September 16, 2006

HUNTING FOR DAWOOD IBRAHIM

THE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM MONITOR: PAPER NO.122
By B.Raman

In their happiness over the conviction of some of the accused involved in the Mumbai explosions of March,1993, the Indian Police and other security agencies should not forget that the mastermind of this act of mass casualty terrorism continues to live under the protection of the Pervez Musharraf regime in Pakistan. He, Tiger Memon and others enjoying the hospitality of the Pakistani authorities have to be brought to justice.

2. It is unfortunate that the Government of India headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has not been articulating openly and vigorously the perfidy of the Musharraf regime in giving sanctuary and protection to Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and eighteen others wanted for trial in India on charges of their involvement in acts of terrorism such as killing hundreds of innocent civilians through improvised explosive devices (IEDs), hijacking of aircraft etc.

3.Dawood Ibrahim has also to be interrogated by independent investigators outside Pakistan on his links with A.Q.Khan, Pakistan's nuclear scientist, and his role in the financing of Pakistan's clandestine procurement of military nuclear material abroad and their transport to Pakistan and in setting up a factory in Malaysia through a Sri Lankan Muslim of Indian origin ( Bukhary Seyed Abu Tahir) for the manufacture of centrifuges required for uranium enrichment.

4. By giving protection to Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistani territory, Musharraf has become what is known in law as an accomplice after the fact in the trial relating to the Mumbai explosions of March,1993. This has to be brought to the notice of the UN Security Council, which is responsible for monitoring the implementation by the member-countries of the UN Security Council Resolution No.1373 of 2001 against terrorism .

5. Our reluctance to keep the spotlight on the role of the Musharraf regime in sponsoring international jihadi terrorism and its contempt for the UN Security Council Resolution has enabled Musharraf to escape responsibilitry for his sins of commission and omission. In our over-anxiety for peace with Pakistan, our Governments---whether the previous one headed by Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee or the present one headed by Dr.Manmohan Singh---have failed to discharge their basic responsibility of protecting all of us from the continuing acts of jihadi terrorism from Pakistani territory. They have also repeatedly betrayed the memories of those killed by the terrorists by failing to ensure that those responsible for the brutal killings were brought to justice.

6. At least the previous Government was talking about the role of Pakistan in strong language, though it did precious little by way of action. The present Government neither talks nor acts. It follows a policy of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil vis-a-vis Pakistan and Musharraf.Unless the relatives of those killed in all jihadi terrorist strikes and their supporters constitute a strong movement of terrorism victim activism and confront our political leaders with the danger of their losing the elections if they did not act against jihadi terrorism and Pakistan, they will continue to disregard public opinion and sentiments on this issue.

7.We saw how the victim activism movement in the US after 9/11 ensured that the Government and the Congress acted vigorously against international terrorism, held a thorough enquiry as to how 9/11 happened and took the necessary follow-up action. Counter-terrorism has become the most important national security issue in the forthcoming Congressional elections in the US and the candidates seeking re-election are being forced to show what they did against terrorism during their tenure as members of the Congress. We have also seen how a vigorous victim activism movement has ensured that the enquiry into the blowing-up of the Kanishka aircraft of Air India in June,1985, by the Babbar Khalsa was re-opened.

8. Our political leaders take us for granted and do not care for the lives of thousands of victims of jihadi terrorism because they think that public memory in India is short and that they can win elections with money and populist lollipops. We have to create a fear in their mind that their role in putting down terrorism would be the most important deciding factor in the elections.

9. I have previously written and spoken at interactions of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) at New Delhi and Chennai on the need for a vigorous victim activism movement, but no such movement has taken off the ground so far. We do have a strong anti-terrorism movement in India, but our political leaders manage to see to it that its focus remains ensuring that the terrorists do not succeed in their objective of distrurbing communal harmony and that the movement does not turn against the Government and hold it accountable for its sins of commission and omission. There is an urgent need for a strong victim activism movement directed against the Government and the political leaders.

5.The Annexure gives extracts from my past writings on Dawood Ibrahim. (16-9-06)

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

ANNEXURE

THE DAWOOD IBRAHIM GANG

Before March 1993, the Dawood Ibrahim group, which indulges in large-scale smuggling, money-laundering and other criminal activities, was operating from Dubai. In March 1993, this group organised at the instance of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan a series of explosions directed at important economic targets in Mumbai---such as the local stock exchange, which is the biggest in India, a local hotel for tourists run by the Air India etc.

Subsequent investigation brought out that the perpetrators of these acts of terrorism, all Indian nationals, had been recruited, at the instance of the ISI, by Dawood Ibrahim in Mumbai, taken to Pakistan via Dubai for training in the use of arms and ammunition and explosives and then sent back to Mumbai via Dubai. The Pakistani Consulate in Dubai issued them plain paper visas so that their passports did not carry any entries of their visit to Pakistan for training. However, Indian investigators managed to get xerox copies of the passenger manifests of the flights by which they went to Pakistan via Dubai for training. After they returned to Mumbai from Pakistan after the training, the explosives and other arms and ammunition required by them for organising the terrorist attacks were sent by the ISI by boat with the help of Dawood Ibrahim and clandestinely landed on the Western coast of India.

After carrying out the explosions, the perpetrators escaped to Pakistan, some via Dubai and some via Kathmandu, and were given sanctuary in Karachi by the ISI. When the Govt. of India took up with the Dubai authorities the question of the involvement of Dawood Ibrahim, the Dubai authorities pressured him to leave their territory. He took shelter in Karachi and has been living there since then along with some of the perpetrators, who have been given Pakistani passports under different names. Repeated requests by the Govt. of India to Islamabad for arresting and extraditing/deporting them to India have been turned down by Pakistan, which denies their presence in Pakistani territory. Red-cornered notices of the INTERPOL for their arrest have not been honoured by Pakistan.

This matter was again taken up by the Govt. of India with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan when he visited India in July last. He denied their presence in Pakistani territory. Subsequently, "Newsline", a presitigious Pakistani monthly, in its issue for September, 2001, carried a detailed article on their presence and activities in Karachi. The Pakistani media reported that the journalist who wrote this article (Ghulam Hasnain) was detained and harassed by the Pakistani authorities.

The article stated as follows:" Dawood Ibrahim and his team, Mumbai's notorious underworld clan, including his right hand man Chota Shakeel and Jamal Memon, are on India's most wanted list for a series of bomb blasts in Mumbai and other criminal activities. After the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, the gang have made Karachi their new home and operating base. Living under fake names and IDs (identities), and given protection by government agencies, they have built up their underworld operations in Karachi employing local talent like Shoaib and Bholoo.

" In Pakistan, Dawood managed to establish another huge empire, comprising both legitimate and illegitimate businesses. In fact, the last few years have witnessed Dawood emerge as the don of Karachi. Dawood and his men have made heavy investments in prime properties in Karachi and Islamabad and are major players in the Karachi bourse and in the parallel credit system business--hundi. Dawood is also said to have rescued Pakistan's Central Bank, which was in crisis at one point, by providing a huge dollar loan. His businesses include gold and drug smuggling. The gang is also allegedly heavily involved in (cricket) match-fixing. "

The article added: " Not only have the Pakistani authorities turned a blind eye to the gang's activities within Pakistan, but many in the corridors of power have partaken of Dawood's hospitality.....He is said to have the protection of assorted intelligence agencies. In fact, Dawood and his men move around the city guarded by heavy escorts of armed men in civies believed to be personnel of a top Pakistani security agency. A number of Government undercover agents, who came into contact with Dawood because of their official duties, are now, in fact, working for him. Nearly all the men, who surround him for security reasons, are either retired or serving officers, claims an MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) activist."

The article further said: " According to informed sources, Dawood is Pakistan's number one espionage operative. His men in Mumbai help him get whatever information he needs for Pakistan. Rumour has it that sometimes his men in Karachi accompany Pakistani intelligence agents to the airports to scan arriving passengers and identify RAW (Indian external intelligence) agents." (End of citation from the article)

Though the laws of Pakistan do not provide for "economic citizenships", the Pakistan Government informally provides them to international criminals and terrorists, who maintain a minimum dollar deposit in Pakistani banks and help the Government. Dawood Ibrahim, who had reportedly lent money to Pakistan in the past for the clandestine procurement of missiles and connected technology from China and North Korea, has been given informal "economic citizenship" in order to protect him from the arms of the Indian law and provided with a Pakistani passport under a different name .

After the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001, the Govt. of India has given to Pakistan a list of 20 terrorists, wanted for trial in India, who have been given sanctuary in Pakistan. The list includes the names of Dawood Ibrahim and other members of his mafia group wanted for trial in connection with the explosions in Mumbai in March 1993 and other crimes. Pakistan continues to take up the stand that they are not in its territory.

It is alleged that Dawood Ibrahim played an active role in organising the recent referendum campaign of Musharraf in Karachi and in bringing voters to the polling booths in trucks to vote for Musharraf.

------ Extract from a paper titled "CONTROL OF TRANSNATIONAL CRIME & WAR AGAINST TERRORISM: An Indian Perspective" presented by me at a meeting of the Working Group on terrorism of the Council on Security Co-operation Asia Pacific (CSCAP) held at Shanghai in May,2002. The paper is available at Click

DAWOOD IBRAHIM: The Global Terrorist

Shortly after the commission of the terrorist strikes in the US on September 11, 2001, US President George Bush signed Executive Order (EO) No.13224 on September23, 2001, declaring a national emergency to deal with terrorist threats to the USA.He said in his EO: " I also find that because of the pervasiveness and expansiveness of the financial foundation of foreign terrorists, financial sanctions may be appropriate for those foreign persons that support or otherwise associate with these foreign terrorists. I also find that a need exists for further consultation and cooperation with, and sharing of information by, United States and foreign financial institutions as an additional tool to enable the United States to combat the financing of terrorism."

