Sunday, September 6, 2009

Right kind of strategy can defeat the Maoists

Right kind of strategy can defeat the Maoists
by Ajit Doval
July 18, 2009
Mail Today

WHEN the government proclaims Left Wing Extremism as the most serious security threat faced by the country, the obvious question that arises is: What exactly determines the seriousness of a security threat in comparable terms? It is determined by the viciousness of the enemy’s intentions and its capability of causing damage and destruction to achieve its objectives. In this context, intentions include political and ideological objectives that can undermine the established politicoconstitutional order.
Capabilities encompass a wide range of factors — weapons holdings, skills and motivation levels, financial strength, collaborative linkages, quality of leadership, organisation etc.
This, however, is only half the truth. A security threat also depends on the comprehensive power of the state and its ability and will to exercise it, the strength of its institutions to convert state objectives to ground realities, and the capacity of its leadership to optimise its gains from available resources. Often threats assume a seriousness disproportionate to their intrinsic strength not because they are per- se formidable but because the response is deficient. Left Wing Extremism is a case in point.
Left extremists enjoy many advantages like vast and inaccessible terrain which is difficult to dominate or sanitise no matter what force levels are pumped in. Remember how long and what all it took to neutralise one Veerappan in a relatively much smaller area? Further, they have to their advantage not only a huge alienated population that has suffered decades of social and economic neglect, but a setting where the extremists enjoy reach and credibility that no other state or non state actor, including political parties, do. Their other strength is availability of an ideology easy for the extremists to package and sell in the backdrop of the poor credibility of “ democratic” political parties and their leaders.
The extremists are able to project the existing political order as being responsible for their suffering and offering their brand of communism as the sure and only answer. With no counterview projected, they are able to exploit caste conflicts in Bihar, resentment against landlords in Andhra, sentiment against forest laws and practices in tribal areas, unemployment among youth or radicalism among sections of Muslims simultaneously, putting Maoism before all of them as a panacea. Their other strength lies in large scale rural unemployment — increasing every year with a rising youth population. With availability of money to pay as regular salaries, they have more people willing to join their People’s Army than they are capable of training and handling.
However, the story does not end here — they have some high vulnerabilities as well. Like most ideology driven movements, the Left Wing Extremists are controlled by less than a dozen top kingpins and nearly 30 commanders of its armed cadre. They determine the political line, control the resources and design their strategy. The majority of the 13,000 odd armed cadres and the many more supporters are gullible tribals and poor people misled by vicious propaganda, frightened by the gun or lured by the money. For the leaders — who themselves live in conditions of safety and comfort — they are easily replaceable commodities.
Neutralisation of top leaders and activists in the four decades long history of Left Extremism has invariably led to ideological dilution, dissensions, demoralisation, giving a blow to their image of invincibility, and creating doubts about the political viability of the movement and achievability of victory through violence. At the tactical level, it has led to a struggle for leadership, a disruption in sources of funding and weapons and the abandonment of plans in the pipeline.
Further, the questioning of top leaders has often provided strategic and tactical inputs, which, when pursued imaginatively, have substantially weakened the movement. Inherent in intelligent interrogation of top functionaries lie answers to questions that can lead to degradation of the movement.
At times, they become part of the government’s counter terrorist effort and whenever that happens their contribution is substantial. Targeted operations against them are also much more cost effective than frittering away the forces too thinly on the ground and exposing them to dangers with little corresponding gains.
The other vulnerability of Left extremism is its discredited ideology, which has not only been discarded all around the world, but goes against the Indian ethos and civilisational mindset.
Devoid of its ideological plank the movement stands reduced to a problem of organised crime. The leadership fears nothing more than losing its revolutionary halo, though a good number of them lead a life of comfort and, amongst many, even ideological conviction is not as strong as generally believed.
The demolition of this contrived self image is their high vulnerability. A credible, focused and sustained psywar offensive to expose the movement as anti- people will be hard for them to counter. The people should be made to realise that the movement is nothing but a pipe- dream of a few to acquire power through violence.
Contradictions in their ideologies and stories of the ordinary people’s suffering under totalitarian regimes, too, need to be highlighted. There are also many aspects of their collaboration with the rich and powerful to collect funds, instances of moral turpitude, the use of high handed methods to deal with dissent, which need to be given wide publicity. They may not produce instant results but credibly structured, imaginatively packaged and widely disseminated, they can produce spectacular results over a period of time.
It is noteworthy that people are attracted to Left extremism not so much by its ideology as on account of their high personal alienation. The political parties have an antidote to outdo the Left extremists in this game by accessing the people, mobilising them against extremist ideology, redressing their grievances and allaying their fears — real or imaginary — by democratically acceptable means.
Unfortunately, the divisive politics of the country, thriving on the faultlines of caste, religion, language, ethnicity etc are more a cause than cure of the problem. Further, quite often the political parties arrive at a secret political understanding with the extremists for electoral gains. At times, they buy peace by surrendering to their unreasonable demands like allowing them to raise funds or transferring upright and honest officers.
Political parties which for the last six decades have mobilised people under all conceivable faultlines of caste, ethnicity, language, religion etc. should, shift their focus now and use all their equations and influence to defend democracy and national interests.
The money factor is another important element helping Left extremists to expand and intensify their activities.
It enables them to raise their cadre strength by recruiting unemployed youth on regular salaries. A fresh recruit is paid Rs 2,000 to 2,500 per month, which in a poverty stricken backward area is a big attraction. Similarly, with accretion in financial resources, they are able to procure more sophisticated and greater quantities of weapons, adding to their firepower and lethality.
It is estimated that the extremists are able to collect nearly Rs 1200 crore a year, which is big money, for carrying out a subversive warfare in tribal and backward areas. It is able to raise these funds through corrupt government officials, protection money collected from rich landlords and businessmen, by intimidating contractors, transporters etc. and the imposition of levies on forest and coal produce etc.
Paradoxically, the increase in government outlays for development activities in affected areas also strengthen them financially because these enhanced outlays are not backed up by an effective and accountable administrative machinery.
Naxal violence is different from other conventional terrorist models in its tactics which provide much larger space for security and intelligence agencies to operate. Unlike terrorists who work through small conspiratorial groups, maintaining utmost secrecy, Naxal violence is carried out through mobilisation of large bodies of men running into several hundreds. Intelligence penetration in such situations is much easier and can open up various possibilities to counter their actions.
The doctrine of using time tested methods of pumping in more paramilitary forces without a definite plan, enhancing modernisation grants without monitoring how they are being used, and building ever new platforms for better coordination may be correct, but they are not adequate to tackle the problem. A strategic shift is necessary to turn the tide in our favour.
The writer is former chief of the Intelligence Bureau

