T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Vol I Issue XI

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

March 2003

I N S I D E


Spotlight 

Romeet K WATT

 

Comment     

A B Vajpayee

 

Column     

S Chaulia       

                   

View Point      

Romeet K WATT

 

On Track     

Romeet K Watt 

                  

Opinion

Kanwal Sibal

 

Analysis

Sawraj Singh

 

State Craft

Subhash Kapila

 

Perspective

T R Jawahar

 

Last Word

Anil Narendra 

 

                            


 

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L A S T   W O R D

"Grave threat" to India's internal security

Anil Narendra


Internal security in our country is of great concern today because of the regular and unabated proxy war launched by Pakistan. The Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Shri L.K. Advani says that Paskistan’s only goal is to destablize the democratic and secular fabric of our nation as it cannot live with such a system.

 

The proxy war in the form of cross border terrorism is undoubtedly the greatest threat to India’s unity and integrity in the present times. In the name of freedom struggle Pakistan is actively helping the terrorist groups in disrupting the multi-religious harmony in the country. This movement carried out by Pakistan and its fanatic groups is in complete violation of the UN resolution against terrorism. The developments following the destruction of the Al-Qaida base in Afghanistan are another point of concern. The fanatics have now shifted their base from Pakistan to the immediate neighbourhood of India and are spreading their tentacles in many other countries. These elements need to be tackled effectively by the civilized world.

 

Shri Advani’s statement in Guwahati the other day that the internal security situation in the country is "extremely grave" and "war-like", is no exaggeration. Nor is his assertion that India’s leaders are "under threat all the time". A suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist, Sadiq Jamal Mahetar, who was reportedly involved in a plot to murder Shri Advani, the Gujarat Chief Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia, was killed in an encounter with the police in Ahmedabad recently. Besides the D-company the terrorist outfits, which were part of the “operation Ramjee”, were Laskhar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Badr and the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).

 

In fact, Indian leaders have lived in the shadow of death for years. Pakistan’s ISI made several attempts last year including one code-named "operation Ramjee", to eliminate the Deputy Prime Minister, Shri L.K. Advani through terrorist outfits aided by it and the underworld network of Dawood Ibrahim. Intelligence inputs suggest that renewed efforts could be made this year as well. There was another attempt to kill Shri Advani in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu on February 14, 1998 when a series of blasts occurred in and around the venue of a BJP election rally, killing 36 persons and injuring 153. Shri Advani, who was slated to address the rally, survived as his flight was delayed.

 

Many chief ministers have been and continue to be the targets of the militants. Shri Prafulla Kumar Mohanta escaped at least one attempt on his life when he was the Chief Minister of Assam. There have been plots against the present Chief Minister, Shri Tarun Gogoi. Several years ago, bombs were unearthed near a dais from which Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharyya, then a Minister in West Bengal and now the State’s Chief Minister, was to address a rally in Murshidabad district. One can go on citing examples. Attempted assassinations are part of the terrorist outfits’ wider strategy of destabilizing India. Terrorism unfortunately has been adopted as a means of state policy by Pakistan.

 

Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI has been raising, training, funding and motivating these fanatics for years to carry out their subversive activities against India. The main threat today undoubtedly comes from those like the LeT, the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Hizbul Mujaheedin. The long list of outrages perpetrated by them, including the attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001 hardly requires any recapitulation. According to latest intelligence reports, they are trying to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations throughout the country by staging suicide attacks on some famous temples in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala besides shrines in Maharashtra. Their other targets include defence and central government establishments in Delhi and elsewhere in the country.

 

While dealing with the ISI-sponsored terrorism with a firm hand, the threats by ULFA, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, the United National Liberation Front and People’s Liberation Army of Manipur and the National Liberation Front of Tripura with their bases in Bangladesh and Bhutan and actively aided by Bangladesh’s Directorate-General of Forces’ Intelligence and the ISI cannot be ignored. The rising incidence of violence unleashed by extremist outfits like the People’s War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre further complicates the situation.

 

It is a tribute to the inherent stability of India’s political system and the efficiency of the Union Home Ministry and its security forces that the country has been able to take all this in its stride and yet make impressive economic progress. That, however, should not cause complacency. There is an urgent need to further ginger up intelligence-gathering mechanisms and equip the security forces better.

 

The main burden of protecting the VIPs of Delhi falls on the shoulders of the Delhi Police. The Delhi Police is presently providing security to 368 protected persons under various categories, in addition to other VVIPs and other dignitaries and diplomats. There are 18 protected persons in Z-plus category, 39 in Z, 209 in Y and 102 in X categories who are Cabinet Ministers, Supreme Court and High Court Judges, heads of various missions and some persons under threat.

 

The Deputy Prime Minister has warned the anti-national elements saying, "India is a democratic country, but a democratic state need not be a soft state". It was "the urgency to dispel the image of a soft state" which led the Government to suspend the passport of "elements that keep on running down the country, even abroad." Shri Advani commended President George W. Bush, who is reported to have authorized the U.S. Air Force to shoot down any plane that was hijacked, after news came in of the first three plane attacks on September 11, 2001. Shri Advani said that this willingness to take the 100 or so civilian causalities that his order entailed was an example of "a democracy, which is not soft".

 

There has been some criticism against the Home Ministry withdrawing the passport of some Hurriyat Conference leaders. Shri Advani has justified the government’s decision to withdraw the passport of Hurriyat leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Asked if denial of passport would not amount to denial of democratic rights, Shri Advani said, "Democracy does not mean allowing people to do whatever they feel like".

 

"We have reached a point where threats to internal security are very grave. India is a democratic state but a democratic state need not be a soft state. It is democracy, which makes us talk to NSCN (I-M) or with the Bodos. But there is an urgency to dispel the image of a soft state. He said the threat to internal security came not just from Pakistan but also from the attitude adopted by our "eastern neighbour (Bangladesh), with regard to some indigenous groups who go and take asylum there and set up camps."

 

Today the security situation in India is "extremely grave". Not like an "emergency" but "like war". (PIB Features)

  • Writer is Editor, Vir Arjun Daily

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