2.The annual report on the Patterns of Global Terrorism during 2001 submitted to the US Congress in May, 2002, by Gen.(retd) Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, described the significance of this EO as follows: "EO 13224 enables the US Government to block designees' assets in any financial institution in the US or held by any US person. It also expands US Government authority to permit the designation of individuals and organisations that provide support or financial or other services to or associate with, designated terrorists. EO 13224 designations allowed the US Government, as well as coalition partners acting in concert, to block tens of millions of dollars intended to bankroll the murderous activities of Al Qaida and other terrorist groups."

3.Under this EO, the US Government has so far designated 322 individuals of different nationalities and organizations as terrorists and terrorist supporters and frozen over $136.8 million in terrorist assets by acting in concert with other member-nations of the UN.Apart from terrorist organisations such as the Al Qaeda, the Jemaah Islamiya, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) etc which have been so designated under this EO, a number of individual terrorists wanted for acts of terrorism in different countries have also been so designated. Important amongst them are Osama bin Laden, his No 2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri and other leaders of the Al Qaeda.

4. While the US Government has designated the HUM, the LET and the JEM as Foreign Terrorist Organisations, none of their leaders has so far been designated as global terrorists. The only individuals living openly in Pakistan who had been brought under the purview of this EO till October 15, 2003, were Sultan Bashir-ud-din.Mahmood, Abdul Majeed and Mahammed Tufail, who were suspected of trying to help bin Laden in the clandestine acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). They were so designated on December 20, 2001, and their bank accounts, wherever found, were ordered to be frozen.

5. Dawood Ibrahim, the mafia leader- cum- terrorist living in Pakistan since the 1990s, became yet another individual terrorist leader living in Pakistan to be brought under the purview of this EO on October 16, 2003, when the US Department of Treasury announced that it was designating him as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 and that it would be requesting the UN to so list him as well. The designation would freeze any assets belonging to Dawood within the U.S. and prohibit transactions with U.S. nationals. The UN listing will require that all UN Membe-States take similar actions.

6."This designation signals our commitment to identifying and attacking the financial ties between the criminal underworld and terrorism,” stated Juan Zarate, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes. “We are calling on the international community to stop the flow of dirty money that kills. For the Ibrahim syndicate, the business of terrorism forms part of their larger criminal enterprise, which must be dismantled."

7. A press release of the US Department said: "Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian crime lord, has found common cause with Al Qaida, sharing his smuggling routes with the terror syndicate and funding attacks by Islamic extremists aimed at destabilizing the Indian government. He is wanted in India for the 1993 Bombay Exchange bombings and is known to have financed the activities of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (Army of the Righteous), a group designated by the United States in October 2001 and banned by the Pakistani Government -- who also froze their assets -- in January 2002. "

8. A fact sheet attached to the press release said: "Ibrahim's syndicate is involved in large-scale shipments of narcotics in the UK and Western Europe. The syndicate's smuggling routes from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa are shared with Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist network. Successful routes established over recent years by Ibrahim's syndicate have been subsequently utilised by bin Laden. A financial arrangement was reportedly brokered to facilitate the latter's usage of these routes. In the late 1990s, Ibrahim travelled in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban."

9. It added: "Ibrahim's syndicate has consistently aimed to destabilise the Indian Government through inciting riots, acts of terrorism and civil disobedience. He is currently wanted by India for the March 12,1993, Bombay Exchange bombings, which killed hundreds of Indians and injured over a thousand more."

10. It also said: "Information from as recent as Fall 2002, indicates that Ibrahim has financially supported Islamic militant groups working against India, such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LET). For example, this information indicates that Ibrahim has been helping finance increasing attacks in Gujarat by LET. "

11. The statement and the attached fact sheet do not say how the US Government came to know of Dawood's links with the Al Qaeda, bin Laden and the LET. However, it needs to be noted that last week the US Government also designated the Al Akhtar Trust, a supposedly charity organisation based in Pakistan founded by the JEM, for purposes of freezing its accounts under this EO. It described the Al Akhtar Trust as the successor organisation to the Al Rashid Trust, which had earlier been brought under the purview of this EO.

12. The Treasury Department statement indicated that it suspected the Al Akhtar Trust of funding jihadi terrorist activities not only in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also in Iraq. Since February last, I have been drawing attention to reports that the HUM and the LET have been sending small numbers of their cadres to Iraq to participate in a jihad against the US troops there and that the LET has been collecting funds in Pakistan for assisting the families of its "martyrs" in Iraq.The statement reveals that the JEM has also been indulging in activities in support of the jihad in Iraq through the Al Akhtar Trust.

13.The fact sheet attached by the US Treasury Department to the order relating to the Trust says as follows at two places: "During a custodial interview in early 2003, a senior Al Qaida detainee related that AL AKHTAR TRUST and Al-Rashid Trust were the primary relief agencies that Al Qaida used to move supplies into Qandahar, Afghanistan. " Again it says: "During a custodial interview in mid-April 2003, a senior Al Qaida detainee stated that Al-Rashid Trust and Al AKHTAR TRUST provided donations to Al Qaida."

14. The USA's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers in Pakistan had got hold of two senior Al Qaeda operatives during this period---Khalid Sheikh Mohammad,who is suspected to be the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the USA and who was caught in Rawalpindi in March last, and Walid bin Attash, the principal Al Qaeda suspect in the case relating to the bombing of the US naval ship USS Cole in Aden in October, 2000, who was caught in Karachi in April last.

15. The interrogation of Walid bin Attash by the FBI had not yet started by mid-April. It would, therefore, be reasonable to infer that the action against the Al Akhtar Trust was probably based on information provided by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. Since the action against Dawood followed two days after the action against the Trust, there is a strong possibility that the information obtained during the same interrogation about his links with the Al Qaeda triggered off the action of the Treasury Department.

16.What next? The designation of Dawood as a global terrorist does not automatically freeze his bank accounts and the accounts of the organisations with which he is associated. It only directs all banks and other financial institutions in the US to identify such accounts and freeze them. How effective is the follow-up action depends on how effective is the identification of the accounts.

17. The Treasury Department order does not give all the aliases of Dawood. It names him as Dawood Ibrahim, also known as Dawood Ebrahim, also known as Sheikh Dawood Hassan. Only all accounts held in these names will be affected by this order. If he has been holding accounts under other names, those would not be affected till identified to be his.

18. The UN Security Council, in its capacity as the monitor of the implementation of its Resolution No.1373 calling for action against terrorism by member-nations, would now be moved by the US to issue instructions to all member-nations, including Pakistan, to freeze the accounts of Dawood held under these three names.

19. Whenever such instructions were issued by the UNSC in the past, the Government of Pakistan circumvented them by alerting organisations and individual terrorist leaders named by the EO and the UN about the impending freezing of their accounts, thereby enabling them to withdraw the bulk of the balance to their credit or transfer it to other accounts under different names.

20.This has been repeatedly happening since January last year. As a result, when the accounts were finally frozen, they were found to contain paltry amounts.

21.The last one year has also seen a tremendous increase in the remittance of funds from overseas bank accounts to accounts in Pakistan. The total remittances during this period were estimated at US $ four billion. The Pakistani authorities attributed this increase to the fact that Pakistanis living abroad have started using normal banking channels for their remittances due to fears that the use of the informal hawala channels as in the past might attract the suspicion of the FBI. Even if this explanation is true, it could account for the transfer of only about US $ 1.5 billion from overseas accounts to accounts in Pakistan.

22. Following suspicion that the steep increase in the remittances flowing into Pakistan might be due to the transfer of the money held overseas by the so-called Saudi charity organisations associated with terrorism to accounts in Pakistan and the use of new accounts in Pakistan by organisations based in Saudi Arabia for funding terrorism, the FBI is reported to be closely monitoring all remittances of over US $ 1,000 to accounts in Pakistan. The Washington correspondent of the "News", the Pakistani daily newspaper, has reported (October 1, 2003) that the Pakistani authorities have agreed to a request from the US to report to the FBI details of all such remittances.

23. The action taken by the Pakistani authorities against all suspected bank accounts in Pakistan continues to be an eye-wash. On June 14,2003, Shaukat Aziz, Pakistan's Finance Minister, placed on the table of the National Assembly a statement giving details of the accounts frozen by the authorities. In the statement figured three accounts in Peshawar banks held in the name of bin Laden and one in the name of his No.2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri (name of the branch not given). Of the three accounts of bin Laden, two were joint accounts held by him along with others and one was an account only in his name. The three bin Laden accounts, according to the statement, had balances of only US $ 306, US $ 342 and US $ 1585 and the account of Al-Zawahiri had a balance of US $ five only.

24.. The statement contained a remark that the account of Al-Zawahiri had remained dormant since 1993. There were no such remarks in respect of the accounts of bin Laden. Hence, they are presumed to have been active. The statement remained silent as to what were the various deposits made in the accounts and withdrawn or transferred from them before they were frozen, who were the beneficiaries etc.

25. According to the same statement, the HUM had three accounts with balances of US $ 62, US $ 48 and US $ 35. The JEM had one account with US $ 14.

26.Over the years, Pakistan, its military dictator Gen.Pervez Musharraf and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have fine-tuned the art of hoodwinking international community and particularly the US Administration-- whether it be in respect of its clandestine WMD assistance to North Korea and Iran, its sponsorship of cross-border terrorism into India and Afghanistan or evasion of action under the UNSCR No.1373 against terrorists and other organisations.