Will the national terror outfit become just another agency?

Will the national terror outfit become just another agency?Times of India
Ajit Doval
12 January 2009, 04:43am IST

Establishing a national counter terrorism agency is a positive idea whose time had come quite some time back but got registered only when it came riding on the tragedy of Mumbai. It was heartening that the law makers seized the opportunity to constitute a national agency to counter terrorism. However, the way in which it is being conceived and designed, it may belie the high expectations.

Demand for an effective National Counter Terrorism Agency emanated from national dismay that when reasonably good intelligence was available, when the country had instrumentalities to counter the terrorists, when there was a coordination mechanism in place, why did Mumbai happen? And when it did, why was the response so flat-footed?

It required no great genius to discover that the fault lay in the system itself where multiplicity of agencies prevented any one agency to have the total picture; disabling any single agency or individual to be in total command to act decisively and leaving coordination to degenerate into a bureaucratic ritual. It was a case where every agency or individual had all the material to defend itself, but collectively little to defend the nation. The system was designed to fail as those with knowledge had no legal empowerment or fire power, while those with fire power were not in the knowledge loop and those with legal empowerment were tactically deficient and resource constrained.

On top of this, there was multiplicity of agencies even in each category without standardized operating procedures, governing rules and doctrines, training and equipment, and commonly shared objectives and priorities. This had to be corrected divergence substituted by convergence, turf wars replaced by synergy and concerted action taking over confusion. And, for this, they thought a unified national agency was the answer.

However, the envisaged NIA does not bring us anywhere closer to this objective. On the contrary, it adds one more standalone platform with no structural integration or operational unification. As a post-event investigation agency, at its best, it might marginally increase conviction rates or get enhanced punishment to few jihadis who, working at suicidal level of motivation, may only find it amusing.

