Defeat devilish designs
By Samuel Mathai
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The repeated terrorist attacks on India, the
largest democracy in the world, which has the third largest defence force
having 13.25 lakh personnel and spends an annual budget of over 40 billion US
dollar on this account, puts a big question mark on the credibility and ability
of the country to deal with such embarrassing situation, like the attack on the
high-security airbase of the Indian Air Force in Pathankot.
arises in the mind of people in the country is that “how these trans-border
ultras could reach thus far and entered the high-security airbase, without
conspiring with some internal elements?” The security agency has found huge
cache of grenades from where the Pathankot attackers’ body were recovered. It
clearly shows that there were some elements who were providing all the support
to the militants. On the ground of suspicion, the probe agency has been
interrogating the ‘hijacked’ SP Salwinder Singh, to know his ‘connections’ with
the perpetrators of the attack. And, it’s a matter of concern for all that “what
if the fence itself eat the crop”.
India has a
number of intelligence agencies such as the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW),
India’s external intelligence agency and the Intelligence Bureau, the domestic
intelligence agency. Are these terrorist attacks on and off on the
country not bespeaks of the failure of the intelligence system in the country?
It seems that
the government in our country, knowingly or unknowingly is following the
principle of “Ahimsa Paramodharma”. Terrorists, with the tacit approval of the
neighbouring countries, successfully execute their devilish designs of
disturbing peace and tranquillity in India time and again. After
inflicting grievous injuries on the country, these devils keep silence for some
time and we, after suffering much loss, go for peaceful dialogue with our
neighbours and the issue subsides then and there.
clearly be seen from the statement made by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh,
soon after the Pathankot attack that, "Pakistan is our neighbouring
country. We want good relations with not just Pakistan but with all our
neighbours. We also want peace, but if there is any terror attack on India, we
will give a befitting reply." It gives an impression in the mind of common
man that the decision-makers and politicians of the country are not at all
concerned about the security of the country and its citizens, but filling their
non-violence is part of ‘Dharma’. The Bible teaches to “love your enemies and
love your neighbour as yourself”, but at the same time it also advises to
“resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. If the enemy is a human being
having human intentions, one can win him with love and peaceful dialogues, but
if he is a human being with devilish intentions, he should never be considered
a ‘friend’ or ‘brother’ and should be resisted with whole might. Annihilation
of enemies is ‘Rajdharma’. The government and its political leaders at the helm
should understand that they are here not to do ‘Dharma’ but ‘Rajdharma’.
attack indicates that our enemies are so clever that they can intrude into
anywhere the country and inflict injuries on it anytime.
has a number of evidences that the attackers were from the soil of Pakistan,
our government is still going soft and hesitates to take tough action against
intelligence reports also suggested that groups and people in Pakistan planned
and executed the Pathankot attack. India has provided "specific and
actionable information in this regard" to Pakistan. The evidence is said
to include some voice recordings and the cellular phone numbers of the
attackers' handlers which were traced to Pakistan. However, after conducting
preliminary investigations the Pak authorities dismissed India's evidences,
saying that the numbers provided by India were not registered in Pakistan.
intelligence reports have said that the terrorists received clandestine support
from Pakistan but across the border, the media has been prominently carrying
reports of the ground situation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
attack, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had a surprise stopover in
Pakistan on December 25 last to meet his counterpart in that country, Nawaz
Sharif, has asked Sharif to deliver on his promise of "prompt and
decisive'' action against those responsible for the daring attack on the
Pathankot air base.
clear that Pakistan's soil was used by terrorists who were all Pakistanis to
attack us. This is unacceptable. You have to deliver on your promise and you
have to deliver soon," a source quoted Modi as telling Sharif in Hindi
when the latter called him from Sri Lanka.
coincided with the Pakistani prime minister's birthday. The spontaneous and
personal nature of the visit took many by surprise. Many see Modi's visit as a
solid step in the warming of relations between the nuclear rivals but there's a
long way to go before that is translated to actual peace in both the countries.
There's of course criticism on both sides about this gesture. The opposition
Congress in India called it ridiculous. In Pakistan, many took to Twitter to
say that Modi was not welcome. The question here is, will such
“Bhaichara” gestures in anyway benefit India, which has been continuously
incurring losses of its precious lives in incidents like Pathankot.
It seems that
Modi visited the neighbouring country in his bid to gain statesmanship the
world over. Even he didn’t know that his visit will bring him in a soup.
countries have fought three wars since independence, two of them over Kashmir.
A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but the neighbours often accuse
each other of violating it.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar
nine days after the terrorists attacked on the air force base at Pathankot,
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, in one of the strongest statements,
said “pain must be inflicted on those who hurt India.” The minister said
the time, manner and place of the response will be decided by India. He, however,
refrained from naming Pakistan, and referred to "individuals and
organisations" that hurt India. Addressing a seminar in New Delhi the
minister said "Unless pain can be transmitted to them, they will always
end up giving pain to us. I am pained when my soldier dies."
