Carnage in Paris

By K.N. Pandita

Paris has come under the attack of Islamic militants. It is the bloodiest after World War II. Reports are that 127 innocent people are massacred and 200 injured some seriously. The most beautiful capital in Europe could never imagine that carnage of this brutality would ever befall it. This attack has come close on the heels of January attack in which 17 people were killed in Paris including Charlie Hebdo the editor of satirical magazine, and a Jewish supermarket. Terrorists targeted restaurants, concert halls and market places sending down terror and chaos in the city. The President who was at a stadium watching a friendly football match between France and Germany was evacuated under close security arrangement as the terrorists conducted attack outside the stadium.

They were clad in bullet poor jackets and while they fired at directly from their Kalashnikovs, they raised the cries of Allaho Akbar. Blood spilt everywhere and there were corpses everywhere. Some people heard them saying that the attack was in response to France joining in attack on ISIS in Syria. More than 500 French fighters are thought to be with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, according to official figures, while 250 have returned and some 750 expressed a desire to go.

French President called an emergency security meeting, declared three days of state mourning and cancelled all sports events. About 1500 troopers from French army are deployed to help the police restore order in the city. A state of emergency is declared in France. French President Francois Hollande blamed the Islamic State group for orchestrating the deadliest attacks inflicted on France since World War II and vowed to strike back without mercy at what he called “an act of war”. He blamed the carnage on what he called “a terrorist army, the Islamic State group, a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: a free country that means something to the whole planet.”

This attack at several places in Paris is very akin to the attack of the Pakistan-based terrorists in Mumbai in 2008 in which more than 200 people were massacred and hundreds injured. One terrorist was captured alive who divulged the story of who planned the conspiracy, how and where in Pakistan. The attack in Paris is identical in strategy and conduct except the fact that while Pakistan – based terrorist organization called Lashkar-Taiyyaba undertook the Mumbai attack, the ISIS conducted that of Paris. However, since the two attacks are largely identical in strategy and operational pattern, we can safely infer that the origin of planning has taken place from one source. There are many reports in international media of LeT’s close relations with Al-Qaeda, TTP and ISIS. In simpler words, one can say that entire gamut of Islamic terrorism has got well-knit into one whole which lays down the policy of conducting armed Islamic jihad all over the world. This, therefore, lends great validity to Prime Minister Modi’ view that intentional community under the aegis of the United Nations should come together to formulate a uniform policy of meeting this great menace to the humanity in this century. Terrorism has spread its fangs all over the world though some countries like India are bearing the main brunt. This is what India has been telling the world for last two decades. In the beginning when India drew the attention of the world community to Pakistan lending state support to terrorist outfits in that country were terrorists had wrapped themselves in the cloak of fundamentalists, the world just dismissed India’s alarms as exaggerated reaction. They thought it was part of Indo-Pak acrimony and not the emergence of a new and serious phenomenon of terrorism. For quite some time the western powers believed what Pakistan said that it was Kashmir related reaction and if Kashmir issue were solved, militancy would come to a stop. Western countries began to believe in this canard of Pakistan. However, with the passage of time, when city after city in European countries and in UK and then in USA came under the attack of Islamic terrorists-fundamentalists, the governments and political leadership in these countries began to understand the practical details of terrorism.

The question is that it has been proved beyond an iota of doubt that the Islamic terrorists and jihadis are out to bring about a revolution in which the hard earned values and freedoms of contemporary democratic societies in Europe and elsewhere in the world are forced to surrendered to Islamic ways and standards, like it or not. This precisely is the war of civilizations. Therefore, the entire democratic and civilized world shall have to join hands to meet this challenge, which is very different from an open war. The free world has no alternative but to come together and meet this challenge in unison. This is precisely what Prime Minister Modi has been saying and recently in his address to the British Parliament, he repeated his views.

Islamic terror has a unique pattern. It is projected a non-state phenomenon though many Islamic states are known to be harbouring their terrorist outfits. Therefore, in the first place such states need to be identified and declared terrorist states just because they are not willing to curb terrorism on their soil or are covertly encouraging it. Declaring those terrorist states, would also mean imposing economic sanctions on them and incapacitating them to function as a terrorist state. These states have to be isolated, deprived of trade and other benefits, which other countries extend to them individually or collectively. Unless they are ostracized and denied association, they will not be under any pressure to neutralize their terrorist structure. Secondly, the assets of such countries as are unwilling or unable to contain and dismantle terrorist structure are seized and frozen and funds are denied to the terrorist organizations. We suggest that international laws are modified to make definition of a terrorist and terrorist organization clear and unambiguous and imposition of penalty very clear. No terror manufacturing country should be able to hide behind ambiguous laws. The Human Rights Charter of the UN should also include the item in its text and specify legal action against terrorist individuals, groups, organizations or states. Elaborate conditionalties have to be imposed on citizens of pronounced terrorist states when seeking to travel to foreign countries and the international law should be on the side of the visited countries if the latter impose strictest conditions almost verging on denial of visa to an applicant. Unless harsh steps are taken, existing laws and dispensations may not contain terror.

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