Demystifying the deceptive stand on Terrorism


By Alok Kumar

GANDHINAGAR:Uri attack in India is still burning issue in international politics. Both national and international media, as well as common peoples from all across the world, are criticizing it and demanded that problem of terrorism should be eliminated and no more violence again.

After the ten days of Uri incident, India counter back tactically through surgical strikes on terrorist camps near Line of Control (LoC) and killed 38 militants and 2 soldiers of the Pakistani army. This is the first time in the history of Indian military to respond in such a very quick manner. Thus Indian government sends out the clear message to the global community, we will no longer tolerate the terrorist activities in India.

As everybody knew that today terrorist organizations are having sophisticated military weapons, they can target any state of the world. No space is blank from their influence.

This is not the first attack in India, there were several attacks already has been done. Whenever terrorist activities happen in India, people popularly claim that it is the nasty attempts of the Pakistan.

As we know that Pakistan is the most responsible country to sponsoring terrorism in India but several other significant factors, which needed to be considered here.

The seeds of terrorism had started in Pakistan by intervening of USSR in Afghanistan, 1979 to stop the USSR influence in Afghanistan, a huge amount of economic and military assistance had given to Pakistan for mobilizing the Taliban tribes against the USSR.

Consequently, thousands of tribes groups of Afghanistan and Pakistan got military weapons, and these military weapons aren’t still assimilated.

After withdraw of the USSR from Afghanistan the problem of governance aroused in Pakistan. These tribes groups started to fight each other and wanted to capture the political power. So they build up their own private militia. ISI, the intelligence Agency of Pakistan was, directly and indirectly, involved in operating these terrorist groups. These terrorist organizations operate terrorist activities in the name and faith of ‘Islam’ and fulfill their other hidden interest.

Pakistan has massive indulgence in terrorist activities in India. Without Pakistan consent, the terrorist activities in India cannot happen. It is necessary to talk here, how the other countries are also involved deliberately help to plot the terror attacks in India.

For example, 26/11 Mumbai attack, not only Pakistan but one US citizen named David Coleman Headley was also involved in the attack. He was the key conspirator and without the assistance of him, this attack could not be possible.

He is the Pak-American origin and belongs from the affluent family. He married with four women and given divorce time to time, in out of four, his two wives informed to the US police that he was a terrorist but the US police did not take it seriously.

The news published in, ‘India’s NIA to the US: Give US American Terrorist David Headley or Else’ according to this, a young Moroccan woman went to the US authority in Pakistan and told that her husband involved in the terrorist activities.

In 2005, a woman who was also married to Headley informed to the US authority that Headley was the member of Lashker-e-Taiba and getting assistance also from the Pakistan intelligence agency.

Faiza Outalha told in an interview with New York Times, Headley’s had a longstanding connection with ISI and US law enforcement agency.

An article ‘US Had Warning on Plotter of Mumbai Attack’ written by Jane Perlez, Eric Schmitt, and Ginner Thompson. Before arresting Headley, the authorities of the Pakistan and the US knew that he was a terrorist.  He was arrested on drug-trafficking charges in 1988 as well as 1999. He was working for the US Drug Enforcement Law Agency. He was also arrested for the criminal offense in the US. But after a short period of time, he got bail.

Here is the question, if his two wives already informed the police about Headley activities then why the US police didn’t take it seriously? Was the US intelligence Agency plan to send him into the Pakistan for intelligence purposes? What was the plan, nobody clearly knows about it?

When he was living in the Pakistan, he arrested in ‘Landi Kotal’ Federally Administrative Tribal Area (FATA) and came into contact with ISI agent Major Ali. The ISI agents thought that Headley could be useful for intelligence purposes in India. When he disclosed about his plan to visit India. After that, he met with some ISI agents and other terrorist groups and planned to attack in India. After 26/11 Mumbai attack, once again, he visited India.

On October 03, 2009, the US police arrested him and the court punished him 35 year jail and signed a plea agreement, under which he bound with certain rules and give evidence in a foreign court or face the death penalty that mentioned in the article ‘26/11 attackers made two failed attempts, lost guns at sea: David Headley’ written by Srinath Rao.

