September 08, 2012

Why the ICC Cannot and Will Not Do What Archbishop Tutu Thinks it Should



    
Try Tony Blair and George Bush for Illegal invasion of Iraq
                                                                                         
Editor’s note ; In an article on 1 September 2012 in UK’s Observer ,Archbishop Desmond Tutu ,a Nobel peace prize winner and hero of the anti-apartheid movement  called for Tony Blair and George Bush to be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague .He accused the former British and US leaders of lying about weapons of mass destruction and added that  the invasion left the world more destabilized and divided "than any other conflict in history". Tutu added that the controversial US and UK-led action to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003 created the backdrop for the civil war in Syria and a possible wider Middle East conflict involving Iran.
 
"The then leaders of the United States and Great Britain," Tutu said, "fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand – with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us."
 
PS;  I had spoken on “Flouting of International Law and Failure of International Institutions” along with George Galloway, British MP and Cynthia McKinney, six times US Congresswoman ,at the Kuala Lumpur International Conference to Criminalize War and War Crimes Tribunal –
28 October to 30 October, 2009. The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal unanimously convicted G Bush and T Blair for 'crimes against peace' in November, 2011
 
 
Below is a legal interpretation and explanation why the British and WE leaders cannot be tried at ICC by Aleksandar Jokic and Tiphaine Dickson
 
Ambassador (retd) K.Gajendra Singh 9 September, 2012.Mayur Vihar, Delhi
A Litany of War Crimes by Western Leaders

Aleksandar Jokic is a professor at Portland State University where he teaches courses in moral philosophy and international justice. Tiphaine Dickson is an instructor in the Political Science Division of the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, where she is currently also a PhD student. She received her LL.B in 1993, and acted as a criminal defense attorney, later specializing in international criminal law, and representing accused at the ICTR and consulting in ICTY cases. She has authored a number of articles on international criminal tribunals.

Recently Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel peace prize recipient and a well-known anti-apartheid activist, has called for Tony Blair and George Bush to be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, in Netherlands. He considers that Blair and Bush have "fabricated the grounds” for attacking Iraq in 2003 in order to remove Sadam Hussein from power. Tutu wonders: "If it is acceptable for leaders to take drastic action on the basis of a lie, without an acknowledgement or an apology when they are found out, what should we teach our children?"

Archbishop Tutu’s call appears conceptually confused in many ways. He frames his objection to Blair and Bush in moral terms—they lied, and hence they are not good models for “our children”—yet he wants them to answer for their lies in front of a legal institution, the ICC. However, courts are not set up to hear cases of moral failings, but to establish responsibility for previously defined crimes. Referring to the “drastic action” Blair and Bush undertook in Iraq, Tutu may euphemistically be suggesting that Blair and Bush ought to be tried for the crime against the peace or aggression. The problem here is that ICC does not yet have the jurisdiction over this international crime, and could not conduct a trial against defendants standing accused of having committed crimes of aggression. And, secondly, when it comes to “drastic action” in question Blair and Bush are not alone:

In 1999 Bill Clinton undertook a “drastic action” of bombing Yugoslavia for 78 days under equally fabricated pretext of allegedly preventing genocide in Kosovo, and in 2011 Barak Obama ignored the letter of the UN resolution 1973 and bombed Libya for over six months leading to the gruesome death of Colonel Gaddafi in a criminal lynching. Should we be then calling for Clinton and Obama to be also tried at ICC? And, in particular, should intellectuals hailing from the African continent be making such calls, thus lending credibility to an institution such as ICC? The answer to both questions is: definitely not! Let us explain.
Desmond Tutu and others making similar calls, unfortunately, do not have an adequate understanding of how the ICC functions, as a subsidiary instrument of the UN Security Council. While UK is a signatory of the Rome treaty (unlike the US, that had seen Clinton sign and Bush in a dramatic gesture "un-sign") that established the ICC and has ratified its membership, which means that in principle a UK citizen (such as Blair) could be tried in The Hague, but only under the "complementarity principle" (i.e., under the Rome Statute, which established the Court, the ICC can only exercise its jurisdiction where the State Party, like in this case UK, of which the accused is a national, is unable or unwilling to prosecute; hence the term ‘complementarity’, which makes the ICC a Court of last resort). But for Blair to end up in The Hague, either a referral from the UNSC to investigate (whether grounds for indictment exist) to the ICC Prosecutor must exist, or the ICC Prosecutor could decide to investigate. But, the former is unlikely to happen, as the US, if not the UK, would veto such proposal. And the latter could always be postponed for a year by a decision of the UNSC, and renewed annually forever.

Hence, it is highly implausible, as far as practical matters are concerned, for Blair to be even investigated, let alone indicted or tried by ICC. The calls by Tutu, or any other non-Westerners, in particular an African, for ICC to put on trial Western war criminals is both unhelpful--as it reveals ignorance about the nature of the institution in question--and worse, it lends credibility to an institution that has purely instrumental character in the larger Security Council geopolitical designs. Throughout its existence the ICC has been a court for Africans (no non-African has ever been indicted by ICC), so it must be only argued--particularly by Africans like Tutu--that this is an illegitimate instrument of American, Western or European imperialism, rather than doing a disservice to his fellow Africans by stating uniformed or naive things, which would tend to legitimize this instrument of Western neo-imperialism against all people who live on his continent. Rather than being praised, Tutu's initiative must be revealed for what it is: a very damaging one for all African peoples. We have written in more detailed way an account of how the US abuses ICC in our article “A Year of Living Lawlessly,” but let us alert the readers to the fact that in President Obama's 2010 official National Security Strategy the so called "international justice," i.e., international criminal law and ICC, have explicitly been given purely instrumental value. Here's the amazing passage: International Justice: From Nuremberg to Yugoslavia to Liberia, the United States has seen that the end of impunity and the promotion of justice are not just moral imperatives; they are stabilizing forces in international affairs. The United States is thus working to strengthen national justice systems and is maintaining our support for ad hoc international tribunals and hybrid courts. Those who intentionally target innocent civilians must be held accountable, and we will continue to support institutions and prosecutions that advance this important interest. Although the United States is not at present a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and will always protect U.S. personnel, we are engaging with State Parties to the Rome Statute on issues of concern and are supporting the ICC's prosecution of those cases that advance U.S. interests and values, consistent with the requirements of U.S. law. (National Security Strategy, May 2010, p. 48).

