Monday, October 30, 2006

Terrorism - Seeking New Grounds and Vital Targets

Summary: The Karnataka police arrested last week two dreaded terrorists of Pakistani origin. Investigations revealed that they had planned to attack vital targets in Bangalore and Mysore. In this backdrop, it is high time, India relooks and retracts from the recently announced joint anti-terror mechanism agreement with Pakistan.

In an incident that should send wake up calls to the political, intelligence and security establishments of the country, two hard core terrorists were arrested by the Karnataka police in the world famous tourist city of Mysore, on 26th October, Thursday night following a shoot out. In a swift action, the two terrorists were arrested by the night patrol police, when they were being interrogated for their suspicious movements riding in a motorbike. In the fire exchange that ensued, the police were successful in nabbing them and have recovered huge cache of two AK-47 rifles, arms, weapons and other materials which can provide crucial intelligence inputs to crack the terror game plans and sleeper terror modules.

The terrorists movements were being closely monitored following intelligence reports that many sleeper modules of terror groups were planning for major strikes at Bangalore and other vital installations in the country, under instructions from their masters across the border. The states DIG of police Mr. B.S. Siyal has said these terrorists, both Pakistani nationals, entered India illegally through the Nepal border and belong to the banned terrorist outfit “Al-Badr”. The terrorists were in possession of photographs of the Vidhanasoudha – the legislative house of Karnataka and may have planned to attack other vital IT, BT installations spread across Bangalore. With these arrests, Mr. Siyal said, a possible major terror attack on Bangalore has been averted and further investigations are being carried out to unearth sleeper modules which may be actively pursuing ghastly terror strike plans across Bangalore and the links of these terrorists to other groups & modules in the rest of the country. Further, the Kerala police are investigating the links of one of the arrested to his ancestral family in Kozikode and several people were being interrogated in connection with their possible tacit support to the arrested terrorists.

The arrests must come as no surprise to the citizens of this country. The rogue terror elements, so tactfully and actively supported by Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI, have infiltrated every significant arms of our democratic establishment including the army and intelligence agencies. The political establishment of this country, blind as it is to narrow political interests and wooing of minorities remains apathetic to the grave threat and oblivion to the greater security concerns interests of its citizens.

These arrests again provide clinching evidence to the fears that have been constantly expressed by security and intelligence experts that terror groups are spreading their tentacles across the expanse of the country and possess strengths and capabilities to strike at their will and cause mayhem. None less than our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, expressed the same views soon after Mumbai blasts and often has repeatedly stressed that terrorism sponsored by elements across the border and with cow towing of Pakistan’s government, pose the real grave danger to the country’s security.

Bangalore has been at the centre of global focus consequent to its emergence as a technological and knowledge hub. The sheer magnitude of intellectual prowess that Bangalore possesses and its explosion as a global IT, BT, Manufacturing and BPO centre has made the world watch stupefied and take notice of its phenomenal rise. Naturally, this city that has taken giant strides and remains synonymous with India’s economic rise, couldn’t have escaped the radar of the prying eyes of terror groups. Last year during December, the terrorist attack on Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore claimed several innocent lives, including the country’s leading researcher and former Professor of IIT Delhi, Prof. Puri.

The joint anti-terror mechanism agreement between India and Pakistan, which was announced by the Prime Minister Singh with much fan fare at the recent NAM summit held in Cuba, now stands a loser even before the most optimistic in our country could have hoped for some positive results. In the first place, the very nature of the joint anti-terror mechanism surmounted to a radical shift from our Ideology on terrorism and its links to Pakistan. For decades, our foreign policy was centered on the stand that it was the Pakistan government’s insidious backing and support provided to terrorists that have resulted in terror strikes across Indian killing thousands of innocents. In one single sweep of policy change, through the anti-terror agreement, India unfortunately conceded much diplomatic ground and to its own peril, admitted rather unintelligently that it was not Pakistan government that was sponsoring the terror strikes in India and elsewhere, but certain militant and wayward groups operating from its soil. Further, the conflicting statements that are being uttered by the National Security Advisor and the officials of Ministry of External Affairs over the joint anti-terror agreement points only to the confusion that prevails over this strategic hara-kiri and acknowledges rather unmindfully how unprepared and unrealistic it remains in dealing with Pakistan sponsored terrorism.

