Here is a newspaper reporting on what it says the Indian government knows about Pakistan’s new terror attacks. I want to take on this whole coverage and ask some questions:
Seven months after Mumbai 26/11, Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba is planning its next, more spectacular attack in India. Even before Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed was released in Lahore, LeT masterminds have been at work on the next strike…While there is always some terrorist group or another in Pakistan plotting against India, this time, the intelligence has been a lot more specific.
Okay. So, how does a headline like ‘Terror Strike May Force India To Take Military Action’ fit in? If India and intelligence sources have such detailed information, then are they taking preventive measures? That means there ought not to be any terror attack. So, where is the need for military action?
What is interesting is that India and the US are working closely to neutralise the impending terror threat. It has cemented their relationship, built over several years, but which took a whole new shape after the Mumbai attacks. Officials from both countries have been sharing data, information and intelligence to get a shot at cracking the group and their attacks.
The US is helping us? And giving money to Pakistan. Wonderful. And why do we need that country’s help?
LeT’s targets are not different, and Lashkar’s strategy too has not changed. The basic idea is to spark off a Hindu backlash, so clearly the prime targets are people like Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and other so-called Hindu targets are on top of the list.
Is this a newspaper report or some incendiary trying to fan the flames? What does so-called Hindu targets mean?
South Indian states are particularly vulnerable, said sources, because LeT leaders are known to be working on plans to attack soft targets in these states.
Is there any attempt being made to ensure the safety of these soft targets? I am amazed that we know so much and yet the report sounds as though we are waiting to welcome these attacks.
Our foreign secretary met the Pakistan High Commissioner:
He (Shiv Shankar Menon) told (Shahid) Malik it was regrettable that JuD chief and Mumbai attacks accused Hafiz Saeed, officially designated terrorist by the UN Security Council, had been released.
Hafiz Saeed was under house arrest. (Note: Now attention shifts from Kasab to Saeed. Smart.) And instead of telling Pakistan that we find it disturbing, should we not approach the UN Security Council?
No, we won’t do it. You want to know why? Because, “Some version of a dialogue with Pakistan is expected to start soon”. Yes, this is a report. And it mentions “some version”. A dialogue is a dialogue; this is not some fantasy or an episode from some TV soap.
There are two main reasons why India would like to begin talks. First, it might get the Pakistanis at least to attempt to stop the next bigticket terrorist attack against India. Sources said Pakistan was likely to sponsor another big attack in Jammu & Kashmir to push India into coming to the table. This is nothing short of blackmail, but India doesn’t want to be in a position where it might seem to be succumbing to such blackmail.
Second, Indian officials are clear that the US, which was waiting for the elections to be over, will soon raise the talks issue with India. This could come as soon as Hillary Clinton’s visit to India in July. The government here is keen to pre-empt such pressure tactics.
1. Big ticket event? Is someone breaking the mahurat coconut, too? Are we to stock up on popcorn? And what happened to the report on the same day in the same paper about “soft targets” and “so-called Hindus”? Now it has gone from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. And we aren’t even talking politics here. We are talking about blackmail – as though this is the first time such a thing would happen when we keep saying Kashmir has been infiltrated. Listen, Kashmir is the only reason we come to the table with Pakistan. Do not try and capitalise on the state and its people.
2. The US and Hillary Clinton are trying to frighten us with pressure tactics and that is the reason we will have chai-paani with our Pakistani counterparts? Don’t we have a spine, self-esteem and our own minds?
This is such utter nonsense.
I understand we have a new External Affairs minister and it is necessary to show us he knows his diplomacy. The Home Ministry has to keep the saffron parties on their toes and yet appear as benign protectors. But, please, let us not make all this sound as stupid (although the motives are canny) as it does.
What should have got greater censure was not a fantabulist tale but a small report:
Pakistan on Wednesday violated the ceasefire along the LoC when they fired on Indian soldiers at the Swajian area between Poonch and Rajouri sectors. The armymen came under five bursts of small arms fire (about 35 bullets) from a Pakistani post. The Indian troops maintained restraint and did not fire back. It was the eighth ceasefire violation since the beginning of the year.
Did anyone hold meetings regarding this? Did we call up Hillary and ask her what is this? Why is it not considered “blackmail”? Not a big ticket event, eh?