                                             Perspectives: A Review of 2011
 
                      A Year Of Living Lawlessly
 
by Aleksandar Jokic and Tiphaine Dickson
  (Swans - December 19, 2011)  
 
Those who believed President Obama's pledge made two days after his inauguration to close Guantánamo within one year were disappointed. Those who were distracted by Obama's musings about "just war," the U.S. being "a standard bearer in the conduct of war," and "America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions" in a most unlikely Nobel Lecture were soon provided sobering moments courtesy of, among other things, the extrajudicial killings of Osama bin Laden; Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen; and the lynching of Muammar Muhammad Gaddafi to the point that a demand to revoke Obama's evidently premature Peace Prize seemed unsurprising. When it comes to expectations of meaningful change or successes in foreign policy under President Obama's leadership, the realization is that he's come up mostly empty.

But none of this seemed, in the main, that terribly upsetting until the Senate's recent attempt to introduce provisions allowing the US military to detain American citizens without charge, perhaps finally bringing home, so to speak, James Madison's great caution against foreign military entanglements: "The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become instruments of tyranny at home." The administration threatens to veto the appropriations bill containing the military detention sections, but the veto language seems as concerned about the president losing "flexibility" and discretion in the prosecution of the endless, protean War on Terrorism as it is with the actual substance of a law that would allow the military to (one is tempted to employ capital letters) detain citizens without charge.
 
However, on another front -- International Justice -- things appear to be going exactly as advertised, and this became very clear in the course of the year under review. The understanding that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is to be used simply as a tool to "advance U.S. interests and values" is explicitly spelled out in Obama's 2010 National Security Strategy:
International Justice: From Nuremberg to Yugoslavia to Liberia, the United States has seen that the end of impunity and the promotion of justice are not just moral imperatives; they are stabilizing forces in international affairs. The United States is thus working to strengthen national justice systems and is maintaining our support for ad hoc international tribunals and hybrid courts. Those who intentionally target innocent civilians must be held accountable, and we will continue to support institutions and prosecutions that advance this important interest. Although the United States is not at present a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and will always protect U.S. personnel, we are engaging with State Parties to the Rome Statute on issues of concern and are supporting the ICC's prosecution of those cases that advance U.S. interests and values, consistent with the requirements of U.S. law. (National Security Strategy, May 2010, p. 48).

While many may have suspected that the US policy towards ICC was one of asymmetrical engagement by a non-member state yet capable of steering and controlling what the court does to further its interests, it is still surprising to read it so clearly spelled out in a manner that in no way attempts to conceal, perhaps using diplomatic language or euphemisms, that the US official policy is one of instrumentalizing international justice. It is even more unexpected to watch this play out fully in less than a year since its most explicit announcement, and observe the nearly total subordination of the Office of the ICC Prosecutor to the interests of the U.S.
 
Last year's full-throated US endorsement of Security Council Resolution 1970, referring an investigation to the ICC Prosecutor "considering," as the UN-speak goes, "that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity" might lead those with a memory of recent history to conclude that US hostility to the ICC had somewhat decreased, replaced by a spirit of cooperation. Yet, as the National Security Strategy makes clear, support for ICC prosecutions is determined by whether such cases advance US "interests and values," and in accordance with US law.
 
The last point is where things become fuzzy. The law in question is the American Servicemembers Protection Act (ASPA), a 2002 bill that put meat on the bones of the Bush administration's "unsigning" of the Rome Statute, signed in extremis by President Clinton, but never submitted to the Senate for advice and consent. The ASPA, famously nicknamed the "Hague Invasion Act," to reflect the extraordinary powers granted by Congress to the president to use "all means necessary" to secure the release of American citizens in the unlikely event that they would have the misfortune of being detained by the ICC, also prohibits the contribution of any appropriated funds to the ICC. It is also the source of the relatively brief self-foot shooting period when the U.S. denied development assistance as well as military training and cooperation to states having ratified the Rome Statute, leading to the eventual repeal of that particular provision.
 
It is in the Dodd amendment of the ASPA, however, that the mother of all loopholes appears, as it states that"nothing in this title shall prohibit the United States from rendering assistance to international efforts to bring to justice Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosovic, Osama bin Laden, other members of al Qaeda, leaders of Islamic Jihad, and other foreign nationals accused of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity." Still, according to the ASPA, intelligence and law-enforcement information may not be shared with the ICC Prosecutor presumably no matter how much any given case may advance US interests and values. And yet, this last year was witness to a curious twist, requiring a bit of legislative forensics to unravel.
 
First, note Article 8 of UN Security Council Resolution 1970: "none of the expenses incurred in connection with the referral, including expenses related to investigations or prosecutions in connection with that referral, shall be borne by the United Nations and that such costs shall be borne by the parties to the Rome Statute and those States that wish to contribute voluntarily." So veto-holding non-parties to the Rome Statute can vote in favor of the resolution, and cause the ICC prosecutor to take up an investigation against the leaders of a non-party state, and make member states pay for it! The technique has at least the virtue of being -- let us again cite the National Security Strategy -- "consistent with the requirements of US law." This free-rider provision first appeared when the U.S. abstained from voting on a similar resolution to refer investigations to the ICC prosecutor with respect to events in Sudan. The US representative expressed pleasure that the Security Council had recognized the "principle" that non-party members would be exempted from contributing to the proceedings whose creation they enabled against non-party members. To translate: impunity, cost-free, reflecting the extraordinary responsibility of the United States of America in peacekeeping operations around the world.
 