Though the Prime Minister, the Congress and the National Security Advisor backed the agreement saying it would serve as a stringent test against Pakistan’s claims of it being non supporter of terror strikes against India, it was a foregone conclusion that such an agreement would never stand the test and will remain a decorative document serving no purpose. The mandarins in the UPA government, through the anti-terror agreement might have hoped to garner favorable political sentiments of sections of Indian society, but giving credence to their lopsided views on terrorism, the agreement has remained another much hyped shot that has backfired against India. The entire agreement and the consequent media utterances by the UPA Government on the issue have only strengthened the view that India seems to be afflicted with the Stockholm syndrome and may never be able to defy deftly and conquer strongly the threat of terrorism.

Perhaps as rejoinder and reminder to the invisible enemy that the country has to battle, on the same day of terrorists arrests in Mysore, an email said to have originated in Kerala reached the PMO and threatened to kill the Prime Minister during his scheduled visit to the state. Incidentally, the email had references to Afzal Guru who has been convicted in the December 2002 Indian Parliament attack case and sentenced to death penalty by the Delhi High court. The court’s death sentence on him has sparked off intense debates and country waits with a baited breath the response to his mercy petition pending before the President Dr. Abdul Kalam.

What was rather most unfortunate to witness following the arrests, were the reports in the local media that the entire episode of arrests in Mysore was choreographed and dictated by the ruling JD(S) Chief Minister of Karnataka Mr. H.D. Kumara Swamy. It was opined that the arrests were made to distract the public attention following an unsavory incident of late night brawl at a hotel in Bangalore involving his 19 year old son. Such laughable comments only go to show the lack of seriousness with which India views the grave threat of terrorism despite it being the most sought after victim. Though there remain some loopholes in the police version of the terrorists arrest, it should leave no one in doubt about the threat these terrorists posed, as it was later revealed by the main stream media that both the arrested had links to Kashmiri militant groups and one of the arrested had a cash prize on his head.

It is chilling to note and makes one shudder, the ease with which terrorists are able to penetrate in to every conceivable pillars of our existence and thereby execute their inhuman deeds that only leave trails of destruction and erosion of belief in humanity. Now that terrorism is pan-Indian, the calm and safe city of Bangalore and as usual the rest of the country, must keep their fingers crossed and live their lives on the edge, as no one knows where and when the terrorism monsters will cause wreck and death on an unimaginable scale to seek glory to their perverted ideology.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Suicide Bombers Rationale

Well, well. After years of crying myself hoarse that the root cause of muslim violence lies at their holy works such as the Quran and the Shariat, there is finally a study to corroborate this. Is it really so tough to arrive at this conclusion?
Suicide bombers follow Quran,concludes Pentagon briefingTasked with pinpointing motivation, analysts findterrorists 'rational actors' following 'holy book'

Posted: September 27, 200610:17 p.m. Eastern© 2006

What is rationale or logic?
Is it a universal constant? How does one's brain comprehend logic? How does a man perform an action? Most of the times, actions are propelled by a justification that it will bear an intended fruit. And again, this is based on past experiences, beliefs and environments.

Past Experience: Every man, innately desires fame and glory, unless he decides to curb it. Money is only one of the means to achieve glory - in most cases. What does one do after accruing wardrobes full of money? He aims for power and glory. After all, what good is money if you can't get what you want done?

Now, if your past experience shows you that a man earns glory and name by dying for Islam, you also give it thought - if not dress-up with designer wear bombs right away. If you see people actually get glory out of dying or promising to die - why not give it a shot?

Environment: For 15 / 20 years, you are always told that dying for Allah is great. And that it is the purpose of life. Also you see that there is nothing much better to do anyway - like starting a company and contributing to an economy. What will you do? Give dying for Allah a shot.