Had this agency existed before Mumbai carnage, none of the shortcomings that came to light would have been minimized. It would not have ensured improved intelligence integration or action oriented dissemination, better pre-emptive or preventive response, etc. Rather than ending the turf war there would have been one more player playing it. They might be interrogating Ajmal Kasab little better but the real masterminds would have still remained beyond their reach and jurisdiction. Legal actions are important but, at the end of the day, war against terrorism would neither be won nor lost in the courts of law.

What India needed was a counter terrorism outfit that converges all-source intelligence collection and its dissemination, real time and decisive physical response to meet the threat both in defensive and offensive-defense modes and efficient investigations to punish the wrong doers. And, all this under a common umbrella with unambiguous responsibility, authority and accountability.

While the intelligence function should have aimed at collection, integration of all-source inputs and their refinement to operational grade intelligence, the physical action component should have focused on terrorist specific tactics, field craft, equipment and skills for speed, surprise and dominance.

Investigators as part of the composite Team, should have been selected for their special skills and attitude including knowledge of terrorist groups, modus operandi, collaborative linkages, channels of procuring funds and weapons, etc. Most importantly, highly knowledgeable and skilled interrogation teams should have been constituted.

To be effective, the new outfit should develop a secure E-network connecting the apex agency to all district headquarters and police stations. It should be linked to the agency's data mining centre where terrorist information from police station to the highest in the agency is inputed according to availability and retrieved according to needs; with appropriate security measures, firewalls and filters. The agency should have state of the art, technical infrastructure to collect technical and cyber intelligence, break the codes, analyze terrorist documents, carry out technical surveillance and jam terrorist communications during physical engagements.

Specialized counter terrorist force, like the NSG, should be brought under the control of the agency for undertaking intelligence driven operations and remaining in readiness with constantly rehearsed exercises for physical actions. They should be constantly updated of emerging trends, techniques, weapons, modus operandi targets etc. Commandos are not robots and their mental tuning is necessary for optimal results. The personnel carrying out intelligence, physical and investigation functions should carry out joint exercises and train themselves together to achieve total synergy.

The ideal arrangement would be to have a director general, counter terrorism who is ex-officio special director of the Intelligence Bureau with all counter-terrorist work, multi agency centre and joint task force on intelligence centralized under his control.

Being part of IB, the outfit will overnight acquire communication linkage, intelligence reach, logistic and technical support, connectivity with local police and administration not only in every district but remotest border areas. This will bring the whole country under a unified counter terrorist grid with no extra cost or time involved. No comprehensive counter terrorist data centre can be built to the exclusion of intelligence inputs and due to various sensitivities involved, no intelligence agency can transfer its entire data to a non-intelligence agency.

If the director general of Counter Terrorism is made part of IB, he can have total access to the intelligence data, will also be able to leverage vast technical capabilities of national intelligence agencies both for intelligence and to keep the counter terrorist force at its technical best. The director general of the new agency should, however, enjoy total autonomy and should be the only person empowered under laws to undertake counter terrorist actions.

To enable him to control, train, equip and motivate men for special counter terrorist actions, the NSG should be brought under his command. This will enable the NSG to be associated on a day-to-day basis with all the developments on the terrorist front and help upgrade their tactics and field craft in tune with the emerging demands. The DG should also be empowered to maintain liaison with friendly security and counter terrorist agencies, as when handled by those who know little about terrorism, the loss in content and time is unaffordable. They are also not able to seek right amplifications, raise the level of dialogue from generic to specific and fine tune the action plans by distinguishing between immediate and important.

This will also help the DG to keep abreast of latest techniques, technologies, equipment and weapons that have proved effective against the terrorists and take initiatives to keep his armed wing best trained and equipped. Fourth generation warfare needs people who can change fast, think fast and act fast in this battle, it's not the bravest but the smartest that takes the trophy.

None of the measures suggested above encroach on powers of the states any more than the NIA Act does. It also does not require any amendments to existing laws and can be achieved within executive powers of the union government. With what is happening in Pakistan, Afghanistan and within our own country we may be in for much greater shocks than Mumbai and we are not prepared for it. We think the latest was the last but the worst is probably yet to come. Today there is mood for change in the nation but it may have a short shelf life. The consensus on response to terrorism is an opportunity to be seized.