On October 14, 2011, President Obama notified Congress, pursuant to the War Powers Act, that 132 combat-equipped Special Forces had been deployed to Central Africa as advisors. Where in Central Africa and why? In "LRA-affected areas" -- that would be Northern Uganda, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo -- and pursuant to Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 (the LRA Act), signed by President Obama in 2010. Section 4 of the LRA Act directs the president to develop a strategy to implement the law, which was transmitted to the House and to the Senate on November 24, 2010. (1) The strategy refers to the ICC warrants against Joseph Kony and the leadership of the Lord's Resistance Army, (2) and states that the U.S. "will continue to be supportive of ICC cases against the LRA leaders." (3)
 
Implementation hearings were held before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and it was confirmed that this was a "kill or capture" operation targeting Joseph Kony, in particular, though it wasn't clear to all members of the powerful house committee who precisely that was, or what, specifically, the Lord's Resistance Army actually stood for. A cringe-inducing moment in the hearings featured Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) asking the Pentagon witness to confirm his shaky grasp of what the troops were actually doing, and to whom: "The Lord's Resistance Army is an Islamic group, correct?" This is the level of scrutiny given to this underreported deployment, at an estimated cost of "tens of millions" (4) and for an unknown period of time (5) in a "kill or capture" operation for which there will be no international accountability. In March 2011, Stephen Rapp, the US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, stated that: "The United States is prepared to listen and to work with the ICC and go through requests that the prosecutor has," adding that "there may be obstacles under our law. Butwe're prepared to do what we can to bring justice to the victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Uganda, and Sudan and in the Central African Republic." (6) Adam Branch, professor of political science at San Diego State University, argued -- well before this latest deployment that justice and rule of law considerations militate against entrusting the enforcement powers of the ICC to a single state -- one that has a military and political agenda in Africa, where all ICC cases have focused -- that is itself above the law. (7)
 
American lawmakers didn't seem inordinately upset with the turn the little-known LRA implementation had taken, or whether it violated the ASPA, or whether it might unravel what was left of the frayed commitment that the U.S., as a beacon of justice and liberty in the world, doesn't set forth to execute people. That is at least how one could be forgiven for understanding Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen's (R-FL) comment, in concluding the hearing on the implementation of the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, that perhaps "soon, Joseph Kony will meet his maker."
 
Former president of the Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo went to meet his ICC judges in the waning days of November, transported in an official plane of the Republic of Ivory Coast, after having been detained without court appearance or charge in a residence in the town of Korhogo since last April. President Gbagbo's expedited transfer to The Hague (nearly simultaneous with his indictment by the ICC only on November 28, 2011) waswelcomed by the U.S., though surely the U.S. would not wish such a transfer of its own political leadership or servicemembers. As the ICC prosecutor vows to continue investigations and gather evidence against Gbagbo, one can be forgiven for developing sympathy for US skepticism towards a judicial body apparently still building a case. His lawyers argue that his initial arrest and continued detention were illegal, and that the ICC, hence, cannot condone or confirm such illegality; they also note that upcoming elections in the Ivory Coast make the timing of the transfer to The Hague suspect. The ICC move has been described by another of Gbagbo's counsels as contrary to the interests of national reconciliation, and potentially further exposing members of Gbagbo's still legal party to further threats of harassment and physical harm. Gbagbo has sued the French military for having attempted to assassinate him, an account he described in an interview given shortly before his arrest and transfer to The Hague.
 
Clean distinctions between politics, law, and war were perhaps never entirely possible to make as clearly as we would have hoped, but some distinctions, like the one between a battlefield and not a battlefield are urgently meaningful if the only thing left between American citizens and the possibility of unlimited military detention without charge is whether or not they are captured in the battlefield on a hopeful interpretation of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. But even that intuitive frontier risks erosion, as Jeh Johnson, counsel for the CIA, speaking at an American Bar Association National Security panel on December 3, proclaimed that he found that the distinction between battlefield and non-battlefield was "growing stale." When the administration's memo-writers opine that time-honored concepts with serious implications have best-before dates, and when the US Congress can do no better for American citizens than pass an amendment based wholly on the hope that courts will interpret the law on the side of habeas corpus and maybe civilian proceedings, while they nonetheless continue, in the grand tradition of legicide, to grant wide swaths of unprecedented power to the executive branch, it is time perhaps to think a bit more carefully about the assumption that national security, when secured by actions abroad, has consequences: for those directly affected by bombs, instability, and economic collapse, but also for those in whose name "the means of defense against foreign danger," to paraphrase Madison, have indeed "become the instruments of tyranny at home." 

Tiphaine Dickson
Aleksandar Jokic

BENGALURU:A‘TERRORIST’ MODULE WITH A DIFFERENCE




INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM MONITOR: PAPER NO. 763
( Written at the request of the “Times of India”. Published by them on September 9,2012, at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-toi/all-that-matters/Doctor-techie-scientist--terrors-new-recruits/articleshow/16318255.cms  )

B.RAMAN
The 18 Muslim suspects arrested since August 29 in  operations co-ordinated by the Bengaluru Police are presently under interrogation.
The indications till now are that the suspects, who have been picked up from Bengaluru and Hubli in Karnataka, Hyderabad and Maharashtra, had come together with the objective of assassinating certain individuals identified with the Hindutva ideology.

Though there seems to be some suspicion of their contacts with the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) of Pakistan and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) of Bangladesh, they constituted a new indigenous group with no suspected links with any of the indigenous terrorist/extremist organisations that have been active so far such as Al Umma of Tamil Nadu, the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Indian Mujahideen (IM).

The Bengaluru Police seem to have succeeded in penetrating and dismantling them even before they could give themselves an organisational infrastructure and an ideological basis.

It was a group of individuals self-motivated by visiting jihadi sites in the Internet  such as that of Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and brought together by shared anger against Hindutva elements without attempts to form a central command and control.

The conspiracy seems to have been squashed by the Police at a very early stage. This is evident from the absence of any major recoveries of arms and ammunition and explosive material from them

Whereas other jihadi organisations that had operated in India in the past had made a dual use of hand-held weapons and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), this group was still in the stage of hand-held weapons and had not started thinking in terms of IEDs.

Commonly binding anger due to social and religious discrimination and communal grievances generally tend to motivate the educated, thinking  elements more than others.

It is, therefore, not surprising that all the suspects came from the educated segments of the Muslim community.It is also to be noted that the educated elements had studied or were studying subjects such as medicine, computer science, journalism etc and not humanities.

This trend towards the gravitation of such elements to leadership positions in the jihadi organisations had been noticed in the case of the IM too, which had some good IT experts, including one of Pune who had occupied an important position in the Indian branch of a well-knownforeign  IT  company.