Belief: When knowledge becomes conviction or belief, one can move the world. This works both positively and negatively. Positive and negative - at this point reduces to what the actor beholds as rational.

A bank robber is not illogical. A serial rapist isn't either. They do their job with precision. They are rational actors. And rationale is built by the above factors.

By the way: What is common sense?
Common sense is nothing but a set of thoughts held by many people to be true. Note the word many as against all. What is sense to one may not be sense to another.

Ever tasted a mango?
If you have never tasted a mango, I can never explain how it tastes to you. I can say it is sweet. You may ask if its like a eating sugar. I can say - well not exactly.
If someone says to me - "Mangoes with ice-cream is next to heaven" - it makes sense to me. To you its just a statement and is not corroborated by your experience.

Dying for Allah is similar (if not exactly the same). A suicide bomber cannot explain to you the greatness of dying for Allah ... nor can you explain to him the stupidity of it. Your logic contradicts his logic. Both stands are logical - and are based on past experiences, environments and beliefs.

C R Anand!

Comments On - Hurry! Jesus on Free Trial!

Read some of the comments here:

After about 120 posts, there are about one or two from pro-conversionists which try to address the questions in the original article. And they are dismal in logic and full of rhetoric.

Its hard to believe that these guys really have such a poor thinking group within the Christian religion. In fact in one of the comments I had to say that by converting people to Christianity, they are reducing the IQ level of the world.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Dreaded Terrorist – Death or Clemency?

Summary: The verdict of capital punishment to Mohd Afzal, an accused in the December 13, 2001 Indian Parliament attack case, has sparked wide spread agitations and demonstrations in Jammu & Kashmir. With political and separatist outfits rallying for Presidential pardon, critical questions need to be answered in the wake of these developments.

The verdict of death sentence awarded to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant Mohd Afzal, a co-accused in the December 13, 2001 Indian Parliament terrorist attack case has created furore and unfortunately is acquiring monstrous political overtures. The issue is snowballing in to a major controversy and threatens to fuel further, the militant agitation in Jammu & Kashmir.

The Delhi court in its verdict has ordered Mohd Afzal to be hanged till death in Tihar Central Jail on October 20 at 0600 hours. Of the four accused in the most dastardly attack on the highest institution of the country that stands as edifice of people’s will & democracy, two were acquitted and another JeM militant Shaukat Hussain Guru has been sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. Interestingly, the pronouncement of the death sentence to Mohd Afzal by the trail court has been confirmed and upheld by the Supreme Court on August 4, 2005.

Soon after the award of death sentence by the Delhi Court on September 26, various militant and separatist organizations lead by JKLF, held protest marches and demonstrations in Jammu & Kashmir demanding Mohd Afzal’s release and urging the President of India to grant pardons and clemency. Taking a cue from these agitations and sensing a political opportunity, several mainstream and separatist political parties of the state including the ruling Congress joined the chorus seeking clemency for Mohd Afzal.

However what baffles and astonishes most and the one which has turned in to a major embarrassment for the Central Government and Congress, is the appeal by the Chief Minister of the Congress lead Government in Jammu & Kashmir, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, for Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh’s intervention in the case and demanding that Mohd Afzal’s death sentence be kept in abeyance and be pardoned by the President of India.

The appeal by Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad has raised the hackles of leading judicial luminaries and the general public and raises several very serious questions that need to be answered by the Central Government and the Congress party. Though the spokesperson of the Congress party Mr. Abhishek Singhvi parried all questions from the media and distanced the Party from the views expressed by the Chief Minister, saying that his party neither endorses nor rejects Mr. Azad’s views. According to Mr. Singhvi, there are established procedures as per the law of the land in such cases and that it is the exclusive domain and discretion of the President of India to grant clemency.