(The author is former head of IB)

Abject surrender at Sharm-el-Sheikh

Abject surrender at Sharm-el-Sheikh

Ajit Doval
First Published : 01 Sep 2009 11:09:00 PM IST
The New Indian Express

Whatever the mode of engagement — war or diplomacy — nations interact to maximise their national interest. In adverse conditions, like defeat in war, they work to minimise their losses. The icing of ideology, morality, justice, global and human interest is often just trappings added to lend legitimacy and acceptability to what they mostly lack. The degree of success in furthering one’s national interests is determined by a nation’s comprehensive state power and the will and vision of its leadership to exercise it.
Notwithstanding its decisive edge in terms of state power, India has failed to further its interests vis-à-vis Pakistan. Without any legal or political locus standi it has allowed Pakistan to become a stakeholder in Kashmir. Despite being guilty of violating norms of international behaviour Pakistan has gone unpunished though its sponsorship of terrorism has led to thousands of deaths. Worse, it has constricted India’s options and forced it to the negotiating table in a position of weakness. Sharm-el-Sheikh is where Pakistan got away unscathed after the Mumbai carnage and inveigled India to the negotiating table.
On April 15, talking to the Editors’ Guild, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pronounced that, “There won’t be any resumption of bilateral talks till Islamabad stops allowing terrorists to use its territory against India”. On July 16, he signed a joint statement with his Pakistani counterpart at Sharm-el-Sheikh agreeing that “India was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues” (read Kashmir) and lowering the focus on terrorism by stating that the “real challenge is development and poverty” (and not terrorism?). Only two inferences can be drawn from these apparently contradictory positions. First, Pakistan did something momentous between April 15 and July 16 that convinced India that Pakistani territory was no more being used for terrorism and that anti-India activities and consequently terrorism had ceased to be the central issue.
Drawing the right lessons
The Prime Minister’s assertion during the Chief Ministers conference on August 17 that, “Cross-border terrorism remains the most pervasive threat and there is credible information of ongoing plans of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out fresh attacks”, makes it obvious that this is far from correct. The other inference would be uncharitable, impinging upon his credibility and consistency. Prime ministers have, understandably, to work in the best interests of their countries even if that is at the cost of their personal image. The question, therefore, is not whether the Prime Minister has been credible and consistent, but whether he has been able to pursue the country’s Pakistan policy in its best interests. It is also important to examine whether we, as a nation, have drawn the right lessons and internalised them in formulating our national security and strategic doctrines. Countries that fail are destined to be punished by history.
The following are a few of the negatives of the Sharm-el-Sheikh communiqué in the context of India’s national interests:
The first point is that it put a lid over India’s pronouncements following 26/11 that, ‘all options were open’. In the wake of the groundswell of global condemnation Pakistan was seriously unnerved by India’s assertions. Apprehensions soared high. It was at this time that they took steps against Lashkar-e-Toiba leaders while making desperate pleas for restarting the stalled dialogue.
But the pressure was terminated at Sharm el-Sheikh. The joint statement mentioned that, “Both Prime Ministers recognised that dialogue is the only way forward”. The formulation that the prime ministers “considered the entire gamut of bilateral relations with a view to chartering the way forward in India-Pakistan relations” and agreed that the foreign secretaries “should meet as often as necessary and report to the two foreign ministers” who would meet on the sidelines of the forthcoming UN General Assembly, meant the stalled talks were restarted without any of India’s concerns being addressed. It is intriguing that on June 16, the Prime Minister told President Asif Ali Zardari in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg of his “limited mandate”, only to discuss how Islamabad can rein in terror. His later clarifications carried little conviction against the written words of the communiqué, particularly in the wake of statements that subsequently emanated from Pakistan. It sent the message that no matter how hard it was hit, today or tomorrow, India had no options but to talk and the brave words were meant only for a domestic constituency.
Respectable once again
Secondly, Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were let off the hook. The Prime Minister, addressing the Chief Ministers conference on Jan 6, had said that, “On the basis of investigations, there is enough evidence to show that, given the sophistication and military precision of the attack, it must have had the support of some official agencies in Pakistan.” On July 17, the Prime Minister made a U-turn, saying India does not accuse the current regime of “active involvement” in terror. In reply to a question, he asserted that, “There is a history to it. But it is certainly true that I am not accusing the present Pakistani government of active involvement”. Pakistan thus could once again demand to be treated as a respectable and responsible state. Its argument that even if some Pakistani nationals belonging to a terrorist outfit were involved, as a country it could not be held accountable, gained credence. The fact that Lashkar-e-Toiba is a creation and protégé of Pakistani intelligence got lost in the din.