Examples of  enraged students belonging to such professions or aspiring to join them gravitating to extremism had been seen in the past not only in India, but also in Indonesia and Western countries.

A disquieting fact is a junior scientist of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) joining this group.It is not yet clear whether he joined it on his own or whether he was spotted, motivated and recruited and what was the purpose.

If he had joined on his own because of anger against some Hindutvaelements, that is understandable.But, if he had been recruited to penetrate the DRDO, that would be ominous.

According to the police, they made a breakthrough after keeping some of the suspects under surveillance for four months. There has been no indication of any significant electronic intelligence through interception of their telephone conversations.

It has been reported that the suspects were communicating with each other through Skype. This could be the reason for the evidently meagre ELINT. This would indicate that our capability for the interception of communications through the Internet continues to be inadequate. This needs attention.
As regards external ramifications, there are suspicions of links with  elements in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia----with the training possibly coming from elements in  Pakistan and the co-ordination from individuals in Saudi Arabia. These suspicions need to be developed further.

The motivation of the group is still to be determined. Did they have a strategic motivation of sustained terrorism or had they merely come together due to common anger over the grievances of Muslims in order to carry out some assassinations, which one may not be able to characterise as terrorism.
The conspiracy has spread over three states. The forensic evidence available so far is not adequate to reconstruct the conspiracy in a manner that will carry conviction to the courts and the Muslim community.

Keeping all this in view, it might be better for the Governmentof India to direct the National Investigation Agency to take over the investigation after reaching a consensus with the three State Governments.
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Research & Analysis Wing, Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India.

September 07, 2012

Modi's Gujarat wins UN award for the 2nd best State Govt. in the World

 

Before 10 year they had 50,000 crores loan in world bank. But today they've deposited 1 lac crore in world bank.
In gujarat: "NO BAR""NO POWER CUT""

15 % of WHOLE INDIA EXPORT is FROM Gujarat

"Think who is 'INDIAN IDOL'?
Rahul Baba  

or

'NARENDRA MODI



http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups...npan046119.pdf 

September 06, 2012

INDIA & PAKISTAN: DIMINISHING MALICE


B.RAMAN


Diminishing  malice is becoming the defining characteristic of Indo-Pakistan relations as our Foreign Minister, ShriS.M.Krishna, flies to Islamabad  on the morning of Septembr 7,2012, for another joint review with Ms HinaRabbaniKhar, his Pakistani counterpart, of the state of the continuing talks between officials of the two countries on  bilateral issues that have been the stumbling block of better relations.


2. The bilateral issues remain as they were defying a substantive movement forward in the efforts to find a solution. This is so whether in respect of Jammu and Kashmir or the Siachen and Sir Creek issues or Pakistani inaction against the terrorists of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), who masterminded the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai and are now supposed to be facing trial before an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.


3.What has been changing is not the contours and the complexities of the bilateral issues, but the lingo and the rhetoric.The lingo is increasingly marked less by malice and more by friendship.The rhetoric is less  mutually accusatory.


4. The periodic exchanges of allegations continue. India continues to level allegations of Pakistani insincerity in prosecuting the masterminds of the 26/11 terrorist strikes and of Islamabad not acting against the anti-India terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani territory. Pakistan continues to level allegations of foreign involvement in its internal security problems in Balochistan, without naming India


5. Despite this, there is a discernible attempt by the two countries not to level fresh allegations that could add new poison to the bilateral relations. One saw this in the aftermath of the recent violent incidents in Mumbai and Lucknow and the departure of a large number of people from India's North-East living in South India and Pune for their home in the North-East due to nervousness caused by threats of retaliation against them for the recent anti-Muslim violence in Assam.


6.India continues to suspect that the psy-jihad propaganda backed by consciously exaggerated stories and morphed images, which led to the violence and the nervous exodus, originated from Pakistan, but the usual urge to blame the State of Pakistan for such anti-Indian impulses has been kept under control. There has been an admission that the initial allegations made against the State of Pakistan by officials of India's Ministry of Home Affairs have not been corroborated by subsequent evidence. It was because of this that our Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Sigh did not raise this issue, as he was originally expected to, in his talks with President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan in the margins of the recent NAM summit in Tehran.


7. There have been fresh suspicions of possible Pakistani State involvement in the activities of 18 Indian Muslim suspects taken into custody since August 29 in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra on charges of planning to assassinate some Hindu personalities in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. But, these suspicions are being articulated in a muted form and not from the roof-top so that they do not come in the way of the improving bilateral vibrations.


8. The vibrations are becoming better and better----whether between the political leaders or civilian officials of the two countries. One could see a growing conviction among the political leaders and civilian officials of Pakistan that their anti-India reflexes have started becoming counter-productive.There is as yet no evidence to show that this conviction is shared by the Pakistan Army, which continues to dominate decision-making in matters relating to India.

9. There is continuing suspicion in Pakistan's Army and Inter-services Intelligence about the intentions of India towards Pakistan. The diminution of anti-Indian malice is yet to be felt in the Armed Forces and the military intelligence agencies. Unless they realise the importance and benefits of relations marked less by malice and more by friendship, the increasing hopes of a better tomorrow in Indo-Pakistan relations may still be belied.


10. But even in the Army and the ISI there has been no attempt to create complications in the efforts to find solutions to bilateral issues.The Army and the ISI have kept the terrorist weapon intact, but have not used it in Indian territory after 26/11.They have been creating for themselves fresh capabilities for violence and instability in Jammu and Kashmir as evidenced by the recent discovery of their attempts to construct tunnels for infiltration of terrorists into J&K, but they have refrained from creating fresh pockets of violence in the State.


11. The improvement in the ambiance marked by the greater focus on opportunities for bilateral trade and easier visa procedures shows a welcome shift away by the political and civilian leadership in both  thecountries from the past policy of not letting new areas of convergence emerge till the areas of  divergence have been satisfactorily tackled.


12. The divergence on traditional issues remains, but there is a search for new areas of convergence. The talks of Shri Krishna in Islamabad should keep the focus on this search for new areas of convergence.