The arguments of the state’s separatist organizations in favor of Mohd. Afzal though, are ‘understandable’ and do not come as surprise. These organizations have over the last two decades sought to establish an Independent Jammu & Kashmir with able assistance and support provided by the hard core fundamentalist terrorist organizations and the State of Pakistan. They certainly can’t stand one of their ‘leader’ and revered commandant of JeM, being hanged to death even though the heinous crime committed by Mohd Afzal and his associates amounts to waging war on the country. The execution of Mohd Afzal would certainly be a severe blow to these separatist organizations in their fight against the Indian establishment and diminish any moral support by the people of Jammu & Kashmir they have clung on, to further their movement seeking merger with Pakistan or emerge as an Independent state. The violent demonstrations witnessed in the state in the last few days certainly must have been instigated by these organizations and can’t in all possibility be the opinion and judgment of the issue by the democracy willing, moderate section of the Jammu & Kashmir society.

The political parties ever eager to pounce on emotive issues and utilize them to gain political mileage, have however, put forward arguments in favor of Mohd Afzal that definitely are hollow and need to be harshly condemned. Shaken and worried by the outpouring of ‘support’ to the demand of clemency to Mohd Afzal and as if showing ‘concern’ to the genuine demand of the ‘people’ of the state, all the major parties including the state government, have jumped in to the fray singing in chorus with these ‘aggrieved’ sections of the Jammu & Kashmir society. However, what they easily and conveniently have forgotten is that having sworn in the name of Indian Constitution, they are the representatives who collectively shall uphold and execute the laws as enshrined in the Constitution.

The terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament - the temple of the world’s largest democracy, surely ranks as a heinous crime and had the plans of the terrorists been successful, it would have resulted in agonizing miserable and unforeseen consequences that are hard to imagine and might have zapped and sniffed the ‘life’ out of a vibrant nation. If it were not to be for the daring retaliation action undertaken by the security officers at the high security Parliament complex and one in which few of them laid their lives, the terrorists would certainly have gained access to the ‘sanctum sanctorum’ of the Parliament and caused unimaginable damage. That terror attacks are not new and poses the gravest threat to the country is an acknowledged fact and in the last two decades, thousands of innocent lives have been lost in mindless violence and destruction perpetrated by the terrorists. Though the rest of the world, acknowledged terrorism as the most dangerous threat to human kind today after 9/11 attacks in United States, India has been for too long, the nation that has suffered the most and at times even humiliated owing to the ‘soft corner’ and approaches adopted by the Indian Governments to tackle the menace. Any acts of terrorism irrespective of who carries out the dastardly acts, call for stringent sentences after a fair hearing given to the accused as per the laws of the land. If a nation remains strong and showcases its will to implement such steps to thwart further attacks, it would be definitely sending right signals to those who mastermind such acts and cause untold misery and deathblow to innocent ordinary civilians in the name of their religious faith.

When our courts and legal system is often criticized for the lengthy trials and enormous number of years they consume to deliver judgements, the Parliament attack case - considering its sheer importance, has moved at a rapid pace and the trail court has delivered its verdict after all the deliberations and detailed hearings. It has been time and again clarified by the Supreme Court that capital punishment is awarded only in the ‘rarest’ of rare cases, so that the beliefs of a civilized society in the human values and ethos are kept intact and their virtues are reiterated. The court would have duly considered the Parliament attack case from all legal angles and has found it to be one such ‘rarest of rare’ cases, which deserves the severest sentence possible for the accused. If in the trail court’s conviction and as upheld by the Supreme Court, the accused Mohd Afzal is guilty of committing such a crime and appropriate sentence is awarded, it is not for the ‘Executive’ arm of the government to decide the merit or innocence of the accused.

That Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of this nation is an indisputable fact and under no circumstances will it possible for this country to agree for its independence or secession from the fabric of this nation. In waging this unjust cause, they have only caused alienation of various faiths and have bled death and destruction to thousands of innocent lives. In connivance with extensive support garnered from across the border, the fundamentalist terrorist organizations have caused untold miseries and bloodshed in this country as testified by so many terror attacks, the very recent being the Mumbai train blasts.