27. Unless India takes advantage of the slight opening provided by the US designation of Dawood as a global terrorist and acts proactively and aggressively through the UN monitoring mechanism and through bilateral channels to ensure that Pakistan does not again wriggle out of its obligations under the UNSC Resolution 1373, we will find history repeating itself.

28. In my paper No.515 of September 1, 2002, ( "INDIA'S NATIONAL SECURITY MANAGEMENT & 9/11") available at www.saag.org, I wrote as follows: "After 9/11, the purely legalistic approach to the question of blocking terrorist funding has given way to a more pragmatic approach, with actions now being taken by the international community against suspected terrorist accounts even on the basis of strong suspicion instead of waiting, as in the past, till legally sustainable evidence was forthcoming. This should have been taken advantage of by us by moving for the freezing of the bank accounts of Dawood Ibrahim and other members of his mafia group wherever they are held--whether in Pakistan, the UAE, South Africa, Nepal, Thailand or elsewhere. Our plea for action could have been justified on the basis of the strong evidence at our disposal regarding their involvement in the Mumbai blasts of March,1993."

29. In a paper (available at www.saag.org) presented at a panel discussion on Terrorism in the Indian sub-continent , organized by the US-India Political Action Committee and the US-India Institute for Strategic Policy at Washington DC on July 16, 2003, I had stated as follows: " About 400 survivors of the 500-strong hardcore of Al Qaeda had crossed over into Pakistan from Afghanistan giving a slip to the US security forces in the beginning of last year. Of these, about 75 are estimated to have since moved over to Yemen and Saudi Arabia and 30 are estimated to have crossed over into Iran via Pakistan’s Balochistan. Of the remaining, about 75 took shelter in Karachi and 220 in Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Balochistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK). Of the 75, who took shelter in Karachi, about 50 are still holed up in various hide-outs there with the assistance of their Pakistani sympathizers and the mafia gang led by Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted by the Indian authorities for prosecution in connection with the Mumbai (Bombay) blasts of March,1993, a precursor of mass-casualty or catastrophic terrorism."

30. India should act on the US order and move against Pakistan before it is too late.

31. Annexed is an extract from a paper on terrorism and transnational crime presented by me at a meeting of a working group on this subject held in Shanghai, China, in May last year. "Herald", the monthly journal of the prestigious "Dawn" group, has since come out (August,2003) with more details on the presence of Dawood in Pakistan and his activities there.

-----Copy of a paper prepared by me on October 19,2003. Available at Click

ISI SHIFTS DAWOOD IBRAHIM TO WAZIRISTAN? - INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM MONITOR--PAPER NO. 84

Dawood Ibrahim, the Indian mafia leader, was living in Karachi with a Pakistani passport under a different name since the explosions in Mumbai in March,1993, in which over 300 innocent civilians were killed. The entire operation was orchestrated by him from Dubai, where he was living before March,1993.He had the perpetrators of the blasts trained clandestinely by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan in Pakistani territory. After the training, they returned to Mumbai and carried out the explosions with the help of explosives, detonators and timers given by the ISI. These were clandestinely shipped to landing points on the western coast of India in boats hired by Dawood.

2. When his involvement in the blasts was proved, the Government of India requested the Dubai authorities for his arrest and deportation. The Dubai authorities advised him to leave their country. He shifted to Karachi and started living there. Sections of the Pakistani media reported from time to time about his presence in Karachi and the activities of his mafia group from Pakistani territory. They also reported that many retired officers of the Pakistani intelligence community had been employed by him as his security officers.

3. At the request of the Government of India, the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) based in Lyons in France issued many look-out notices for his arrest and deportation to India if he was found in the territory of any member-country. The look-out notices also gave his Karachi address.

4. In response to these notices, the Pakistani authorities kept denying the presence of Dawood in their territory. The matter was taken up by Mr. A.B.Vajpayee, our former Prime Minister, with President Pervez Musharraf during their meeting in Agra in July,2001, and again during their meeting in Islamabad in January 2004.Dawood's name also figured in the list of 20 terrorists wanted for trial in India, which was handed over by the Government of India to Islamabad in the beginning of 2002. The stock response from Musharraf was that Dawood Ibrahim was not in Pakistan.

5. In the meanwhile, the Karachi-based Dawood developed contacts with the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and Al Qaeda elements such as Ramzi Binalshibh (since arrested by the Pakistani authorities and handed over to the US), who had been given sanctuary in Karachi by the LET.

6. Following the receipt of information about his contacts with Al Qaeda and the LET, the US took serious notice of his presence in Karachi. The US Treasury Department issued a notification in October, 2003,declaring him an international terrorist. The notification, which recommended to the UN Security Council the freezing of his bank accounts because of his involvement in global terrorism, specified that he was residing in Karachi and gave his address. The Pakistani authorities contended that no person by the name Dawood Ibrahim or resembling him was living in Karachi at the address given by the US.

7. Thereafter, references to his presence and activities in Pakistani territory became less and less in the Pakistani media. Then suddenly, on June 18, 2006, the "News" of Pakistan carried a detailed report on him. It claimed that he had changed his physical appearance by undergoing plastic surgery, that he had shifted from Karachi to Afghan territory and that the Afghan security forces were searching for him.

8. The "News" report said inter alia: " The US-backed Afghan National Army and the Afghan Police have launched a new hunt---this time for an Indian fugitive by the name Dawood Ibrahim. The tribal areas bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan, which were being searched for Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants, are now being combed for the man accused of the Mumbai blasts of March,1993....Sources in the Pakistani intelligence agencies, however, express ignorance about the whereabouts of the wanted Indian national. Afghan sources also claim Dawood Ibrahim might be having a safe sanctuary in Pakistan, where, they say, he continues to maintain close links with militant outfits..... According to a theory doing the rounds in Peshawar, close friends in Pakistan may have convinced Dawood Ibrahim to re-locate himself amid fears he will be targeted by his enemy (Chhota Rajan)......... The Afghan sources rule out Dawood's presence in Nangarhar Province, but hint the restive Kunar and even the troubled eastern provinces of Paktia, Paktika and Khost could be the possible hide-outs of the terror suspect. "This is highly unlikely though," says an Afghan security official."

9. Quoting unidentified Indian officials, sections of the Indian media reported on July 7,2006,that the Pakistani authorities have informed the INTERPOL that Dawood Ibrahim was not living in Pakistan as stated in its notices and requested it to delete from its notices the references to his so-called Karachi address. Questioning the contention of the Pakistani authorities, Indian officials have asserted that they have evidence that Dawood Ibrahim was in Karachi at least till May,2005 (the "Indian Express" of July 8,2006).

10. According to some sources, fearing that Dawood might unwittingly expose his presence in Karachi to the US intelligence through the careless use of his telephones, the ISI has shifted him to the Waziristan area, where the hide-outs of Osama bin Laden and his No.2 Ayman al-Zawahiri are also located. These sources say that he is in Pakistani and not Afghan territory and lives under the protection of the ISI as well as his security guards, all of whom are retired officials of the Pakistani intelligence.

11. During his stay in Dubai and Karachi, Dawood Ibrahim was not only indulging in narcotics smuggling and other acts of organised crime and terrorism, but was also running some legitimate business enterprises. One of them produced documentaries and other features for the local TV channels. It would be worthwhile enquiring whether the company (Sahab), which usually produces and disseminates the features and messages of Al Qaeda, including those of bin Laden and Zawahiri. has any links with Dawood.

-----Copy of a paper prepared by me on July 8,2006, available at Click
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PAKISTANI CITIZENSHIP

Many Caribbean and South Pacific countries offer fugitives from justice what is called 'economic citizenship' to enable them to evade arrest and deportation to countries where they are wanted for crimes. This citizenship is sold in return for a minimum deposit in foreign currency kept by them in local banks.

Pakistan does not have any laws providing for such 'economic citizenship', but its government, on the ISI's advice, informally awarded economic citizenship to Dawood Ibrahim, who was issued a Pakistani passport under a different name. Similarly, Chhota Shakeel has a Pakistani passport under a different name.

It is believed that in the 1990s, Dawood Ibrahim had financially helped Pakistan in the clandestine procurement of nuclear and missile technology and components and that this factor too probably influenced Islamabad's decision to grant him economic citizenship.

---Extract from an article written by me for Rediff.com on August 21,2001, available at Click

DAWOOD & NUCLEAR SMUGGLING

Tahir's family was closely connected with Dawood Ibrahim, the Indian mafia leader living in Pakistan, who had helped the nuclear and missile establishments of Pakistan in their clandestine procurement and shipping activities. The Dawood group is well-entrenched in Singapore and Malaysia. Its activities in Singapore include: Investment in real estate; a shipping company (name not known) and hawala operations to South India. Among the hawala operators of Singapore allegedly associated with Dawood is a company called the Abdul Gafoor and Company. Before Musharraf visited India in 2001 for the Agra summit, the ISI secretly sent away Dawood to Malaysia through Singapore with the help of one Rakesh Tulshiyan and Shahid Sohail. He stayed in Malaysia as a guest of Tahir's family. He returned to Karachi later. Dawood is believed to have extensive mining interests in Malaysia from where he and his group indulge in the smuggling of silver into India via Nepal

-----Extract from an article written by me on February 23, 2004, , which is available at Click

Pakistani girl gang-raped for 'acquiring education'

Saturday September 16 2006 16:21 IST
IANS
ISLAMABAD: After Mukhtaran Mai, a case of Mumtaz Mai has come to light in rural Pakistan, where women become victims of tribal warfare, family feuds or quite simply, male violence.

The News International Saturday reported the case of one Mumtaz Mai and her daughter, Ghazala Shaheen Bathi, who were abducted, held in captivity and gang-raped for 12 days because daughter Ghazala dared to become educated.