Again, by bringing the two on a common pedestal on the terrorist front India has lost its diplomatic edge. By stating that “Both leaders agreed that terrorism is the main threat to both countries” and affirming, “Their resolve to fight terrorism and to cooperate with each other to this end,” Manmohan Singh allowed India to be equated with Pakistan. The reality is that while India for over two decades has been a victim of terrorism exported by Pakistan, leading to over 80,000 deaths, Pakistan is the victim of a self-inflicted injury caused by a jihadi agenda as an instrument of state policy to deal with India.
Fourthly, the formulation that Pakistan would “do everything in its powers” to “bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice” was the minimalist position with which India was surprisingly satisfied. There was no call to dismantle the infrastructure of terror, stop infiltration, return Indian nationals wanted in serious crimes from sanctuaries in Pakistan, large-scale smuggling of weapons, explosives, counterfeit currency from Pakistan, etc. There is no indication that India even raised these concerns. The formulation that “Prime Minister Gilani assured that Pakistan will do everything in its powers in this regard (Mumbai attacks)” sounds like a reluctant ritualistic formality rather than a commitment to action that India should have extracted or refused to have a joint statement at all.
One blunder after another
In the overall context of the bilateral relationship and the fact that the meeting was on the sidelines of an international conference, a joint statement was hardly needed. It must be on Pakistan’s insistence that, to deflect the focus from terrorism, “Both leaders agreed that the real challenge is development and the elimination of poverty”. It was advantage Pakistan as it wanted to marginalise terrorism.
Then, the reference to violence in “Balochistan” and “Other areas” in the context of terrorism is a historic blunder. It lends legitimacy to Pakistan’s unfounded accusations of India sponsoring terrorism in a neighbouring country. The reference to “other areas” gives Pakistan space to blame India for any terrorist action in its territory. India’s acceptance of a discourse substantially weakens its position. In future, whenever Pakistan is confronted with evidence of its terrorist activities, sabotage and subversion in Kashmir, it will counter with fabricated evidence on Balochistan. It will also use it to denigrate India through a malicious propaganda war internationally. The instrument will further be used to pressure India in Afghanistan and enlist Western support by extending the argument of Pakistan’s security as a precondition to fight the ‘West’s War’ against al-Qaeda and Taliban. That Pakistan is going to use this newfound weapon was obvious when in his first press conference after Sharm-el-Sheikh Prime Minister Gilani said that “The joint statement signed by me and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underlines our concerns over India’s interference in Balochistan and other areas.” Manmohan Singh’s rejoinder that “If you have any evidence, we are willing to look at it because we are an open book; we are doing nothing. Therefore we are not afraid of discussing these issues”, has little meaning in this context. This is what Pakistan also can turn around and say probably with greater vigour, rejecting all evidence, to claim innocence.
National interest overlooked
Acceptance of the position that “Terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process and these should not be bracketed”, militates against India’s interests. It implies that while Pakistan may continue to bleed India, India should continue with the talks and refrain from counter measures;
Non-mention of Kashmir to be acclaimed as an achievement is misleading. As Satish Chandra, former deputy National Security Advisor aptly puts it, “It is puerile to contend, as some have, that the ‘K’ word does not figure in the statement, as the phrase “outstanding issues” is shorthand for the same and forms part of the composite dialogue process”.
Why does Pakistan so desperately want to talk? It is aware that there are very few areas where the two countries could really have any meaningful partnership. It is Kashmir, which is central in Pakistan’s strategic and security calculus, that it wants to tackle through a two-pronged policy of use of covert action on one hand and dialogue on the other.
On Kashmir, India is a status quoist state. It has, wrongly, stopped pressing its claim over Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. Having illegally occupied one-third of the state, Pakistan estimates that through terrorism, subversion in Kashmir, international machinations and now nuclear blackmail, it can extract concessions on Kashmir. Talks keep the issue open bilaterally, reinforce its character as an unresolved international dispute, retard India’s progress — which threatens to widen the gap between the state powers of the two countries — and commits Indian troops, enabling Pakistan to maintain effective parity in force levels at minimal cost. As a weaker power it cannot achieve these objectives militarily, so it resorts to low-cost covert action, ie, terrorism, sabotage, subversion. However reprehensible, Pakistan’s policy objectives and strategy are clear and it cannot be accused of being muddle headed.