It has been argued that execution of Mohd Afzal would elevate him as a Martyr for a cause and may further fuel the separatist movement in the already embittered state of Jammu & Kashmir. This certainly bears no valid reason to seek clemency. It is these very people who have over the years planned and agitated for what they believe to be a ‘just’ cause. Such people who dogmatically believe in their ‘just ideology’ certainly can not be clubbed with other criminals. They are a blot to civilian society and deserve the most stringent punishment. It is easier for emotions to supercede the harsh reality, but when these perpetrators of ‘dance of death’ feel no human emotions when they maim and kill thousands of innocent people, ‘emotions’ lose their perceived conception and meaning and definitely needs to take a back seat to deal with the realities. In the instigated clamor for clemency to Mohd Afzal, and by not honoring the court’s verdict, it only goes to show how blatantly the anti-India forces are trying to make a ‘martyr’ of Mohd. Afzal. As if to add fuel to the already flaring communal sentiments in the nation, these votaries for clemency smell a rat in the date chosen by the court for execution of Mohd Afzal. October 20 happens to be a holy day in the calendar of Muslims and if executed on such a pious day, they believe it would send ulterior motives to the Muslims in the country. It is known as per Indian Constitution that courts do not favor any religion and have always ensured communal harmony in many of their verdicts, despite interferences by several Governments and political outfits. The trail court in its wisdom would certainly have considered many aspects and chosen the date as demanded by all legal and bureaucratic procedures. So such a decision can not be seen from the myopic eye and judged as sending wrong signals.

The National Conference chief Mr. Farooq Abdulla in a television interview, hinted at the possibility of this verdict dividing the Hindu and Muslim communities in India. It was surely a ploy by Mr. Abdulla to appease the minorities and further fan their alienation from the mainstreams of the nation. If the execution of a dreaded terrorist as per the laws of this land, is seen as persecution of ‘minorities’, then how will one answer the reasons for killings of innocents by such dreaded terrorists. The lives laid down by thousands of innocents would carry no meaning and the wretched lives of their near and dear ones would be bereft of any belief in the system that trumpets to provide justice. Mr. Abdulla should certainly know very well that it is the duty of the Governments to provide security to the people of the country irrespective of their religious faiths.

In another astonishing argument, Mr. Abdulla pointed out to an earlier incident in which execution of separatist leader ‘Maqbool Bhat’ had resulted in the backlash and the judge who had pronounced the verdict of death sentence on Bhat was killed later by his supporters. Mr. Abdulla should have realized these judges who pronounce death sentences to the accused, stand true to the spirit of justice and uphold the constitution despite such threats. It speaks volumes of their gumption and belief in universal values.

Many politicians have backed their argument of clemency for Afzal stating that his execution would severely hamper the Indo-Pak peace process. This looks ridiculous to say the least. When killing of thousands of innocent Indians by the terrorist supported by Pakistan hasn’t stopped our dumb headed politicians from taking buses, trains and CBM’s to Pakistan and ‘inviting’ them to open new frontiers of attacks and kill and maim thousands, how can this possibly stop Indo-Pak ‘peace process’!.

The shocking news which would surely aghast many right thinking people of this country is out already – that of President Kalam being petitioned by Afzal’s family for clemency and as a consequence the date of October 20, 2006 for hanging to death Mohd. Afzal, put off indefinitely till the decision is taken by the President. What a shame that our politicians who called the attack on the Parliament the most heinous act of terror, now join hands and leave no efforts unturned to pardon the very man who masterminded the entire episode.

All this just to secure minority vote bank and transform BHARAT in to another ‘Talibstan’ in next few decades…,

In trying to color the entire episode of clemency demands for Mohd Afzal, as a will of people of Jammu & Kashmir, our political parties including the Congress at the Centre are only indulging in giving the final blow to our justice system. The common citizenry of this nation aspires that their Government tackles the menace of terrorism with iron hands bending to no dogmatic religious faiths. It has in its hands one such rare opportunity to show case that it believes in the wisdom of the Courts and battles the terrorists with focused hard nosed methods. If implementation of the courts will is sabotaged, the country will for ever loose the already frail belief in its constitution, the judiciary and the executive.

Creative Commons License

Click here to join PrasthuNet
Click to join PrasthuNet