Saturday, June 26, 2010

P.CHIDAMBARAM & REHMAN MALIK

B.RAMAN

Mr.P.Chidambaram, our Home Minister, has exhibited refreshing firmness during his talks with Mr.Rehman Malik, Pakistan's Interior Minister, in Islamabad on June 25 and 26,2010. He had gone to Islamabad to attend the SAARC Home Ministers' meeting, which was held after a gap of more than two years and availed of this opportunity to hold detailed bilateral discussions with Mr.Malik on terrorism-related issues.The focus of the discussions between the two and of their media briefings was on terrorism in general and Pakistani action against the Pakistan-based perpetrators of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai in particular. He had gone to Islamabad determined to show that the willingness of the Government of India to resume the bilateral dialogue on various contentious issues would not mean a dilution of the focus on terrorism.

2. In his remarks in Islamabad, Mr.Chidambaram took care not to directly blame the State of Pakistan for the acts of terrorism in Indian territory committed by the Pakistani organisations, which are now collectively referred to even by Pakistani analysts as the Punjabi Taliban. However, he did not hesitate to highlight directly or indirectly the inaction or unsatisfactory action of the State of Pakistan against the anti-India terrorists in general and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in particular.


3. While keeping up an unrelenting pressure on Pakistan for action against the LET and its perpetrators of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, including Hafeez Mohammad Sayeed, the Amir of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JED), the political wing of the LET, he saw to it that his observations and pressure did not spoil the current cordial atmosphere in the bilateral relations and would not come in the way of meaningful , forward-looking discussions during the visit of Mr.S.M.Krishna, our Minister for External Affairs, to Islamabad next month.


4. Keep up the pressure on Pakistan on the issue of terrorism, but at the same time don't allow justified concerns over terrorism stunt fresh thinking on other issues. That seems to be the new motto of the Government of India. It is apparent Mr.Chidambaram shares this motto despite his ill-concealed disappointment with Pakistan for failing to do all that it can and should to bring to book the Pakistan-based perpetrators of 26/11.


5. However, despite the refreshing firmness of Mr.Chidambaram, one felt disappointed to notice an apparent lack of adequate attention to questions of importance like the establishment of a networking relationship between India's Intelligence Bureau and its Pakistani counterpart, which comes under Mr.Malik, between the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan both of which are the central investigation agencies for terrorism-related cases and frequent interactions between senior police officers of the two countries. Mr.Malik did speak of the FIA and India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which already interact with each other during INTERPOL meetings, jointly investigating the 26/11 case. No elucidation on this was forthcoming from Mr.Chidambaram, who appeared to be over-focussed on the 26/11 case --- rightly so--- but under-focussed on the need for a web of institutional relationships between the intelligence collection and investigating agencies of our Home Ministry and Pakistan's Interior Ministry.


6.Mr.Malik suffers from professional and political handicaps as compared to Mr.Chidambaram. de jure, Mr.Chidambaram is the political head of only the IB and the NIA, but de facto, in counter-terrorism matters, all agencies of the Indian intelligence community----whether civilian or military---- report to him, keep him informed and carry out his instructions , even if they come under the control of the Prime Minister or the Defence Minister. Mr.Malik, an ex-police officer, is the political head of only Pakistan's FIA and IB, which has only limited powers and resources as compared to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other military intelligence agencies.


7. In India, the military intelligence agencies play a role in counter-terrorism and in counter-insurgency only in the border areas. In the rest of the country, it is Mr.Chidambaram as the Home Minister, who is the czar of counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence. In Pakistan, the ISI and other military intelligence agencies, which have more powers and resources than the institutions of the Interior Ministry, do not recognise the overlordship of Mr.Malik in counter-terrorism. They do not always keep him informed of all the intelligence coming to their notice and carry out his instructions. The heads of the military intelligence agencies avoid attending meetings convened by him.


8. Additional problems arise in Pakistan because the Army and the ISI do not look upon the LET as a terrorist organisation. The LET is the virtual covert action division of the ISI and its operations in India and Afghanistan against India are viewed as covert actions in Pakistan's national interests. If Mr.Malik wants to take effective action against the LET, he cannot do so due to the perception of the LET as the covert action wing of the ISI.


9. Despite these limitations of Mr.Malik and his Interior Ministry, we must build up our contacts with them and the Pakistani police and encourage other countries such as the US and those of the European Union to do so in order to contribute in the medium and long-term to building up the status and powers of the Interior Ministry in Pakistan's internal security management. In the years after Pakistan's independence, the Internal Security Ministry used to be the overlord of internal security management. After losing control of East Pakistan in 1971, the Army and the ISI have taken over this responsibility, reducing the Internal Security Ministry to a virtual non-entity.


10.The present civilian Government in Pakistan is trying to re-empower the Internal Security Ministry. This is a process which all democratic Governments should encourage. China has been doing so. It has given the Ministry over US $ 300 million for capacity-building. It had invited Mr.Malik twice to China to discuss counter-terrorism co-operation. It has two programmes for counter-terrorism co-operation with Pakistan---one between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Pakistan Army and the other between China’s Ministry of Public Security, which is responsible for internal security and intelligence, and Pakistan’s Interior Ministry.