But why does it want to hold talks? It is to minimise the attendant cost of hitting a powerful adversary and using instrumentalities which in today’s world invite international reprobation. It needs to be emphasised that covert action comes with a price tag, albeit with a difference — act now pay later. The cost is determined by the aggrieved party’s capacity and will to punish the delinquent and create international pressure that is unaffordable for the delinquent. Pakistan has perfected the art of synchronising and calibrating both aspects of covert action, leveraging variables on both fronts to its advantage. In the first, it recruits, trains, motivates, arms and uses terrorist groups to inflict maximum losses through acts of depredation. In the second, it manages the fallout by disclaiming its role, making loud pronouncements to its commitment to fight terror, projecting itself as a prime victim, highlighting the dangers of conflict between two nuclear states and using the dependence of its Western allies in the fight against terror to restrain India and demand resumption of dialogue. More importantly, it projects Kashmir as the core factor in the birth and proliferation of Islamic terror in Pakistan that now threatens the world. It wants the matter tackled in a way that de-emotionalises potential terrorists in the interest of global peace and safety. Talks are considered a means, for which it wants the support of the international community — which in effect implies pressuring India.
To India, through terrorist depredations it conveys the hard message of the cost of retaining Kashmir. It follows the principle that force against the adversary must be decisive to generate desired results but when it comes to the costs, it advances the principle that all contentious issues can only be resolved through peaceful methods and force provides no answer. So talks and preparations for the next attack go on concurrently. Musharraf’s assertion in his autography that “I would like to state emphatically that whatever movement has taken place so far in the direction of finding a solution to Kashmir is due considerably to the Kargil conflict” is indicative of this mindset. Despite military failure, Pakistani strategists saw Kargil not as a debacle but a success story vis-à-vis its policy objective.
Pakistan’s dangerous doctrine
Pakistan also feels that its nuclear possessions hedge it against the world allowing it to fall apart, whatever its follies. Both subtly and blatantly it works on a dangerous doctrine that the consequences of a failed nuclear Pakistan with an army of Islamic radicals would be unaffordable to the world as a whole. It estimates that it can exploit its unique setting to force the world not only to keep it going politically and economically but even provide it with strategic space vis-à-vis India and Afghanistan. Even the terrorists are concurrently seen as both liability and asset. Pakistan works on the premise that success in short time-frames is what is important. It’s the immediate that matters. Even the long-term framework is only the cumulative total of short-term actions and responses.
The West’s fear forces it to focus on the short term, foregoing the long-term strategic sites. It remains content with what little Pakistan delivers, at whatever cost. Even undermining India’s legitimate security concerns is an affordable cost as the personal ‘stakes are high’. This suits Pakistan but singles out and isolates India. It underlines the need for India to evolve an independent strategy to protect its sovereign interests.
Thus, there is a pattern and design in Pakistan’s strategy of strike-talk-strike. But when India allows itself to be sucked into this vicious spiral it defies reasoning. Following Kargil, Musharraf was asked by Gulf News, on June 15, 2003, if it could happen again. His reply: “We don’t trust India… Bilateral talks started only because of Kargil. Another Kargil would depend on how the peace talks proceed.”
When Pakistan struck Mumbai on July 11, 2006, killing more than 200 persons and injuring nearly 800 in seven serial blasts, an anguished Prime Minister asserted that “We are certain the terror modules are instigated, inspired and supported by elements across the border.” And what did Pakistan achieve? Within two months, at Havana India certified that Pakistan was not a terrorist-sponsoring state but a victim state. A “composite dialogue” was initiated, and ISI given a clean chit by asserting that “We must draw distinction between terrorist elements in Pakistan and the government of Pakistan”. No wonder it was hailed as a major success by Pakistan’s establishment, the dividend of July 11, 2006. Some day, Sharm-el-Sheikh will be acclaimed as a trophy of 26/11 by Pakistan.
Assumptions confirmed
If it had been serious about the peace process Pakistan would have unilaterally rolled back its terrorist infrastructure, handed over the Indian criminals provided sanctuary in Pakistan and stopped trans-border infiltration. Till that happens talks and diplomatic engagements will have to follow differently calibrated and nuanced formulations to change Pakistan’s India view. General Aziz Khan, former chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressing an army function in Rawalkot on June 24, 2003 had said “Pakistan not only knows how to tackle India but has leaders with the guts.” Sharm-el-Sheikh reinforces their belief in such assumptions.
The writer is a former director of the IB.