Mukhtaran Mai, the tribal woman gang-raped in June 2002, was freed after the Pakistan Supreme Court intervened in her favour. The case raised protests and concern among civil societies across the world last year.

While Mukhtaran Mai was a victim of a family feud and an act in retaliation to the rape of a girl her brother Shakur was alleged to have committed, the mother-daughter duo earned the wrath of the Mirali tribesmen when it became known that Ghazala had passed her Master's in Education from Bahauddin Zahariya University on Aug 25.

The girl's father Mohammed Hussain, a retired armyman belonging to village Chak Sher Khan near Kabirwala in Multan, was also beaten up.

As in Mukhtaran Mai's case, influential people are said to be involved in this case too. The newspaper report repeatedly hinted at the involvement of "a minister of state", but did not name him.

When informed by the villagers, the local police acted after 12 days, only to help the accused.

While three men managed to escape, the local villagers prevented the car carrying the two women from driving away.

It is said that among the three men overpowered the villagers included two bodyguards of the minister.

Kabirwala's police chief Daud Hussain has been quoted as denying the incident. The police reportedly clarified that the two women had run away from their home "on their own".

However, the newspaper said authorities in the local hospital confirmed that the two women had been raped.

After Mukhtaran Mai's case was taken up by human rights organisations last year, Canada offered to grant her citizenship.

Mukhtaran Mai's visit to the US coincided with that of President Pervez Musharraf. Hackled by the media on the issue, an irritated Musharraf condemned women from his country who complained of being raped, only to earn citizenship of other countries.

Mukhtaran Mai remains a Pakistani citizen, involved in social work in Pakistan and using her "celebrity" status to help needy organisations in her country.
www.newindpress.com/NewsI...d&Topic=0&

Vatican mumbles on Jihad : Where do the Chrisitians of India stand?

These are dangerous times, not a time for pious platitudes. The real question is: where do the Chrisitians of India stand? Europe is finished. It will not fight to defend Christianity. In the civilizational war against Islam, Indian Christian leaders have virtually acted like a fifth column, fondly believing that 'Christian Europe' will take their side in their campaign against the heathen Hindus. Their bigotry has made them campaign against Hindu India, in Europe and America, both of which will be struggling for survival against Jihadi Islam.

Christian stooges like John Dayal, Harsh Mander, Cederick Praksh and a host of others took their anti-Hindu campaign to America, even to the extent testifying against the Hindus in the U.S. Congress.

Christian groups have even gone to the extent of colluding with Jihadi outfits like Deen Dar Anjuman, faking Church bombings, to discredit the Hindus.Now it is only a matter of time before the Islamists turt their wrath on Indian Christians.

Outside India, Christians are looking to work with the Hindus. I know this from personal experience. Only last night, a producer for the CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) called me for a program on Jihad. He knows very well that I am not a Christian, but he sees the magnitude of the threatto the survival of the civilized world. He is professional enough to use my expertise.

Indian Christians cannot hunt with the hare and run with the hounds hoping that the Pope, Sonia Gandhi, or some other white-skinned Western 'Christian' will come and support them in their campaign of prejudice against the heathen Hindus.

My question to Indian Christians: Are you with us or are you with the Jihadis? Do you have the courage to denounce Jihad as a barbarism, or will you shuffle your feet like your 'leaders' from the Pope to Sonia Gandhi?

Next, why should the despised heaten Hindus defend you? Why don't you ask the Pope to send you his army? Harsh words, but not as harsh as the treatment you will receive under Islamic rule.

N.S. Rajaram

Benedict on Jihad : Indian Intellectual Dr.Rajaram lambasted Vatican

Benedict XVI's words regarding Islam resonated with millions of Muslims worldwide who reject the justification of violence in the name of religion, said an expert in
Islam.

Father Justo Lacunza, until recently rector of the Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies of Rome, explained today on Vatican Radio, why, nonetheless, certain Muslim circles reacted harshly to the discourse the Pope gave Tuesday at the University of Regensburg.

"In this the Pope has done no more than take up again the sentiment and desire of millions of Muslims who in one way or another, say: 'Violence and Islam cannot be related,'" Father Lacunza said.

The Vatican release emphasizes: "It was certainly not the intention of the Holy Father to undertake a comprehensive study of the jihad and of Muslim ideas on the subject, still less to offend the sensibilities of Muslim faithful."

Indian Intellectual Dr.NS Rajaram lambasted vticcan and questioned silence of Indian Christians . Speaking to IntelliBriefs he said understanding Jihad aids survival of Christanity in Europe "If the Vatican is concerned about the survival of Europe it must make every effort to understand Jihad, if necessary, "undertake a comprehensive study of the jihadi and Muslim ideas on the subject," the very thing the Vatican says the 'Holy Father' has no intenetion of doing." said .

He intrepreted Vatican message as shying away from critizing Jihad but allowing other to criticize crusade ,"Essentially what we are being told is that it is alright to criticize the Crusades, but no criticism of Jihad allowed."

Pointing out the timing he said "Is it symbolic that the feraless warrior Oriana Falaci died on the same day? Is it the beginning of the end of Christendom?"

The deafening silence of Indian Christians in this whole episode is remarkable he said ,"The reaction of Indian Christians is interesting— deafening silence. Their leaders are the first to criticize Hindu leaders for their supposed 'insensitivity' towards Muslim sentiments, but where are there voices now?"

September 14, 2006

PAKISTAN’S DESERTION FROM UNITED STATES WAR ON TERRORISM: GLOBAL AND REGIONAL SECURITY IMPLICATIONS

By Dr. Subhash Kapila

Introductory Observations

Pakistan, the only Major-Non NATO Ally of the United States in South Asia and much-vaunted “Staunch ally of the United States in the global war on terrorism” reflexively quoted as such by the US Administration, has deserted the United States War on Terrorism.


Despite all the rhetoric and spins that will be given by General Musharraf and the US Administration to the contrary, in the run-up to the White House “Iftar Party” next week, the bottom line is that Pakistan has effectively deserted from the United States War on Terrorism.

Pakistan’s desertion from the United States “War on Terrorism” against the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban has starkly manifested itself with the “Peace Agreement” signed by the military government of Pakistan with the Taliban, and by extension the Al Qaeda, both firmly ensconced in North Waziristan.

Two years back, rather unobtrusively, Pakistan’s military rulers had signed a similar deal in South Waziristan ceding control of this region to the Taliban.

The United States media and the strategic community in Washington have been livid on Pakistan’s sell-out of United States strategic interests. Regrettably, the US Administration has no option but to keep protecting General Musharraf in the earlier vein.

For United States to do it otherwise and admit that Pakistan has deserted the US War on Terrorism against the Taliban and Al Qaeda would be politically suicidal, having sanctified and beatified General Musharraf for five years post 9/11 and projecting him as being crucially indispensable for United States national security interests.

Consequently, any under-playing or de-emphasis of the significance of Pakistan’s desertion from the US War on Terrorism, which is likely to be played out by both the United States and Pakistan for different reasons, cannot obliterate the fact that deep strategic implications arise from this Pakistani desertion.

Pakistan’s breaking away from the United States War on Terror therefore needs to be analyzed both in terms of political symbolism and strategic implications. This paper therefore intends to analyze these factors under the following heads:

Pakistan’s Betrayal of the United States: The Political Symbolism and Timing
Pakistan’s Peace Agreement is a Sell-out to the Taliban and Al Qaeda
“Islamic Emirate of Waziristan” Emerges: A Fundamentalist Taliban State within State of Pakistan and its Strategic Implications.
General Musharraf Reneges on His Pledges to United States: Answer Lies in the Refuge He took in Koranic Tenets Quoted in His September 19, 2001 Speech.
Pakistan’s Strategic Design Underlying Deal With Taliban and Al Qaeda
Global Security Implications of Pakistani Deal
Regional Security Implications for Afghanistan
Regional Security Implications for India
Pakistan’s Betrayal of the United States: The Political Symbolism and Timing

Pakistan’s deal with the Taliban and Al Qaeda over North Waziristan came on Wednesday, September 6th 2006 on what can now best be called a “Black Wednesday” for the United States.

In terms of political symbolism, Pakistan’s deal with the Taliban and by extension the Al Qaeda, represents a dramatic re-alignment or a “U-Turn” of Pakistan’s political directions which it had adopted post 9/11 namely:

Taliban regime change in Afghanistan
War against Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and within Pakistan as an active partner of the United States
Providing bases for US military forces within Pakistan
After five years of strategic and military cooperation with the United States to liquidate Al Qaeda and Taliban, Pakistan through this peace agreement with the Taliban is trying to project the following political symbolism:

Pakistan is no longer willing to confront the Taliban and Al Qaeda firmly ensconced in Waziristan

As a corollary of the above, Pakistan will no longer co-operate militarily with the United States in operations against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Taliban and Al Qaeda are no longer officially considered enemies of Pakistan.
The timing of Pakistan’s announcement of its deal with the Taliban is significantly intriguing when the following factors are analyzed:

The United States was involved in the run-up preparations for the somber “Fifth Anniversary of 9/11” commemoration ceremonies.
Attention in the US was focussed on the horrible carnage inflicted by the Al Qaeda and that Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar were still not captured and present in Pakistani sanctuaries.
Pakistan chose to make the announcement of the deal in the midst of the above. It could have sensitively waited for the 9/11 ceremonies and focus to fade away.

One wonders, how the US Administration would react to this intriguing timing by Pakistan of its deal with the Taliban fully conscious of the fact that the Al Qaeda and Taliban are the most hated entities in the United States.