10. It is hoped that Mr.Chidambaram would adopt this objective and work for it in the months to come.(27-6-2010)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

4 comments:

ambi said...

Just a wishful thinking! In Pakistan all roads lead to GHQ Rawalpindi, this Punjabi Army is the only window open to deal with Pakistan, why dont we just get it? When ll we grow up?

Ram said...

Dear Mr.Raman,

Contrary to your firm position in your book on 26/11, your approach appears to have been softened. What gives the Government of India confidence when even known Pakistani perpetrators of LET are free to spread terror and fresh attacks?
Instead of seizing the bull by the horns why does Indian political establishment lack courage and determnation to take on Pak sponsors of terrorism head on? Pray tell us what is the point in baosting about 5 th largest military when Indian government do not have the guts and give in to Pakistan blackmail and sitting like ducks for next attack?Please see the news report from rediff.com and comment. No wonder chances are all those secret funds for Intelligence agencies is going down the drain in personal expenditure.

Out diplomacy is toothless and Government of India is led by lameduck PM Singh and Congress Party leader engaged in promoting family dynasty!

It looks lie India lacks heroes and wise strategists like Shivaji, Rana Pratap, Chanakya and Lokmanya Tilak and present days Prithviraj Chauhan and Mir Jaichands proliferate to further weaken and allow Paki terrorists to terrorize the Indian polity.

Regards

RT


LeT planning to attack political leaders, separatists in J&K
June 27, 2010 17:47 IST
Tags: Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Abdul
Security in Jammu and Kashmir [ Images ] has been further beefed up following intelligence inputs suggesting that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ] was planning to carry out terrorist strikes in the state including assassination of a political or a top separatist leader.

Sources in the security establishment said that some intelligence inputs were intercepted in which Lashkar commanders in the Valley were receiving instructions from across the border to carry out a terrorist strike in Jammu or Kashmir, which includes targeting any politician or separatist leader.

The sources said that security around vital installations had been tightened and a fresh review of the security cover to all the politicians and important separatist leaders had been conducted.

The sources said Lashkar might try and target a separatist leader and blame it on security forces as has been done in the past.

The killing of Mirwaiz Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone and the bid on life of Fazal-haq Qureshi earlier this year by terrorists were examples of their tactics.

Mirwaiz Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone were allegedly shot dead by terrorist of Hizbul Mujahdieen.
Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, who enjoys Z category security of the state government, has been instructed about the threat perception while a round-the-clock guard was to be provided to other separatist leaders.
© Copyright 2010 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Ram said...

Is India losing the Public relations War in Kashmir?
1 more shot, J&K says CRPF ‘out of control’
Muzamil Jaleel Posted online: Mon Jun 28 2010, 03:46 hrs
Srinagar : A rattled Omar Abdullah government today said the CRPF was “out of control” and “lacking command” after another youth was killed reportedly in firing by the paramilitary force in Sopore. This was the third death in action by security forces in this town since Friday.

Calling the death “unwarranted”, the state government called a press conference attacking the CRPF and urging the Union Home Minister to visit Kashmir and rein in the force.

A local football player, 21-year-old Bilal Ahmad Wani was killed when CRPF men allegedly fired towards a group of people, mostly children, outside a clinic in the evening. Wani was hit in the throat by a rubber bullet, while another was wounded. A daily wager employed with the Public Health Engineering Department, he was the only son of a manual labourer and has three unmarried sisters.

There have been protests in Sopore over the killings of civilians by security forces in recent days, and Omar had called a meeting of his Cabinet and top officers, including the Director General, CRPF, yesterday where it was stressed that civilian deaths wouldn’t be tolerated.

At a late-night press conference today, National Conference minister Ali Mohamamd Sagar publicly admitted the state government’s helplessness in “controlling” the CRPF men. “The firing by CRPF men today was totally unwarranted. The CRPF has gone out of control... We are alienating people,” he said.

Sopore Superintendent of Police Altaf Ahmad also called the CRPF action unwarranted. He also asked why, despite instructions, CRPF men went on their own without police.

An eyewitness, Zubair Ahmad, said that 15 persons had gathered outside Dr Sofi’s clinic. “CRPF men were standing nearby. Few kids started booing. Within seconds, CRPF men fired tear gas shells... They collected the used cartridges and left.”

Sarang said...

Sir,

WHat use is thisfirmness when it does not solve any purpose but to inflate our ego and fill our newspaper front pages? Honestly, what has it achieved in hard reality?

NOTHING!!

Indians in general have lost faith in dialog with Pakistan. With its relentless and meaningless 'talks' with Pakistan on the orders of washington, UPA is making a laughing stock of the country and elienating, confusing and frustrating its own citizens.

On the day Chidambaram 'spoke firmly', Pakistan adjourned the court hearing against 26/11, refused to act against Hafeez Saeed and did not comment on China-Pak evil nuke deal.

Under these circumstances, what use is this 'firmness'?