Friday, 14 October 2011

Three cheers for our spooks!

Yesterday, the Delhi Police on a specific intelligence input managed to detect a car outside Ambala Cantonment Railway station with over 5kgs of RDX explosives along with detonator devices and thus managed to avert a terrorist strike. According to the Police, these attacks were to be carried out by Sikh separatist group known as Babbar Khalsa. It goes without saying that the explosive material was supplied by Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and coordinated by anti India group Lashkar-e-Tayeba. I think that our intelligence agencies did a great job in preventing a terror strike very close to Diwali and the consequences would have been terrible had these bombs exploded in a crowded festival market. The media and the public very rightly goes hammer and tongs against our much maligned intelligence agencies whenever there is a successful terrorist attack. The problems in our intelligence gathering apparatus have been discussed threadbare for decades now; therefore any successful prevention of a terrorist attack should be generously applauded. The vigil has to continue since various other terrorist modules are still active and they would be itching to strike in the festive season. Therefore everyone needs to be alert especially in crowded places.

Whenever there is a terror strike or a foiled terror strike in India, the finger invariably points towards Pakistan. Therefore on prime time TV we find anchors discussing the terror issue with guests from both India and Pakistan. These discussions on TV have over the years become totally predictable and the viewer can actually very easily guess as to what both sides are going to say. In fact some of the experts, who regularly appear on the shows, repeat their same statements each time, without fail. The Pakistani experts modus operandi is to condemn terror and tell anyone caring to listen that Pakistan is a bigger victim of terror than India. Our own experts repeat that Pakistan suffers from its own home grown Jihadis while India is a victim of Pakistan sponsored terror. The debate starts to heat up with in minutes and accusations fly thick and fast from both sides. Both sides stick to their stated positions and at times the debate turns in to a full fledged slanging match. The debate dies down in the entire din and confusion and the anchor finally winds up the show. The farcical debate starts all over again whenever there is another terror strike. The trust deficit between India and Pakistan is so terribly wide that there is hardly any chance to find a common ground to work upon. Some very prominent Pakistani analysts take a reasonable position on terror when they write in their local newspapers but when they appear on an Indian TV show, they start defending the same terror acts which they vehemently criticize back home. It is incredible to see that the Pakistani analysts turn a reasonable debate in to some sort of a competition where conceding a point to the opposition would be tantamount to forfeiting of national pride. What inflated egos! There is little wonder that India and Pakistan have not solved a single important issue for the last six decades. If mere discussions are a matter of victory and defeat, then problems can never be solved. The current generation of Pakistani military and civilian elite has experienced the 1971 military defeat to India and they have not been able overcome that humiliation. It would require an absolute miracle to solve the pending issues between us. Till then these fireworks would continue.

Before concluding I must again congratulate our intelligence agencies for doing a good job in preventing the terror attack. The praise should be whole heartedly showered where it is rightfully due and let us hope and pray that we have a safe, peaceful and pollution free Diwali. 

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