Pakistan’s Peace Agreement is a Sell-out to the Taliban and Al Qaeda

Pakistan’s main terms ceded to the Taliban in this so called ‘Peace Agreement’ and the main terms accepted by the Taliban in Waziristan for compliance are listed at Annexure to this paper.

On analysis of these terms one could safely advance the following comments:

Pakistan has deserted the US War on Terror by agreeing to suspend all ground and air attacks against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the region.
Pakistan has given a new life to the Taliban and Al Qaeda cadres in Pakistan by releasing them from its custody.
Pakistan will be re-constituting the Taliban’s fighting capabilities by agreeing to restore all captured weapons, equipment and vehicles.
Pakistan has conceded that ‘foreign fighters’ in the region could stay as long as they remain peaceful. Significantly, Pakistan’s military spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan Khan in an interview to US ABC TV channel said that even Osama-bin-Laden would not be taken into custody, if he stayed peacefully!

The Pakistani English media has rightly observed that while the Agreement is being made out as a “breakthrough”, but on reading the fine print it appears that the Pakistani Government has “caved in” to the demands of the militants.

Analytically, it will also emerge that with the Pakistani Army withdrawn from Waziristan there would be no effective machinery to check and monitor the terms of the Agreement accepted by the Taliban.

Islamic Emirate of Waziristan” Emerges: A Fundamentalist Taliban State Within the State of Pakistan & Its Strategic Implications-

North Waziristan combined with South Waziristan is a huge swathe of territory which is bordered by the two Pakistani provinces of NWFP in the North and Baluchistan in the South. On the West the entire region of Waziristan borders Afghanistan and specifically the Southern Provinces of Afghanistan. It is the region where presently the NATO forces are involved in heavy fighting to liquidate the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan.

Pakistan through the Agreements which it has signed with the Taliban leaders, has effectively conceded the following:

Waziristan as a vital strategic region bordering Afghanistan has been ceded to the Taliban in terms of governance and control
Taliban governance as the world knows best is medieval Islamic and fundamentalist. So that is what can be expected now in Waziristan.
The basic creed of Taliban and that of Al Qaeda, is Islamic Jihad. There is no reason to believe that both of them will forsake their crusading zeal but can now proceed more vigorously and freely.
Taliban and Al Qaeda would have a free run within the region and beyond the region into Afghanistan and Kashmir.
In fact what Pakistan has created through this Agreement is an “Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.” In terms of strategic implications-:

Terrorist infrastructure of the Taliban and Al Qaeda can be revived in contiguous region of Afghanistan and proximate region of Kashmir in India.
Safe havens for international Islamic Jihadis could now re-emerge.
Pakistan could feign deniability in Waziristan goings-on as the region being not officially under their control.
General Musharraf Reneges on His Pledges to United States: Answer Lies in the Refuge He Took in Koranic Tenets Quoted in His September 19, 2001 Speech.

Pakistan’s change of direction in relation to its commitments to US War on Terrorism amounts to General Musharraf reneging on his initial commitment to join USA in his September 19, 2001 speech. The way his mind works and the answers to his present reneging can be found in that speech which stands commented in two papers of this author: “Pakistan’s President Unmasked” (SAAG Paper No. 324 dated 21.09.2001) and “Pakistan’s General Musharraf is Not Indispensable for United States” (SAAG Paper No. 625 dated 06.03.2003). Some observations made by the author merit reproduction:

“General Musharraf, in his speech, in relation to the United States was shifty.
“What General Musharraf projected and implied in his presidential address was that Pakistan was under tremendous pressure from the United States to act as he did.”
“Implied was that left to his own volitions, he would not proceed against the Taliban or Osama bin Laden.
“During his speech, General Musharraf leaned heavily on Islamic rhetoric and even invoked lessons from early stages of Islamic religious history” (and Koranic tenets) and that pacts could be “entered into as a temporizing measure by an Islamic state for the sake of political or strategic expediency and then could be later reneged on ….”
Does the recent development come as any surprise? General Musharraf had given indications five years back as to what he would ultimately do.

Pakistan’s Strategic Design Underlying the Deal With Taliban and Al Qaeda: Regain Control of Afghanistan

While General Musharraf’s immediate compulsion in arriving at the ‘Deal’ with Taliban and Al Qaeda may have been prompted by Pakistan Army’s inability to control Waziristan militarily and the necessity to divert more troops to Baluchistan, but the overall factors underlying it are strategic in nature.

The grand strategic design is to regain Pakistani control over Afghanistan, which Musharraf lost on September 19, 2001.

The current situation in Afghanistan is not to the liking of Pakistan because of the following developments:

Democracy is taking roots; it provides a stark contrast to military rule in Pakistan.
The Taliban presently entrenched in Southern Afghanistan are under severe military pressure by NATO forces operations. Their aim of regaining control of Afghanistan is being thwarted.
If Pakistan does not act now to redress the situation in its favor it would forever lose the option of regaining control over Afghanistan.
The present situation for Pakistan is propitious for re-aligning its policies and to re-use the Taliban for regaining control of Afghanistan due to the following factors:

USA is overstretched in Iraq and in its confrontation with Iran thereby distracting it from Afghanistan.
USA and NATO are unwilling to commit large military forces in Afghanistan.
If Pakistan can through a re-activated Taliban operating freely from Waziristan can make things “hotter” for USA and NATO in Afghanistan, then the “combat fatigue” or “Afghanistan fatigue” so induced could lead them to abandon Afghanistan.
A so-weakened Afghanistan would be then an easy prey for Pakistan to regain control of that country.
The Pakistan Army has a “strategic obsession” with Afghanistan being under Pakistani control and it can resort to any design to achieve its aims.

Global Security Implications of Pakistani Deal

The global security implications of the Pakistani deal have to be viewed from three perspectives: (1) The impact on USA; (2) The impact on USA and NATO in Afghanistan and (3) Pakistan’s Repositioning in the Islamic World.

The main impact on the United States is in relation to its “Global War on Terror”. The United States has tried to project that its war against Islamist terrorism was that much more reinforced by having a Muslim nation as its coalition partner. It was never a global war because the United States never co-opted anyone else. With Pakistan opting out, this war would now be reduced to just “USA versus Islamist Terrorism”.

United States military operations in Iraq could as a consequence become that much more complicated as Al Qaeda links already exist with Iraq insurgency.

The Pakistani deal will generate increased insurgency in Southern Afghanistan with the strategic design and implications which already stand spelt out. It could also generate greater reluctance in Europe to join any US coalition operations in the future to regions torn apart by Islamist issues e.g. Lebanon.

Pakistan through this deal with the Taliban and Al Qaeda may be attempting to re-position itself as the ‘third pole’ in the Islamic world in addition to Sandi Arabia and Iran. As the only Islamic nuclear weapons power it aspires to be the leader of the Islamic World. It is also conscious that this cannot be achieved without realigning with Islamist organisations which now seem to pre-dominate the Islamic World.

Regional Security Implications for Afghanistan

Afghanistan experiments with democracy and emergence as a “moderate Islamic nation”, a key objective of the United States would be seriously endangered in terms of security implications.

Afghanistan with its current military capabilities is in no position to withstand Pakistan’s proxy onslaughts through unrestrained Taliban attacks from Waziristan.

There are no regional organisations which could come to the aid of Afghanistan. USA and NATO are the only answers

Therefore the most crucial security implication arising for Afghanistan is its very survival in its present political form and frame work, more so, when on both its Eastern and Western flanks exist fundamentalist regimes and countries where anti-US feelings and stances are predominant.

If the United States considers Afghanistan vital to its national security interests then it has to consider the following:

Prioritize Afghanistan over Iraq in terms of strategic attention
Remove Pakistan’s shadow over US policy formulation on Afghanistan,
In the extreme, engineer a regime, change in Pakistan
Regional Security Implications for India

Regional security implications arise for India are on three different planes, namely

· Pakistan’s proxy war and terrorism against India, especially in Jammu and Kashmir

· India’s strategic and national security interests in Afghanistan

· Pakistan’s military forces released from Waziristan and their consequent deployment.

With Waziristan’s contiguity to NWFP and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, “terrorism corridors” exist for Pakistan’s proxy war against Jammu & Kashmir from this region. The Taliban and Al Qaeda “Emirate of Waziristan” with their links to Pakistani Jihadi terrorist organization operating in Kashmir can be expected now to intensify their terrorism campaigns against India. Pakistan would continue to use Waziristan’s emergence as a “terrorist base” as a plausible deniability exit, and the United States, would continue to believe Pakistan.

In terms of regional security implications, a politically stable and economically viable Afghanistan is a strategic imperative for Indian national security interests. To foil Pakistan’s strategic designs to regain control over Afghanistan, India would need to be more pro-active in the region. This could ultimately even lead to the political decision of committing Indian military forces with the UN-NATO coalition in Afghanistan

India needs to seriously examine the implications on its security of the release of over 80,000 Pakistan Army troops so far deployed in Waziristan. While a small proportion may be diverted to Balochistan, the bulk are likely to be deployed on the Line of Control in Kashmir, As Pakistan’s domestic situation worsens, which is happening now, military adventurism by General Musharraf cannot be ruled out on grounds of his sheer personal survival in power.

Concluding Observations

In Pakistan’s desertion from the US War on Terrorism as manifested in turning over the governance of the entire region of Waziristan to Taliban control, General Musharraf seems to be emboldened by the fact that today the United States is not as strong as it was in 2001 to twist him. His fears of the United States seem to have lessened and the advantages of realigning with the Taliban have come to the fore.

