, hit, hit". They and their officials continued meeting and talking to their Pakistani counterparts, whether there was any useful outcome or not. At the same time, they gave a free hand to their intelligence agencies to do whatever they felt was necessary to hurt Pakistan covertly for its use of terrorism against India. This policy contributed in no insignificant measure to the success of counter-terrorism in Punjab.

14. Narasimha Rao added a psychological component to this policy to highlight before the international community Pakistani sponsorship of terrorism against India. It was largely as a result of this that he succeeded in persuading the Clinton Administration to place Pakistan on a newly-created suspected State-Sponsors of Terrorism from January to July,1993

15. Since 1996, our policy towards Pakistan has lacked coherence, lucidity and single-minded determination to hurt it. Shri I.K.Gujral gave up the "hit,hit" and the psychological components in the hope that this unilateral gesture would make Pakistan change its ways. His hopes were belied.

16. The hopes of our intelligence agencies that the BJP-led Government would restore these components were belied too.One started feeling for the first time the impact of the US influence on our policy towards Pakistan. Fond hopes that the US would succeed in pressurising Musharraf to drop his jihadi sword have not materialised. The time has come for reverting back to the policy followed before 1996.

17.Talk, talk, bite, bite.