According to US-India, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty on 17 October 2001. Under this treaty, both had agreed to share the information for smoothly preceding the legal procedures between both countries. When India heard about David Headley’s role in Mumbai attack, the Indian Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was demanding for taking custody of David Headley. In 2013, the US had denied the extradition of David Headley to India for getting critical information regarding other terrorist attacks in India.

The question is why the US had denied for the extradition of David Hadley in 2013 if both countries had signed a Treaty of Mutual Legal Assistance. From the Indian Court, Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had asked so many questions but how we would trust all answers of the David Hadley. Indian people would happy if the US would extradite David Hadley to the Indian government.

There are so many questions, which need to be considered again. If David Headley was the main conspirator in the 26/11 Mumbai attack then why the US didn’t extradite him to India? Why the video conferencing was took a long time after 26/11 attack?

If he was not in an Indian court, so how can we believe on him, whatever he said? If he is terrorists, maybe he is also playing some other game. The crucial question is if India and the US are emerging as natural allies in the global political arena then why the US government had denied extradition of David Headley. When the US had denied to extradition of David Headley, the common people of India had lost faith itself in the US.

In another Instance, from the geopolitical point of view, Nepal is the close neighbour’s country of India. Both countries have always a meaningful relation due to religious and cultural similarities. Therefore, Indo-Nepal border is completely open for the movement of citizens of both countries without any passport and visa. This free moment indirectly helpful for the terrorists who can easily enter into India territory and operate their terror activities as per their plan.

In an article “Nepal: At Risk of Being International Terrorist’s Transit Point” has written by Kishor Panthi. He argued that terrorist can easily enter in India through India-Nepal open border so that India’s need to establish more security camps near Nepal border.  If India will not able to do it then terrorists will use it as a transit point for conducting terrorist activities in India. Nepal is not keenly interested to take any strategic steps against the network of terror groups and to control their cross-border movement to operate their activities in India.

Another neighbour, China has played the diplomatic stance on the issue of terrorism in India. After Uri attack, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang stated that we are shocked by Uri attack. And the problem of terrorism can only resolve through India and Pakistan dialogues, he added. While, Chinese’s Premier Li Keqiang declared that China would provide all support to Pakistan, and maintain close relations in all field economy, military, nuclear, telecom, and science and technology etc.

A major setback has also happened on terrorism issue in April 2016, when India went to the UN for a resolution against the Lashkar chief Masood Azhar for declare to be a terrorist. At the same time, China denied and argued that Masood Azhar does not come under the criteria of terrorist. However, China knows very well that terrorism is the serious security threat to India that is mainly sponsored by the Pakistan. Here the important question is, why did China support Masood Azhar despite knowing he is terrorist?

After discussing the role of the Pakistan, US, Nepal, and China, here it is also necessary to discuss. It has to be found that some terrorist organizations of Bangladesh are having undesirable sentiment against India, therefore, they are also trying to create security threat in the North-East Region.

By July 2016, Bangladesh Home Minister visited in India. He had given the list of five terrorists, who belongs from Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), who already entered in India.

The famous Indian Scholar Anand Kumar has written a paper “Expanding Footprint of Bangladeshi Terror Network in India” discussed the role of JMB in the West Bengal. This organization is consistently working to mobilize the Muslims by using different methods. As per government reports the number of Madras increases rapidly in West Bengal near Bangladesh. While, there is no problem of government schools in this region. These Madrasa are crafting the radicalism in this region.  But the present government of West Bengal is reluctant to take any action against due to Muslim vote bank politics.

Here, Bangladeshi democratic government itself struggles to minimize the influence of the radical fundamentalist forces. These extremist forces have the direct connection with terrorist organizations. In such condition, the democratic government is completely unable to break down the terror networks who operating the terror activities in India.

Hence, we need to think more critically about the problem of terrorism in India as well as demystifying the role other countries in terror activities in India. Without considering all factors, we cannot understand the problem of terrorism in India and their solutions also.

(The writer  is a Research scholar (M. Phil./PhD), Centre for International Studies, Central University of Gujarat.)