13. The Pakistanis continue to be keen for an early visit by Dr.Manmohan Singh to their country. Since the visit of ShriAtalBihari Vajpayee to Islamabad in January 2004 to attend the SAARC summit, no Indian Prime Minister has gone there. The hopes that were there that he might now consider going despite the lack of progress on substantive issues and Pakistani inaction against terrorism have somewhat dimmed because of the uncertain political situation in India. One had the impression of seeing in Tehran an extra-cautious Dr.Manmohan Singh. His usually warm vibrations towards Pakistan were kept under check.


14. If political developments in India make an early poll inevitable, the handling of relations with Pakistan could acquire a different dimension and a different priority.


15. Despite this, one could hope for a continuance of the trend towards less malice in the bilateral relations  as a result of the visit of our Foreign Minister. ( 7-9-12)


(The  writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com  Twitter @SORBONNE75)

Evacuations and Contingency Planning


September 6, 2012 | 0900 GMT
 
 
Stratfor
By Scott Stewart

When the London 2012 Paralympic Games conclude the week of Sept. 9, the British navy reportedly will send a task force to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, where it will participate in amphibious exercises off the coasts of Albania, Sardinia and Turkey before lingering off the coast of Cyprus.

Ostensibly, the upcoming exercises are meant to prepare the navy for evacuating Syria of British citizens. Indeed, the ongoing civil war in Syria has prompted several Western countries to consider evacuation plans for their citizens who remain in the war-torn country. Some countries already have issued travel warnings against Syria, while others have advised their citizens to vacate the country. The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany have closed their embassies in Syria and are less able to assist their citizens there.

Foreign nationals should take full advantage of their governments' evacuation assistance regardless of the country in which they temporarily reside; British citizens in Syria are no exception. However, government planning is no substitute for personal evacuation plans, which are vital for any citizen in a foreign country.

Evacuation Planning

Evacuation plans are essential for all expatriates who live in developing countries, including diplomats, businessmen, aid workers and seasonal residents. Natural disasters, mob violence from civil disturbances, terrorism and war can all precipitate evacuations. Natural disasters, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti or the 2004 tsunami in Asia, erupt suddenly, while other events, such as the civil unrest in Syria, develop slowly. The latter instances give foreign citizens ample opportunity to leave; in Syria, foreign governments encouraged their citizens to vacate months ago. But even in such situations, events that require evacuation can occur abruptly, which leaves expatriates little time to plan their exits.

The potential for evacuation is not confined to developing countries. Many foreigners fled Japan following the March 2011 earthquake that damaged a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, and the 2010 wildfires in Moscow prompted a sudden and massive evacuation. No one expected the fires to worsen so quickly.

Since the potential for evacuation is nearly universal, expatriates are best served preparing an evacuation plan before a crisis erupts. Foreign embassies often will assist evacuation efforts -- expatriates are encouraged to register with their respective embassies and foreign ministries -- but foreign citizens should not rely on their governments to do their planning for them. 

The reason for this is twofold. First, it may take some time for a government to execute its evacuation plans. In other instances, governments might not have an embassy to coordinate such efforts. Expatriates should take advantage of any evacuation procedures offered by their government, but they should not rely solely on those plans.

Nor should they rely on the plans of allied governments. Countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and France often will work with their allies in evacuation scenarios. However, every country will focus its efforts on the safety of its respective citizenry. So even in friendly countries, foreign citizens need to be responsible for their own security.

Evacuation situations involve more than merely showing up at the airport or seaport and departing. Usually, evacuations entail a great deal of bureaucracy and delay. It is not uncommon for expatriates to stay at an airport or seaport for a day or longer as they wait for their governments to arrange safe departure with the host government, rebel forces or both. Moreover, evacuation procedures will depend on the crisis. In most cases, commercial airliners, sea crafts or land transport will facilitate evacuations. Despite what is portrayed in the movies, military forces and helicopters are used only in very rare situations. 

In any case, expatriates will be expected to pay for their own transportation out of the country. If they do not have the cash up front, they will be required to sign a promissory note to reimburse their government. They also are allowed to carry on only one small bag and are not allowed to bring pets. Therefore, many prefer to arrange their own transportation out of the country.

Personal evacuation plans usually require departure before the situation becomes too critical to leave. Thus, an important element of any evacuation plan is to establish criteria that, if met, will put the plan into action. While it is often prudent to leave a place before the situation deteriorates and your government orders an evacuation, some people wait until the very last minute to leave or decide to shelter in place and ride the crisis out. 

Another important element of an evacuation plan is preparing a fly-away kit. This is a small bag or backpack that contains the basic things a person or family will require during an evacuation. Obviously, the most important things you need are your identification papers, money and credit cards (which should be kept in sealable plastic bags to keep them dry) and a cell phone or other means of communication. But a fly-away kit should also contain important items, such as a change of clothes, toiletry items, a jacket or something warm to wear, prescriptions or other required medications, a first aid kit, a smoke hood, a flashlight, drinking water, non-perishable food, duct tape, a multi-tool knife and perhaps even something to read -- again, evacuation usually entails a great deal of waiting. The idea of the fly-away kit is to have most of the items assembled in the bag so that one can quickly gather any remaining items, such as medicines, documents and money, before departure.

Maintaining important papers like passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, immunization records and credit card information in one secure file allows foreign citizens to grab the file quickly prior to departure. Expatriates must make sure that their travel documents are not expired and that they have the appropriate visas if their plan requires traveling to an adjacent country. Keeping copies of important documents in a separate, secure place is also a good idea lest the originals be lost or stolen.

An expatriate's means of departure and evacuation routes should be prearranged, but they should not be inflexible. Evacuation plans should include several routes and alternative modes of transportation. In some cases, transportation hubs -- the international airport, for example -- may be closed, or an earthquake may have destroyed the bridge on an escape route. Such scenarios require an alternative plan.

If an entire company or a family is vacating a country, every member of the group needs to understand the plan and know what to do in such a situation. If you are working for a multinational corporation you need to clearly understand your company's policies and what they will and will not do to assist you. Many companies purchase commercial medical and emergency evacuation insurance policies for their employees.

