By K.N. Pandita
A possible big terror strike that would have cost any number of innocent lives at any crowded place in the capital has been foiled by alert police and security personnel on duty. Preliminary investigation into explosives laden abandoned car seized near Ambala Railway Station shows that there is an international network of terrorists working in tandem to strike at crowded places in Indian cities, and take innocent lives with the motive of destabilising our country. They are the enemies of India. The place of origination of terror is Pakistan and the centripetal terrorist agency is her ISI. It has powerful and active network in Nepal and Bangladesh, two of our neighbouring countries with whom we have common border, and within the country, it has widespread network especially in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Delhi High Court complex bomb blast, the trail of which has led to Kishtwar militant students, is part of this network.
Undoubtedly there are more networks, most probably in J&K State, that might have lain dormant for sometime and for some reason, which seem to have been revived. This revival has come simultaneously with more attempts of infiltration across the LoC in J&K, more encounters with infiltrating terrorists, more captures of their hideouts and arms dumps and more cover fire by Pakistan troops to help terrorists sneak into our side of the LoC. All these acts of covert subversion are coordinated at some focal point, and are happening in the background of Pakistani Taliban and jihadi lashkars and jama’ats poised to gain gradual control over the so-called democratic government in Islamabad. Though bitter, yet the truth is that Pakistan’s civilian government is fast losing its formal and informal authority over the affairs of the State. Therefore it is futile either to accuse it of fanning the flames of subversion in India or to expect that it will be able to assert over the lawless ISI-Army-jihadi combine. A danger looming large because of Pakistan-India stand off, is of former’s nuclear arsenal likely to pass into the hands of the jihadis who will have no second thought in using the weapon against India, and perhaps also against American interests. Keeping this situation in mind, Washington has been trying to open channels of communication with the Haqqani group in Afghanistan, the one that owned responsibility of bombing American Embassy in Kabul on 13 September. A secret meeting of American and Haqqani representatives is reported to have been held lately in a Gulf State and facilitated by the ISI.
The question is what should be India’s response to the new and accelerated jihadi subversion? It is true that agile and alert security bandobast has helped in forestalling a major RDX blast and that shows some movement at the top level of the need of being serious about terrorist strikes. But with improved counter-terrorist strategy, we also need substantial measure of preparedness to meet a bigger threat from ISI-jihadi combine in our neighbourhood. While the United States is covertly engaging Pakistani and Afghan jihadi leadership in talks to come to an understanding of sorts, are we sure that opening channels of communication channels with the jihadis for a similar purpose is not an option? Has not New Delhi offered unconditional talks to Hurriyat dissidents in the past? It is because of Pakistan’s stupendous mission of anti-India hatred that some extremist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan have succumbed to their tantrum. Isn’t there the need of setting the record straight?
Nevertheless, it has to be remembered that Kashmir is not the ultimate goal of Pakistan-based jihadism whose primordial is the ISI. Establishing ‘Great Islamic Caliphate’ is the plan they are pursuing. It will not be too long when the mask of Pakistani civilian government crumbles and ISI-jihadi conglomerate emerges as the decisive force determining the future course of that country. We shall have to be prepared to meet such an eventuality. If we want to save our country and our society from this impending cataclysm in which Pakistan’s loose and waning control over her nuclear arsenal is becoming more and more visible, then we shall have to support our security and intelligence establishments in a very big way. Each Indian shall have to become a soldier and defender of nation’s interests and its future. Our security and intelligence establishments can deliver with far improved efficacy if we all join hands with them in a serious challenge now before us.