Pakistan was never and will never ever be a “staunch ally” of the United States. The anti-US sentiments in Pakistan have always been there. Today this seems to have permeated into the ranks of Pakistan’s so-called liberalist glitterati. In an earlier paper this author had quoted extensively from their writings after the recent Lebanon war where they presented the picture of the United States being engaged in a “civilizational clash” with Islam.

As a worsening situation emerges within Pakistan and consequently on its peripheries, the resulting quagmire would be primarily because of United States policies or lack of policies in South Asia.

Historically, the United State never got its priorities correct in South Asia and persisted in its strategic obsession with Pakistan forgiving its military trespasses against its neighbors, both Islamic and secular.

Belatedly though, the United States may not now be able to forgive Pakistan’s present trespass, namely deserting the US War on Terror, making peace with the Taliban and Al Qaeda and ceding Pakistani territories to their formal control to the detriment of global and regional security.

Annexure

PAKISTAN’S AGREEMENT WITH TALIBAN IN NORTH WAZIRISTAN

Main Points Conceded by Pakistan to the Taliban

Pakistan will withdraw all Pakistani Army troops from Waziristan including checkpoints, posts etc.
Pakistan will return all Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters captured by Pakistan Army and other agencies. They will be returned to Waziristan.
Pakistan will return all captured weapons, ammunition, equipment and vehicles and return them to Waziristan.
Pakistan will restore all “perks and privileges” hitherto fore enjoyed by tribesmen in Waziristan.
Pakistan will cease all ground and air military operations against Taliban in Waziristan.
Pakistan will provide financial compensation for all deaths/ injuries and damage inflicted in Waziristan by its operations.
Promises Made by Taliban in the Agreement

Taliban will cease all attacks on Pakistani assets in Waziristan
Taliban will cease cross border attacks into Afghanistan
Taliban will not indulge in assassination of Pakistani Government Personnel or journalists
Taliban will ensure that “no one else” uses border for attacks
Force all foreign fighters in North Waziristan with a caveat that those who cannot can continue to live in the region as long as they don’t disturb the peace and tranquility. They would not be taken into custody.
Note: Pakistan Army military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan in an interview to US ABC TV Network conceded that this would apply to Osama bin Laden also.

Who's Hu In South Asia

Who's Hu In South Asia

Certain recent trends that could have a bearing on coming events in the region deserve attention in decoding India - Pakistan - China relations. Consider the Pakistan-Taliban deal...



There has been a flurry recently of diplomatic activity in South Asia. On Sunday Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left for Havana where he is expected to meet President Musharraf on the sidelines.Last week President Musharraf signed an agreement with the Taliban located in Pakistan’s tribal belt bordering Afghanistan. According to the agreement the militants agreed to stop attacks on Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan. In return Pakistan would release their prisoners,
return their weapons, and allow them to live in peace. This set the mood for the President’s two day visit to Afghanistan where he conferred with President Hamid Karzai. Both leaders agreed to fight terrorism. President Musharraf reiterated that he would never allow foreign troops to enter the tribal belt or any other part of Pakistan.



By RAJINDER PURI




Meanwhile, just after Pakistan’s peace deal with the Taliban, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh telephoned President Ahmadinejad of Iran and spoke with him for 15 minutes. According to the PMO, the two leaders discussed the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and resolved to accelerate it. The projected oil pipeline would have to pass through Balochistan. Would the two leaders not have referred also to the crisis in Balochistan?

For meaningful inference from all this, certain trends that could have a bearing on coming events in the region deserve attention. Consider the Pakistan-Taliban deal. A section of the Taliban is located in Balochistan. Its members are anti-US, pro-China and unsympathetic to the local Baloch insurgents. President Musharraf has shown no sign of accommodating Baloch demands. On the contrary he has reiterated his resolve to crush the rebellion. His deal with the Taliban will therefore strengthen his hand in Balochistan. Through concessions, he has bought peace with Taliban to secure NWFP’s tribal belt.

This should please Beijing. China has a huge stake in Balochistan where it develops Gwadar port and carries on mining operations. Presence in Gwadar will allow China to control the Straits of Hormuz to ensure smooth energy supplies from West Asia. An independent Balochistan on the other hand would not only remove Chinese control of Gwadar. It would also jeopardize a future oil pipeline from Iran to Xingjian. President Musharraf’s deal with the Taliban could indicate therefore a decisive Pakistani shift from the US to China. The US too has vital interests in Balochistan. Balochistan provides the best route for gas pipelines from Central Asia.

President Musharraf’s promise to help America capture Osama has little value. The capture of Osama most likely does not depend on Pakistan’s cooperation. There have been persistent reports of Osama-sightings in areas close to Xingjian. Osama’s safest sanctuary is in China. It should be recalled that representatives of China’s Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) had met and struck a deal with Osama. Osama was to restrain an Uighur uprising in Xingjian. In return, PLA had agreed to build the communication network in Afghanistan which was then ruled by the pro-Osama Taliban. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the 9/11 day itself. Nothing has happened subsequently to suggest a weakening of ties between Osama, Taliban and PLA.

Debka File, an Israeli intelligence website, reported the entrenchment of Al Qaeda in Little Pamir, which is Osama’s safest sanctuary. It also reported a strong Al Qaeda presence in Xingjian’s border town of Kushi, where Al Qaeda cadres have been absorbed by Uighur Muslim extremist cells.

How would Iran view developments in Balochistan? Iran’s own Baloch population would make Tehran averse to any demand for Baloch independence.

But if China consolidates in Gwadar via a compliant President Musharraf, Iran’s own leverage through its port Bandar Abbas – which controls the Straits of Hormuz – would diminish. Would Iran countenance that? Paradoxically, American and Iranian interests might coincide in Balochistan.

President Musharraf may have secured peace with home-grown Taliban. But what of the Taliban in Afghanistan? Is it not a matter of time before Pushtuns on both sides of the border make common cause to undo a division bequeathed by imperialism?

It should be noted that the Taliban commitment to Osama and to Al Qaeda is not binding. After 9/11, Kabul’s Taliban
government was prepared to hand over Osama to a third country outside the US. America rejected the offer. The Pushtuns originally welcomed Al Qaeda not because it was a friend but because it was an enemy’s enemy. The Taliban would honour its ties to ensure safe passage to Osama. It would not jeopardize its own future. And what could be its future?

The key to this lies in the Durand Line Treaty which lapsed in 1993. According to it, whenever the Treaty lapsed the tribal belt areas of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province were to return to Afghanistan. Because this was not done the Afghan government refused to renew the Treaty. Will not the Taliban get around to implementing that clause of the Treaty? And would not Pushtuns of Pakistan seeking reunification with their blood brothers support them? And would not even the Hamid Karzai government be compelled to support this demand if it gathered momentum?

As for Balochistan – the borders of the province tended almost entirely to coincide with those of Kalat State – it remained independent for a full year after Partition. Only after that was it forcibly annexed through a treaty signed under coercion of Pakistan’s army. Why did this happen? Because in 1946, when Britain’s departure appeared imminent, the Khan of Kalat represented to the British government that Balochistan was not part of British India. The lawyer who forcefully argued his case was Mohammed Ali Jinnah. As long as Jinnah lived Balochistan remained independent. Only after his death did Pakistan annex it.

How will all these pulls and pressures resolve themselves? Much depends on the role of China. In November President Hu Jintao is expected in India. He remains an enigma. Either he is diabolically duplicitous or he has yet not consolidated power. He seems unable to control North Korea which survives on Chinese largesse and which derived its nuclear programme from China. So, is President Hu posturing before the world or can North Korean leader Kim Jong look for support from others in China?

Former president Jiang Zemin’s loyalists continue to occupy powerful positions in the government. Their policies run counter to the policies of President Hu. President Hu wants to contain the rapacious economics of the Shanghai group and to help China’s peasantry. But to keep Chinese economy afloat he must depend heavily on expanding exports. That’s why he needs India, a potentially huge export market. Keeping these trends in mind, the government should dispassionately assess how much, and at what price, does India really need China?


Rajinder Puri can be contacted at rajinderpuri2000@yahoo.com

September 13, 2006

Modi calls for transparency in NGOs functioning

New Delhi | September 10, 2006 4:41:30 AM IST


Terming most of the NGOs as ''limousine labourers'' who serve the agenda of their funding agencies and not the society in general, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today called for transparency in the functioning of NGOs.

Addressing the gathering after releasing 'NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds: Anti-Nation Industry', edited by Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak, Mr Modi said if functioning and background of politicians and political parties could be scrutinised why can't the functioning of the NGOs be put under the scanner.

Mr Modi, however, said that all NGOs could not be placed on the same platform as some were serving the purpose they were meant for.

''A proper framework should be in place to monitor the functioning of the ''service entrepreneurs' ' who were catering to specific agendas of vested interests.'' This had now become imperative as more harm was taking place because of the endless stream of NGOs, cropped up in recent times, with no principle, no ideology, no cause to their credit, he said.

''Serving people has been a long tradition of India and 'shalas', 'goshalas', 'dharamshalas' were a product of that mentality which did not need an organisation to function, but simple dedication.' ' Today's ''fly-by-night' ' NGOs have no experience of functioning and they were not attached to the soil to understand the needs and specifics of people they wish to work for.

''And this was the cause of concern and needed to be probed, as they were working for 'other causes' than what seems apparent.'' Senior JD(U) leader George Fernandes, speaking on the occasion, said it was sad that the nation's security was being compromised due to lax control and monitoring, referring to the Naval War Room leak case and similar other 'leaks' unearthed recently.

''If proper vigilance was not maintained on the NGOs, we would be losing many things that directly affect our national security.'' It was important to know the sources of their funding as it had a direct bearing on the security of India, he added.

Accusing a political party of being guilty of the 'leaks', Mr Fernandes said it was playing with the national security.

