Sunday, November 30, 2008

Point & shoot

The standard Indian explanation of terrorism by the way of pointing fingers toward Pakistan seems rather shallow at this point. Even if it is true, we still cannot justify the failure of our intelligence, police & the general rise of civil unrest in the country based on religious grounds which includes Hindus, Muslims & Christians alike - the difference being one of degree. This is a moot point, however.

Nothing that I know of tells me that the Pakistani government has even an iota of control over a lot of these home-grown terrorists. Pakistan is as much a victim of the situation as we are. Their military & intelligence are way outside government control. So by lobbying against the Pakistani government, if government is the right term for the the structure in place in Pakistan right now, I do not see how we are taking any measures of consequence in solving the problem.

One of the aspects of this closed, parochial mentality is epitomised in the failure of SAARC as a political organization, as opposed to the EU - which, in spite of its many internal disagreements, has been able to structure an organization which gives it clarity & definition as a body of nations united for many geo-political purposes.

If India does not understand & act upon the notion that the idea of national peace & prosperity in a region of economic, societal & political distress is just banana oil, this kind of thing will continue to happen. And acting in the regional interest is something that each country has to evolve a consensus & a mentality for. And their respective citizens will need to have the voice & purpose to do this.I can't imagine that the solution to any of this, whatever the solution is, will come from & involve just one country in the region.

South Asia is in tatters. India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka - all of us battling endlessly against internal strife based on a variety of factors. South Asia has not really had any kind of a movement resembling the Renaissance, but we're sure not going to stop ourselves from slipping into our own "Dark Age". So lets go ahead & pull that trigger - an eye for an eye, right?


Anonymous said...

I certainly agree with the failure of SAARC, but I tend to disagree on the Intelligence failure. I am not a security expert and what I write below is my understanding through different dailies, news, articles & blogs which I have followed throughout.

US has warned Indian intelligence, though not specifically on hotels, but enough to specify the MO (waterborne attack in the western territorial waters).

Tata Chairman agreed that there was a specific intelligence input from Indian authorities as well. Taj Mahal hotel, in fact, beefed up additional security procedures in the hotel like - metal detectors in the front, sniffer dogs & handler, restricting parking etc.,

But, they failed to notice the security weak points at the back of the hotel (Terrorists used back of the hotel to carry explosives). To me, it appears though, there were enough intelligence about the attack but a gross failure of co-ordination between different Indian security agencies.

Eye for an Eye, well, I believe both the countries are not financially well equipped enough to fight a war at this juncture.

Stepping up international diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to hand over the wanted terrorists/militants is the right thing to do. Also, if you witnessed in the news, Shivsankar Menon is in Wash.D.C., which I believe is the best diplomatic step you can take to avoid a war and increase diplomatic pressure on Pak by lobbying through the US.

Like Obama said, it's a delicate diplomacy, which is the need of the hour.

It's the responsibility of common man of India to start putting pressure on the political system to overhaul it.

S! said...

Right. Slightly more measured points of view than my own rants about how pointing fingers toward Pakistan is just a knee-jerk reaction . :)

I see the reason behind your point. But like you point out, I think the greater solution lies within the borders of India - to figure out why available intelligence is not acted upon, & what could we do to ensure that this may not happen again - instead of a blanket accusation of Pakistan - whose effectiveness, irrespective of the intent, I have serious doubts about.

Where are you from?

Anonymous said...

I am from Seattle,WA, often call the author "Doubtfire"