Communications are frequently unavailable during a crisis, but knowing that all the members of your family or staff know your evacuation plan -- and are abiding by it -- will help reduce the stress of not being able to communicate with them. It also allows each individual to focus on his or her immediate tasks. If you wait to implement the plan until you have communicated with every member of your family or staff, it could be too late to make it out. An evacuation plan must also account for ways to communicate with your family overseas and to your government. Alternative means of communication, such as satellite phones, might be helpful.

While almost any contingency plan is better than no plan, a plan that has been tested in the real world, especially during rush hour or another time of heavy congestion or disruption, is better than a plan that only exists on paper. Practicing a plan will help you to identify problems and weaknesses that do not appear in a theoretical plan. Practice also helps ensure that all of those participating in the plan know exactly what they are required to do and where they should go.

Plans must be periodically checked and updated and the contents of fly-away kits inspected. Highway construction projects can render evacuation routes impassable, and flashlights with dead batteries are useless. It is also prudent to designate someone who will remain in the country and can safeguard your home and belongings and care for your pets after you leave.

Creating an evacuation plan is important because when many people are confronted by a dire emergency, they simply do not know what to do. When people are overwhelmed by an emergency, it is often difficult for them to think clearly and establish a logical plan. Having a plan in advance -- even an imperfect plan -- provides even a person in shock a framework to rely on and a path to follow. 

The Syrian Example

Syria can help illustrate some aspects of evacuation planning. While many Western governments have closed their embassies and advised their citizens to leave the country, there are still many expatriates who remain in Syria. Others have even traveled to Syria, for personal or commercial reasons, since the outbreak of civil unrest.  


Some airlines, such as Air France, have suspended flights to Damascus, but others, including EgyptAir, Emirates Airlines and Royal Jordanian Airlines, continue flights. This could change. Late in the week of Aug. 26, Syrian rebels accused Russian arms smugglers of bringing weapons into Syria aboard civilian aircraft and threatened to attack such flights. While Stratfor has no information to confirm these rebel claims, Russian arms traffickers do indeed have a documented history of using civilian cargo and passenger planes to move weapons into conflict zones, and it is therefore possible that they are doing so in Syria. If the Syrian rebels begin to shoot at aircraft they suspect of smuggling weapons, airlines may become less willing to fly to Damascus.

The rebels have also intensified their attacks against the airport in Aleppo, which was being used to fly close air support missions and to bring supplies into the city. As a result, passenger flights to the airport have been suspended.

If foreign citizens cannot leave by air, the most secure land route from Damascus is Road 1, which leads directly to Beirut. An alternative route would take citizens south to Jordan via the M5 highway. However, this route traverses dangerous areas that are rife with fighting.

Expatriates in the eastern half of Syria would likely head to the Kurdish areas in the northeast through Road 7 and the M4 motorway, exiting through Turkey. There is a lot of fighting near the Iraqi border, and the road infrastructure in the southeast is not very good. 

In the northern rebel-held areas, the best evacuation method is to simply take the most secure road straight to the Turkish border, avoiding regime shelling and airstrikes as much as possible. For foreigners on the coast, the best option is to leave by boat. An alternative route is to take the M1 motorway north to Turkey's Hatay province or south to northern Lebanon. Both of these borders are used heavily for smuggling supplies to the rebels, so one has to be careful of clashes.

Visit our Syria page for related analysis, videos, situation reports and maps.

One of the worst places to be stuck is in the centrally located Orontes Valley. Roads leading southeast to Lebanon and north to Turkey are largely blocked by the frontlines of the battle. Ideally, one would proceed east to the coast along such routes as Road 50 and hope not to be targeted while passing checkpoints or during ambushes. 

Currently, the Syrian government and the rebels appear to be locked in a war of attrition and there are no signs of an imminent regime collapse. However, if the regime collapses suddenly, we can expect to see a flurry of activity as foreigners flee the conflict zones and governments work to evacuate the country.



Read more: Evacuations and Contingency Planning | Stratfor 

September 04, 2012

CAN HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF IN TIBET?



B.RAMAN

The rumblings from the Tibetan areas of China continue. The more the Chinese suppress, the more the Tibetans protest. The more the Chinese demonise His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the more the Tibetans respect him. The more the Chinese flaunt the economic progress made by the Tibetan areas under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the more the Tibetans long for His Holiness.

2. The Chinese recently took the CPC appointed Panchen Lama, who normally lives in Beijing under heavy security, on his annual one month, CPC-sponsored exposure to the Tibetan people. He camped in Lhasa under the protection of the PLA and was taken round the various monasteries where the influence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama continues to be strong.

3. The Chinese hopes that the Tibetan people would start venerating the CPC-sponsored Panchen Lama were belied.His presence in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and his visits to the monasteries were tom-tomed by the Party and Government-controlled media. There was hardly any excitement in the Tibetan areas.

4. News of the sermons and travels of His Holiness the Dalai Lama outside Tibet in his political and religious exile evoke greater interest and greater excitement among the Tibetans in the TAR, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan than the sermons and activities of the Panchen Lama.

5. In desperation, the Chinese have been trying to prevent news of the sermons and activities of His Holiness from reaching the Tibetans in China. They have stopped allowing the re-entry of Tibetans who go to Nepal and India to attend the religious meetings of His Holiness.They are trying to find out how news about the happenings in the Tibetan areas travel to the outside world almost the same day and is broadcast by Radio Free Asia, the radio station funded by the US State Department.

6.The Internet has been censored and blocked.Mobile telephone services have been vigorously controlled. The Tibetans have been denied access to social media networks.Despite this, news continues to trickle out and trickle in. There is a two-way trickle which the Chinese intelligence agencies have not been able to identify and stop.

7. The chain of self-immolations continues---mostly in the Tibetan areas of Sichuan, but increasingly in Qinghai and Gansu too. The total number of fatal self-immolations since March of last year crossed 50 last week.The Chinese do not know how to stop it. Their intelligence agencies have not been able to profile Tibetans who are likely to commit self-immolation.

8. There has been no flow of intelligence from the Tibetan community about plans for self-immolation. Arrests and severe punishments to Tibetan bystanders who do not stop the self-immolation attempts have not worked.

9. There have been more raids and more arrests.The Kirti monastery of Sichuan, where the self-immolations started last year, was raided once again last week and the monk inmates subjected to intimidatoryquestioning.The Zilkar monastery in the Qinghai province was raided on September 1 and four of the monks there were taken away for custodial interrogation.