''The ''mole'' thing being talked about recently wasn't a fiction. If one reads this book one would understand where all the moles were placed.'' Calling for a national debate, former defence minister said it was ironical that those who had nothing to do with defence were involved in dealing with it.

The book probes the role of mushrooming NGOs across the country and their functioning which were detrimental to national interests.

UNI AN HS PM2150

More than 16,000 attended Hindu Sangam in the Silicon Valley

Press Release from Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2006
Contact for further information:
Gautam Desai at 510-579-4742 or Khanderao Kand at 408-737-7930

http://www.hindusag am.org
http://www.hssus. org

Pics:
http://www.hssus. org/gallery/ v/WCOAST/ Bayarea/


More than 16,000 people poured into De Anza College, Cupertino, to be part of an exciting day, to celebrate the Hindu way of life. Hindu Sangam, a one-day grand cultural program aimed at displaying the various Hindu intellectual, cultural and spiritual contributions made over thousands of years, was organized by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh with support from over 40 SF Bay Area organizations including Sunnyvale Hindu Temple as one of the Grand Sponsors. This event was organized on occasion of the first birth centenary of Shree Golwalkal Guruji.

The day started with a yagna (offering and prayer) for world peace on the background of September 11. Attendees then participated in programs that took place on eight parallel tracks . Ayurvedic medicine, cultural program, Dharma Vedika (religious philosophy), exhibition, Hindu theme park, Samskritam, Yoga, and youth activities. This was followed by a grand Ramayana play enacted by over 300 children. Shri. Mohan Bhagawat, General Secretary of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the chief guest at Hindu Sangam, addressed the huge gathering and implored everyone to show unity in diversity. The day ended with Smt. Anuradha Paudwal entrancing the audience with her melodious music.

At 10.00 AM the parking lot was teeming with people where a grand stage had been erected just the day before. The air was filled with the chanting of ancient Vedic hymns and the smell of sweet incense. As a grand prayer offering was made to the One God, or Ultimate Reality, through the God of Fire, Agni, a somber silence fell over all present. This has been the way Hindus have been showing what they have eternally believed in, i.e. .Vishwa Shanti. or World Peace as they chanted the mantra .lokaa samastaa sukhino bhavantu.. (Let everyone be happy . Let there be peace in the whole world.)

Ms. Cindy Chavez, Vice-Mayor of San Jose inaugurated the Parallel Track Programs and said that she was honored to be present at such a grand cultural event. The parallel track program options were so numerous that people had to make difficult choices. Programs ran in parallel tracks on different aspects of Hinduism such as Ayurveda . the traditional medicine of India, Yoga . the holistic science of individual health, Samskritam - the language considered to be created by the Gods themselves, and Dharma track on the Hindu dharma and philosophy. Those interested in Indian dance and music were treated to an exotic flair of color on the main stage as part of Kala Sangam.

The youth had excellent programs put together by youth themselves and with speeches by stalwarts of Hindu society. Children had a gala time at the Hindu Theme Park, participating in puppet shows, magic shows, face painting and visiting with Ramayana characters. Also at the venue were demos of self-care remedies and consultations by renowned Ayurveda practitioners.

The Yoga Sangam track was inaugurated with a Yogic dance by Sangita Das and her students, presented the Yoga philosophy in various forms. There were sessions on Pranayama techniques, Art of Living meditation techniques, and yoga for children. Shri. N.V Raghuram of sVYASA, the keynote speaker at the Yoga Track, emphasized that Yoga is a way of life which brings harmony at the individual level and peace at the universal level. The last session was Laughter Yoga by Ms. Robin Pollard, presenting different laughter techniques used for stress-reduction.

The Dharma Vedika, or Dharma track, dealt with the enormous Dharmic heritage of the Hindu civilization. Swami Paramahamsa Nityananda, founder of .Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam. , a worldwide movement for meditation and healing, defined Dharma as a .way to connect with Divine and other individuals. . Linda Johnson, author of several books related to Hindu traditions, recounted personal experiences with Swamis and Gurus and how she got over a debilitating disease with the help of mantras.

As the intellectual and spiritual dimensions got the requisite attention, so did the artistic dimension through the Kala Sangam. Folk dances with traditional, colorful costumes, were presented by groups representing different Indian states as well as Nepal and Fiji. Classical dances of various types were performed by Madhuri Kishor and the Natyalaya Kuchipudi dance school, Anuradha Nag's Group (Kathak), Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose (BharatNatyam) , Jyoti Kala Mandir College of Indian Classical Arts (Odissi and Kuchipudi). Dr. Romesh Japra, Community Leader and Trustee of Fremont Hindu Temple, was the guest of honor at Kala-Sangam.

Not to be left behind, the youth had a series of exhilarating and dynamic set of activities in the Yuva Sangam. With the slogan .Youth for Unity, Virtues and Action!., youth aged 13 through 25 enjoyed dance, music and special presentations. Hindu Students Council (HSC) from UC-Berkeley and UC-San Diego chapters and Hindu Awareness Club (HAC) of Monta Vista High School presented some of the issues faced by Hindu students and the importance of maintaining one.s Hindu identity. While .The Art of Living. group presented a basic overview of Hindu astronomy, youth from BAPS talked about the inspiring movie .Mystic India.. Teenagers from East Bay Sai Yuva Group and HSS presented dance and music of India.

Samskrita Bharati volunteers helped organize the Samskritam track which featured short session where participant could learn to speak 10 sentences. Equally effective was a lecture by Dr. Uday Bhaskar Deekshit, a Samskritam scholar and a priest on the contemporary relevance of Hindu way of worship.
Children, through the .Bal Sangam., found unending fun and entertainment in the Hindu Theme Park. Magic shows, face painting, mehndi, art and crafts and traditional games held them in rapt attention. Groups from Chinmaya Mission, Shri Chaitanya Ashram, and HSS, as well as Magician Steve, engaged many children with stories and activities, while hundreds more participated in drawing and shloka competitions. Even infants were not forgotten! A quiet room complete with snacks, milk, sleeping bags, and a TV playing favorite Indian videos gave much needed relief to parents with very young children. Adults dressed as characters from Hindu epics and freedom fighters met with the children, telling their stories. Along with the melodious kirtans sung by devotees of Shri Chaitanya Ashram, the atmosphere in the theme park was both fun and educational.

A sumptuous, free lunch was provided to all attendees. It seemed as though there was a never-ending supply of food, water, and soft-drinks thanks to Sunnyvale Hindu Temple, Swagat Restaurant and Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America. There were 70 booths at the event, some of them selling Indian jewelry and clothes. Many non-profit organizations found Hindu Sangam the perfect place to disseminate their message. A volunteer for Vedic Foundation commented .I feel like I was at home. I was served lunch, snacks and tea. This was the best organized event."

Later in the evening our hopes of tomorrow were encouraged when 300 children aged 5-15, enacted the Ramayana, the oldest great epic. Wondrous props and authentic costumes brought the story to life on the main stage as the packed audience watched in rapture and kept shouting .Jai Shri Ram. and .Shri Ramchandra ki jai..

Mayor Mr. Richard Lowenthal of Cupertino, in Indian attire, said he was honored to be at such a gathering. .Your grandfather and grandmother have given you a great gift of your culture and heritage. Today you celebrate your culture with your children and grandchildren. This evening is about celebrating India and celebrating your culture today in America. It is a gift from your ancestors that you are passing on to your children this way... Vice-Mayor Ms. Kris Wang also attended the grand event. The Mayor of Milpitas, Mr. Jose Esteves who was also a guest of honor said, .I respect you all coming together, celebrating your culture and asserting your existence in the American society.. He also presented HSS with a plaque commending their work and invited Hindu Sangam back to his city.

The keynote speaker, Shri. Mohan Bhagawat, General Secretary of RSS was introduced by Mr. Prakash Balerao, a well-known entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Shri Bhagawat spoke about bringing unity by accepting diversity. .Diversity is to be accepted, not just tolerated. This is what Bharat (India) stands for . seeing diversity as the __expression of unity.. He continued, .Hindus should lead by example. There comes our duty. Many Indians living abroad have asked me what India expects of them. India does not expect anything of you for India. She is capable of managing herself. But one thing that is expected of the Diaspora living abroad is - you are the cultural ambassadors of India. You must live up to that. You must show to the world unity in diversity.. He also spoke about how happy he was to come to the USA . the country that is a beacon of hope and justice. All great achievements have been shown by this country to this world. Bharat (India), through her spirituality has shown the same values that America has . freedom, democracy and justice. The world has been shaken by religious intolerance and the resulting effects of terrorism. The answer to this problem can be given to the world by these two great nations together. They have to come together, stay together and work together to address this issue.

The grand finale occurred when Smt. Anuradha Paudwal, the queen of Bhajans, enthralled the audience with a magical evening of devotional songs. She ended her session by singing the Indian national song, .Vande Mataram., a song in praise of India.
Hindu Sangam was an event that was brimming with overwhelming enthusiasm, excitement and emotion. This grand cultural display certainly cast its spell on the bay area on September 9th after five long years. Not only did it charge up those taking part to live the message of .unity in diversity., but it also put on display the elements of the grand Indian culture that has guided human civilization since time immemorial

The Tragic Events in Malegaon

The Tragic Events in Malegaon

Source: Indian Mavericks

Barely a week after the Prime Minister issued a warning about imminent terrorist strikes, Malegaon was the target of a serial bombing attack. As it has become quite predictable in the environment of religious identity politics in India, most media know-it-alls rushed to blame Hindu groups for conducting a retaliatory strike against the predominantly Muslim community in Malegaon, and rather than focus gently on the extent of human suffering, the media played host to a blame game. The focus in the media seems to be on making this seem part of emerging trends in Hindu-Muslim strife. If you all recall, the media had played a very big role in projecting blame for the Mumbai blasts on local Muslims. We are now seeing the other end of that, blame is now being apportioned to local Hindus.