World leaders condemn
from many countries including the United States, the United Kingdom,
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
Maldives, Nepal, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, vehemently condemned the
dastardly act of the terrorists.
Pranab Mukherjee also condemned the attack and sent condolences to the families
of soldiers who lost their lives.
the Pakistan media speak highly of Pakistan government's quick gesture in
condemning the attack on the air base. Dawn says "Firstly, the Pakistani
government has done the right thing in quickly and unequivocally condemning the
terror attack and offering its cooperation to India." Another editorial speaks
of a 'muted' response from India in directly blaming Pakistan for the attacks,
but makes it a point to mention that Pakistan ought to act if it’s proven that
the terrorists got help from its soil.
Pathankot terrorist attack
On January 2,
2016, a heavily armed group attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of
the Western Air Command of the Indian Air Force with AK-47, Grenades and IED.
Six attackers and three security forces personnel were killed in the initial
battle. The gun battle and the subsequent combing operation lasted about 17
hours on January 2. The attackers, who were wearing Indian Army fatigues, were
suspected to belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed, an Islamist militant group designated
a terrorist organisation by India, the US, the UK and the UN.
soldiers who were admitted to hospital with grievous injuries died, raising the
death toll to six soldiers. On January 3, another security officer was killed
by an IED explosion. The operation continued on January 4, and a fifth attacker
was confirmed killed. The United Jihad Council claimed responsibility for the
attack on January 4.
The hijack theory
On the night
of December 31, 2015, four men hijacked a multi-utility vehicle belonging to
Salwinder Singh, a superintendent of the Punjab Police, in Dinanagar. In the
process, they slit the throat of jeweller Rajesh Kumar, who was later admitted
to a hospital. The vehicle was found abandoned about 500 metres away from the
airbase. The attackers are also suspected to have murdered Ikagar Singh, a
civilian taxi driver, before the hijacking.
Punjab Police refused to believe the abduction report provided by SP Salwinder
Singh after he was released by the attackers. A handheld walkie talkie, was
left behind by the attackers in the hijacked vehicle. This loss of the walkie
talkie is speculated to have led to loss of coordination: and delayed the attack
by twenty four hours.
claimed that the people who carried out the attack in Pathankot were in regular
touch with their Pakistani handlers. Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of
Jaish-e-Mohammad, and his brother Abdul Rauf Asghar, mastermind of IC-814 hijack
case, are among four persons identified by Indian intelligence agencies as
"handlers" behind the attack. The agencies found evidence that the
conspiracy was hatched near Lahore.
Lack of coordination among security forces
were raised about the lack of clear command structure within the security
forces, the long duration of the attack, high casualties, lack of co-ordination
between various units and premature statements claiming the end of the attack
in spite of receiving accurate intelligence about the attack. Vikram Sood, the
former head of India's foreign intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing
(RAW), wrote an article on Rediff.com citing examples of how terrorist attacks
occurred in India soon after peace talks took place between India and Pakistan.
Firstpost published an article on similar lines highlighting past attacks and
how they adversely affected India–Pakistan relations.
Pak claim on action against Masood Azhar
world-wide condemnation of the Pathankot attack and the tough talk made by the
Indian leadership, the Pakistan government has claimed to have taken the
Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, the alleged master-mind of the
Pathankot terror attack, his brother Mufti Abdur Rauf and his brother-in-law
Ashfaq Ahmed, into protective custody. “He has been placed in preventive
detention amid a probe into allegations of his involvement in the Pathankot
attack,” a source was quoted as saying by Geo News channel. However, there was
no official word on the development. India too said it had no official
confirmation about the detention of Azhar.
In Box ...
Pakistan safe haven for terrorists: Obama
Barak Obama in his 2016 State of the Union Address recently said that
instability would continue for decades in many parts of the world — in the
Middle East, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in parts of Central America, Africa
and Asia. Some of these places may become safe havens for new terrorist networks;
others will fall victim to ethnic conflict, or famine, feeding the next wave of
refugees. The world will look to us to help solve these problems, and our
answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet bomb civilians.
Such attacks will continue: Musharraf
and Pakistan are making efforts for a dialogue to settle issues, including
terrorism, plaguing both the countries former Pakistan president and Kargil
plotter Pervez Musharraf has been spewing venom on India. In an interview to a
channel AAJ TV, Musharraf not only said that “India is over-reacting on
Pathankot attack case” but also added that “such kind of attacks will continue
to happen in future.” Accusing New Delhi of creating pressure on Islamabad when
it came to terror attacks, the former President alleged that terrorism and
extremism was quite prevalent in India as well.