10. Reliable sources report that one question the Chinese security officials have been posing to every Tibetan interrogated by them is: How does the news travel to the Dalai Lama? How does the news travel from the Dalai Lama?
11. The Chinese are confused. Despite their denying the Tibetans easy access to modern means of communication,news continues to travel and travel fast. There have been reports of large-scale preventive arrests in the Lhasa region. The trouble has till now been confined to the Tibetan areas of Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu. The Tibetan areas of Sichuan continue to be the epicentre of the wave of self-immolations.

12. Though the TAR has not yet been affected in a big way by the self-immolation movement,it is becoming the epi-centre of the Gandhian type satyagraha practised by the Lakhar movement, which is a Tibetan self-identity movement which tells the people: Be Tibetan,Eat Tibetan, Dress Tibetan, Speak Tibetan, Live Tibetan, venerate His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

13. The recent arrests in the Lhasa region were meant to stifle the Lhakar movement. The Chinese have not succeeded.

14. There is a protest chakra going on in the Tibetan areas of China.The more the protests, the more the suppression.The more the suppression, the more the protests.

15. It is a new type of protest movement, the like of which Tibet has not seen before.Self-motivated, self-induced, self-driven with no identifiable leaders and organisational structure behind it. It is kept sustained not by anger but by the pride of the Tibetans in themselves, their culture, their religion, their traditions, their heritage, their guru.

16. Despite their most brutal suppression, the Chinese have not been able to destroy the pride and hopes that continue to drive the movement. Today, the odds seem heavily against the Tibetans.

17. So they did against Mahatma Gandhi in the 1920s and against Nelson Mandela in the 1970s and the early 1980s. And then the odds turned in their favour.Brutal suppression failed to prevail.

18. Can history repeat itself in the Tibetan areas of China? ( 5-9-12)

(The  writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com  Twitter @SORBONNE75)

September 03, 2012

China thrives in soft corner with two-track U.S. strategy






NEW DELHI — The U.S. strategy long has been geared against the rise of any hegemonic power in Asia and for a stable balance of power.
Yet, as its 2006 national security strategy report acknowledges, the United States also remains committed to accommodate "the emergence of a China that is peaceful and prosperous and that cooperates with us to address common challenges and mutual interests."
Can U.S. policy reconcile these two seemingly conflicting objectives? The short answer is yes.
The U.S., in fact, has played a key role in China's rise. One example was the U.S. decision to turn away from trade sanctions against Beijing after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and instead integrate that country with global institutions — a major decision that allowed China to rise. Yet, paradoxically, many in the world today see China as America's potential peer rival.

Often overlooked is the fact that U.S. policy has a long tradition of following a China-friendly approach.

In 1905, for example, President Theodore Roosevelt — who hosted the Japan-Russia peace conference in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, after the war between the two countries — argued for the return of Manchuria to Manchu-ruled China and for a balance of power in East Asia.

The Russo-Japanese War actually ended up making the U.S. an active participant in China's affairs.

After the Communists seized power in China in 1949, the U.S. openly viewed Chinese Communism as benign and thus distinct from Soviet Communism. In more recent decades, U.S. policy has aided the integration and then ascension of Communist China, which began as an international pariah state.
It was the U.S. that helped turn China into the export juggernaut that it has become by outsourcing the production of cheap goods to it. Such manufacturing resulted in China accumulating massive trade surpluses and becoming the principal source of capital flows to the U.S.

America's China policy has traversed three stages. In the first phase, America courted the Mao Zedong regime, despite its 1950-51 annexation of Tibet and its domestic witch hunts, such as the "Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom" campaign. Disappointment with courtship led to estrangement, and U.S. policy then spent much of the 1960s seeking to isolate China.

The third phase began immediately after the 1969 Sino-Soviet bloody military clashes, as the U.S. actively sought to take advantage of the open rift between the two communist states to rope in China as an ally in its anti-Soviet strategy.

Even though the border clashes were clearly instigated by China, as the Pentagon later acknowledged, Washington sided with Beijing. That helped lay the groundwork for the China "opening" of 1970-71 engineered by Henry Kissinger, who had no knowledge of China until then.

Since the 1970s, the U.S. has followed a conscious policy to aid China's rise — a policy approach that remains intact today, even as Washington seeks to hedge against the risks of Chinese power sliding into arrogance. The Carter White House, in fact, sent a memo to various U.S. departments instructing them to help in China's rise.

In the second half of the Cold War, Washington and Beijing quietly forged close intelligence and other strategic cooperation, as belief grew in both capitals that the two countries were natural allies. Such cooperation survived the end of the Cold War. Even China's 1996 firing of missiles into the Taiwan Strait did not change the U.S. policy of promoting China's rise, despite the consternation in Washington over the Chinese action.

If anything, the U.S. has been gradually withdrawing from its close links with Taiwan, with no U.S. Cabinet member visiting Taiwan since those missile maneuvers. Indeed, U.S. policy went on to acknowledge China's "core interests" in Taiwan and Tibet in a 2009 joint communiqué with Beijing.
In this light, China's spectacular economic success — illustrated by its emergence with the world's biggest trade surplus and largest foreign-currency reserves — owes a lot to the U.S. policy from the 1970s, including Washington's post-Tiananmen decision not to sustain trade sanctions.
Without the significant expansion in U.S.-Chinese trade and financial relations since the 1970s, China's economic growth would have been much harder.
From being allies of convenience in the second half of the Cold War, the U.S. and China have emerged as partners tied together by close interdependence. America depends on Chinese trade surpluses and savings to finance its supersized budget deficits, while Beijing relies on its huge exports to the U.S. both to sustain its economic growth and subsidize its military modernization.
By plowing two-thirds of its mammoth foreign-currency reserves into U.S. dollar-denominated investments, Beijing has gained significant political leverage.

China thus is very different from the adversaries the U.S. has had in the past, like the Soviet Union and Japan. U.S. interests now are so closely intertwined with China that they virtually preclude a policy that seeks to either isolate or confront Beijing. Even on the democracy issue, the U.S. prefers to lecture some other dictatorships rather than the world's largest and oldest-surviving autocracy.