While some of you who are strong supporters of the NDA may argue that this claim is not credible. I remind you, that no one in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan is going to buy the claim that Hindus were *not* responsible for the Malegaon blasts. A side effect of the Hindutva politics has been a systematic alienation of Islamic groups outside the country. Islamic groups outside the country no longer believe that India is a land of tolerance. In the present environment with America beating down on Islamic society with its media machine, Islamic populations abroad are very receptive to the notion that Indian Muslims are under seige. This is in stark contrast to the 80s and 90s when most Islamic countries were receptive to the idea that India was the Dar-al-Aman. You must have seen the news items about two US based organizations claiming to represent Indian Muslims condemning the blasts? this is a reflection of the trend that I have said. Note also the strongly worded statement from the US, such force is absent from their statements on the July 11 bombings. While Tom Lantos boldly tells the world how the US will nuke Mecca if there is a terrorist attack on the US, the State Department rushes to shed tears at the death of 35 Muslims in Malegaon. Words are cheap, ofcourse.

Which brings me to certain events that may have crossed your eyes but somehow missed your attention. In early June 2006 our Narcotics Control Board (NCB) office in Bombay intercepted 200 Kg of anhydrous Cocaine. The street value of this bust was estimated at 40 Million USD. Rumors circulated that the value of the material impounded was beind deliberately lowered. One rumor put the amount intercepted at at eight times the publicly acknowledged size. This would put the bust at a whopping 320 Million USD. You may have also read that a few weeks ago, NCB Delhi, intercepted a Mandrax hoard that weighed in at 4.4. Tons, the street value of this was estimated to be in the $200 Million dollar range. This bust was followed by an enormous Ephedrine bust weighing in at 500 Kg. The street value of this was estimated to be $20 Million. While the bulk price of these drugs would be about half their street value, there can be no doubt that in the past two months that our NCB has racked up record seizures worth hundreds of millions of dollars. This year's seizures are completely out of scale with anything we have seen before. This is an extremely significant development.

The drug trade though criminalized, is extremely well organized. Any attempt to restructure it always brings its share of labour problems and usually attracts the ire of drug lords. You all may recall the role played by Dawood Ibrahim's banker 'Tiger' Memon in the Bombay Blasts of 1993. You may also recall that the Memon's had lost vast sums of money after the curbs on Gold and Currency trade in India were lifted. While the shooters in the Bombay Blasts had been local muslims who were enraged after the Bombay riots of 1993, the money required to make an attack of scale had come from Memon. It is said that Memon had been loaned a sum of money by the Pakistanis and that one of the repayment clauses was to support the terrorist attacks in the bulk of India. This deal is said to have formalized the marriage of the D-Company and the ISI, and Memon went on to help the ISI float the Jammu Kashmir Islamic Front, an organization dedicated to consolidating Islamist terrorist groups all over India. By contrast other criminal dons who didn't lose as much as Memon kept the ISI at an arms length and eventually betrayed Memon to the investigators, allowing them to wind up a substantial portion of the JKIF.

So while you all sit around and discuss the factors that are antagonizing Indian Hindus and Muslims to dislike each other and while you sit around watch your media put ridiculous ideas about Hindu-Muslim animus in your head, please give a moment to think about a possible criminal angle to this whole thing. I hope you have not all simultaneously forgotten that criminal organizations routinely incite communal riots in India? What you are seeing in Malegaon today, is most likely an attempt by similar such criminal elements to start rioting.

September 10, 2006

THE MALEGAON BLASTS INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM MONITOR--PAPER NO.119 By B.Raman- Camp New Delhi Thirty -five civilians, all of them Muslims and

THE MALEGAON BLASTS

By B.Raman- Camp New Delhi

Thirty -five civilians, all of them Muslims and many of them children, are reported to have been killed and many others injured in two (some reports say three) blasts in Malegaon in Maharashtra on September 8,2006. The improvised explosive devices (IEDs)---reportedly of a primitive nature--- had been placed possibly in bicycles left parked near places where the local Muslims usually congregate as they come out of the local mosque after the Friday prayers.

2. No claim of responsibility has so far been made by any organisation. The police do not as yet have any indicators regarding the likely identity of the perpetrators.

3. The Muslims---many of them migrant weavers from Uttar Pradesh-- constitute the majority of the population in Malegaon. One estimate says they constitute as high as 75 per cent of the local population. Over the years, there has been a steady economic degradation in the area giving rise to poverty, unemployment and feelings of marginalisation of the Muslims.

4. Malegon is a wake-up call to the Indian political leadership as to what could happen on the national scale if the seething Hindu and Muslim anger against each other and against the administration continues to grow by feeding upon each other.

5.There is anger among large sections of the Hindus--particularly the youth-- over the perceived failure of the Government of India to act firmly against the continuing acts of jihadi terrorism and its State-sponsor, namely, Pakistan.

6.Including Malegaon, there have been seven major acts of terrorism affecting Hindu-Muslim relations since July last year in Indian territory outside Jammu and Kashmir. Of these, two were directed against Hindu places of worship (Ayodhya in July,2005, and Varanasi in March,2006), one was in a Muslim place of worship (Delhi, April,2006), one at Muslims outside their place of worship (Malegaon, September 8,2006), two were indiscriminate attacks against civilians belonging to all communities (Delhi, October,2005 and Mumbai,July 2006) and one was directed at scientists attending a conference at Bangalore (December,2005).

7. Nearly 300 innocent civilians were killed in all these incidents--- the largest number of 184 killed being in the Mumbai blasts directed at suburban train commuters. The second largest was in Delhi in October,2005, when over 60 shoppers and other passers-by were killed. The third largest was in Malegaon.

8. Investigations made so far indicate the likely involvement of Pakistani jihadi organisations---mainly the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI)--- in the blasts at Ayodhya, Delhi (October,2005), Bangalore, Varanasi and Mumbai.

9.The identities of the organisations and perpetrators involved in the two explosions directed specifically at the Muslims in Delhi in April,2006, and Malegaon are yet to be established. While the blast inside the main mosque in Delhi could have been caused only by a Muslim, the blasts in Malegaon, which took place near the mosque after the prayers and not inside, do not necessarily permit such an inference.

10. Over the years, there have been many instances of jihadi terrorists targeting Muslims too not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Pakistan and the Jammu and Kashmir State of India. There have been instances of blasts organised by jihadi terrorists inside mosques during the prayers as well as outside mosques, on religious occasions as well as on other occasions. One of the most sensational instances of Muslims deliberately killing Muslims was the decapitating explosion in Karachi in April last when the entire leadership of the Barelvi Sunni Tehrik was killed by suspected Deobandi elements. The terrorists planted the IEDs at a public meeting to observe the birthday of the Holy Prophet.When it comes to acts of terrorism, jihadi terrorists do not make a distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims, between civilians and the security forces.

11. While one should not be surprised if the Malegon blasts also turn out to be the work of jihadi terrorists, one should not rule out at this stage the possibility of the involvement of non-Muslims, keeping in view the long history of tensions between the Muslims and the Hindus in Malegaon. These tensions are attributable to the activities of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in that area, the alleged sympathy for Osama bin Laden exhibited by some prominent members of the local Muslim community etc.

12. In May last, a large quantity of explosives was reportedly recovered by the Police from suspected jihadi extremists in the area indicating possible preparations for fresh acts of jihadi terrorism.

13. The Malegaon blasts have come at a time when there is considerable anger among the Muslim and Hindu youth against the Government of India for different reasons. This anger is noticeable in different parts of the country, particularly since the Mumbai blasts of July 11,2006.

14. While the Muslims have been angered by what they look upon as the targeting of their community by the police in different places where acts of terrorism have taken place since July last year, the Hindu youth have been angered by what they view as the softness of the political leadership in New Delhi over the continuing acts of jihadi terrorism in different parts of the country.

15. Since the present Government came to power more than two years ago, there has been no successful investigation of major acts of terrorism in different parts of the country outside J&K resulting in the identification, arrests and prosecution of the perpetrators by the police. The critics of the Government feel that the unsatisfactory pace of the investigations is attributable to the fact that the police officers do not have the confidence that the political leadership would stand by them if the leaders of the Muslim community accuse the investigating officers of being anti-secular, communal or prejudiced against the Muslim community.

16. The reluctance of the Government in New Delhi to make it clear to the complaining leaders of the Muslim community that while there is no question of blaming or suspecting the community as a whole because of the acts of a few terrorists, the law has to take its own course against those indulging in terrorism has contributed to the anger in large sections of the Hindu community against the Government.

17. There has been a deplorable attempt by some leaders of the Muslim community to create a divide between the community and the Police by questioning the impartiality of the police and levelling other allegations against the investigating officers. Incidents like the blasts at Malegaon, if they turn out to be the handiwork of the jihadi terrorists, would serve the nefarious purpose of furthering the mental divide between the Hindus and the Muslims and between the muslims and the Police.

18. Responsible leaders of the two communities should jointly counter this trend. It also needs to be underlined that any ill-advised actions by angry elements of the Hindu community to give vent to their anger over the continuing acts of terrorism, by indulging in reprisal attacks against innocent members of the Muslim community would be detrimental to our national interests and could contribute to an unbridgeable divide between the two communities.

19. The Government should act with equal firmness against whoever indulges in acts of terrorism/, irrespective of the community---Muslim or Hindu--to which he or she belongs. There cannot be one law for the Muslims and another for non-Muslims .

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