Yet it is also true that the U.S. views with unease China's not-too-hidden aim to dominate Asia — an objective that runs counter to U.S. security and commercial interests and to the larger U.S. goal for a balance in power in Asia.

To help avert such dominance, the U.S. has already started building countervailing influences and partnerships, without making any attempt to contain China.

Where its interests converge with Beijing, the U.S. will continue to work closely with it. American academic John Garver, writing in the current issue of the Orbis journal, sees a de facto bargain between Washington and Beijing in the vast South Asia-Indian Ocean Region (SA-IOR): "Beijing accepts continuing U.S. pre-eminence in the SA-IOR in exchange for U.S. acceptance of a gradual, incremental and peaceful expansion of Chinese presence and influence in that region."

For the U.S., China's rising power helps to validate U.S. forward military deployments in the Asian theater, keep existing allies in Asia, and win new strategic partners. An increasingly assertive China indeed has proven a diplomatic boon for Washington in strengthening and expanding U.S. security arrangements in Asia.

South Korea has tightened its military alliance with the United States, Japan has backed away from a move to get the U.S. to move a marine airbase out of Okinawa, Singapore has allowed the stationing of U.S. Navy ships, Australia is hosting U.S. Marine and other deployments, and India, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, among others, have drawn closer to the U.S.
The lesson: The rise of a muscle-flexing power can help strengthen the relevance and role of a power in relative decline.

Let us not forget that barely a decade ago, the U.S. was beginning to feel marginalized in Asia because of several developments, including China's "charm offensive." It was worried about being shunted aside in Asia.
Today, America has returned firmly to the center-stage in Asia, prompting President Barack Obama to declare his much-ballyhooed "pivot" toward Asia.
To lend strategic heft to the "pivot," the U.S. is to redirect 60 percent of its battleships to the Pacific and 40 percent to the Atlantic by 2020, compared to the 50-50 split at present.

Despite the "pivot," the U.S. intends to stick to its two-track approach in Asia — seek to maintain a balance of power with the help of its strategic allies and partners, while continuing to accommodate a rising China, including by reaching unpublicized bargains with it on specific issues and Asian subregions.
Brahma Chellaney is the author of "Asian Juggernaut" (HarperCollins) and "Water: Asia's New Battleground" (Georgetown University Press

September 02, 2012

BENGALURU ARRESTS OF TERRORISM SUSPECTS

 

B.RAMAN


According to media reports, the Bengaluru Police are presently interrogating 13 persons who have been taken into custody on suspicion of their involvement in a conspiracy to carry out assassinations of some targeted individuals in Karnataka and Hyderabad. The media reports have stated that the suspects under interrogation, all of them Indian nationals, are alleged to have had links with the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), a Pakistani terrorist organisation, and the Bangladesh branch of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), which is generally referred to as HUJI (B). Both these organisations had operated in Hyderabad and Bengaluru in the past.


2. Eleven of the arrests were made on August 29,2012----six in Bengaluru and five in Hubli in Karnataka. The 12th arrest was made in Hyderabad on August 31 and the 13th in Bengaluru on September 1,2012. The 11 suspects arrested on August 29 included a journalist, a doctor and a Junior Research Fellow with the  Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).


3.ShriJyotiPrakashMirji, the Police Commissioner of Bengaluru City, was reported to have told the media on September  1 that the suspects were self- motivated and had no direct links with any other group. Their  plan was to kill high profile personalities and cause communal tension in the country.

4.It is not clear what the Commissioner of Police meant when he said that the suspects had no link with any other group, since other reports quoting the police had said that the suspects had links with the LET and the HUJI (B). Did he mean that the suspects had no links with any other indigenous organisation such as the Indian Mujahideen, which had in the past operated in Bengaluru or the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) or Al Umma of Tamil Nadu, which had also in the past operated in Bengaluru?


5.On March 30,2006,the Karnataka Police had arrested at Jelenabad in Gulbarga District one Shamim Ahmed, a suspected activist of the LET, who was reportedly residing in Goa.An AK-47, two hand-grenades, a mobile phone, maps of dams and some power grids of Andhra Pradesh, some audio-visual cassettes and Urdu literature were allegedly found in his possession. It was not known what happened to him subsequently, whether he was prosecuted, on what charges and what was the outcome.


6. In January 2008, the Karnataka Police arrested RiazuddinNasir alias Mohammad Ghouse of Hyderabad and AsadullahAbubaker of Hospet. Nasir was a drop-out from an engineering college and Asadullah was a student of the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences in Hubli. Subsequently, the Police also arrested one Mohammad Asif of the same Institute. During interrogation, Nasir was reported to have admitted that he had undergone training in an LET camp in Pakistan in 2006.


7. These three persons were reported to have told the police that they were planning to  carry out terrorist strikes against foreign tourists in Goa and against foreign IT companies in Bengaluru.


8. This is the first time many suspects have been arrested, who were reportedly planning to assassinate individual personalities with hand-held weapons.No explosive material appears to have been recovered from them. It is not clear why they chose the targeted persons for assassination.


9. Some media reports, quoting police sources, have claimed that the suspects were self-motivated by visiting Internet sites of Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Whereas Al Qaeda based in North Waziristan of Pakistan has its web sites and propaganda material in the Arabic language, the AQAP has them in English, including its online motivational journal called "Inspire".Anwar al-Awlaki, the Amir of the AQAP who was  a US citizen of Yemeni origin, and Samir Khan, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, who was an associate, were killed in a US Drone strike in Yemen on September 30,2011.


10.The investigation is likely to be difficult because the police have not been able to seize any evidence of forensic significance such as explosive material. The police may have to depend to a large extent on interrogation for ascertaining details. Cases based on interrogation and confessions do not often indulge in successful prosecutions, leading to allegations of mala fide from the Muslim community.


11. The police should keep an open mind in view of the inadequate forensic evidence and should resist any sensationalisation of the case, which could cause unnecessary tensions.


12. Since the arrests have been made in Karnataka as well as in AP and since the conspiracy for targeted assassinations reportedly involved targets in Karnataka as well as Hyderabad, it might be useful to have the case investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).  (2-9-12)


(The  writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com  Twitter @SORBONNE75)