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Do You Know How India Buried The Domestic Terror Time Capsule? Read Here To Find Out

Indian deep state is now priding itself for its human intelligence across the country and immediate neighbourhood.

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India
he one thing that Indian deep state is fully aware of is that Pakistan will remain Janus faced and duplicitous and never ever to be trusted. Pixabay

When there is only one bullet in the chamber, you don’t want to expend it needlessly, you want to ensure that you claim a victim with it. Indian deep state has been behind the eight ball for a long time in quelling terror, but 26/11 metamorphosed it and since then it has strong-armed the terror modules in a stone cold manner, enjoying win after win as documented by the earlier three parts of this series. Barring Kashmir Valley, where it continues to grapple with local and proxy fidayeen and mujhaidheen, it has pretty much bottled up the terror genie in the rest of the country and impressively enough made gains across the immediate neighbourhood.

Intelligence bloodhounds have busted linkages between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Pakistan and southern India and Pakistan and Bangladesh. All the zealots have been buried in time capsules, hopefully never to return. The challenge, however, remains because the danger is clear and present.

Attempts at mainstreaming Kashmiri militancy and thought process to the national consciousness have been made sporadically and sometimes successfully, but agencies have been alive to them. The one thing that Indian deep state is fully aware of is that Pakistan will remain Janus faced and duplicitous and never ever to be trusted.

So while they display a sense of victimhood over domestic terror, the reality the world has come to realise that this narrative is a chimera. As a haven for alleged non-state actors fully backed by the military-ISI-jihadi establishment, Pakistan simply is a toxic and rogue state. Elements nurtured and supported by the ISI C Wing-jihad complex now have a free run within and outside Pakistan.

In many ways the Frankenstein that they created has come back to haunt them like Banquo’s ghost did to Macbeth in the Bard’s much acclaimed theatrical gargantuan. By creating Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and unleashing them to foment terror in FATA since 2007, what started out was as a B Team for the Afghan Taliban has pushed pure political Islam theology and ideology across Pakistan.

Narendra Modi
One of the things that PM Modi doesn’t get adequate credit for the Indian diplomatic encirclement of Pakistan by cutting off the intellectual and monetary feed stock from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and even Qatar. Pixabay

The LeJ has claimed responsibility for various mass-casualty attacks against the Shias in Pakistan, including multiple bombings that killed over 200 Hazara Shias in Quetta in 2013. It has also been linked to the Mominpura graveyard attack in 1998, the dramatic abduction and slaying of Daniel Pearl in 2002, and the spectacular attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore in 2009 using the now signature buddy-pairs attack teams.

Playing victim, Pakistan’s polity has portrayed the LeJ as one of the country’s most virulent terror outfits. Tehrik-i-Taliban, alternatively referred to as the Taliban, is a radical extremist armed group which is an umbrella organisation of various militant groups based on Afghan side of the Durand line. Most Taliban groups in Pakistan coalesce under the TTP.

In December 2007 about 13 groups united under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud to form the Tehrik-i-Taliban. Among the Tehrik-i-Taliban’s stated objectives are resistance against the Pakistani state. The TTP aim is overthrow government of Pakistan by waging a terrorist campaign against the Pakistan armed forces and the state. The TTP depends on tribal belt along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to draw its recruits. The TTP drew ideological guidance from Al Qaeeda.

‘Foreign Affairs’ explained the phenomenon: The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – South Waziristan and North Waziristan — a 10,500-square-mile strip of land wedged between Afghanistan and the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is governed not by Pakistani law but a century-old set of regulations that leave the enforcement of law and order to locals…What has enabled Pakhtunwali to flourish is a 1901 law called the Frontiers Crimes Regulations (FCR) that governs FATA. Its original title, when enacted by British colonial officers, was the “Frontier Murderous Outrages Regulations.”

It is the equivalent of the lawless Wild West or western UP’s badlands and during Raeel Sharif’s time as Pakistan Army Chief, a brutal push-back was planned with Operation Khyber 1 and 2 to neutralise the menace of Pakistani Islamists. In July 2015, ‘Dawn’ reported: The military has successfully brought to a close a massive offensive in Khyber tribal region, effectively flushing out militants and blocking their crossing points on borders with Afghanistan.

But, the officials said questions remained whether the military gains in the plains of Bara and upper reaches of Tirah valley could be sustained over a long period in the absence of administrative and auxiliary support systems. The military formally brought Operation Khyber-2 (after Khyber 1) to a close on June 15, 2015, significantly enough, on the first anniversary of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in North Waziristan.

Four days later, Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif visited the troops in Tirah to take stock of the military offensive and the gains made in the nearly three-and-a-half month long operation. Knowledgeable sources told ‘Dawn’ that the military had gained control of strategically important areas, depriving Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-i-Islam of space in one of their toughest strongholds in the tribal regions.

The military, the sources said, had also taken physical control of the three passes from Afghanistan into Tirah – Mzatal, Kandao Gharibi and Dramudrad situated at 7,300 to 9,300 feet altitude above the sea level. Two of the passes have been physically taken over by the military, while the third is under direct fire power, thus putting an end to any movement through that pass.

But the success did not come easily. The military lost more than 50 men, including officers, in the second phase of Operation Khyber, while another 100 or so were wounded. While the Pakistan Army has been raining hell on the TTK and LeJ to rein them with successive operations, it is impossible to have a cogent counter-insurgency doctrine in a nation where jihad has become a way of life.

India has to remain vigilant at all times. Zarb-e-Azb was followed by Operation Radd-ul-Fassad which began in February 2017, following a resurgence in terrorist incidents. The operation entailed the conduct of Broad Spectrum Security (Counter Terrorism) operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management.

Countrywide disarmament and explosive control were also given as additional objectives of the operation. The National Action Plan was pursued as the hallmark of this operation. Further, given the nature of the beast unleashed against India and the brutalised psyche of Pakistan which wants revenge for the vivisection of Pakistan in 1971, the Kashmir pot will continue to be stirred. India cannot sit on its haunches, it has to be watchful at all times.

Indian deep state is now priding itself for its human intelligence across the country and immediate neighbourhood. In fact such is its efficacy that in 2014, a group of Sikh extremists who were undergoing training in Thailand under the aegis of LeT at a Rohingyas camp were shut down by a Thai counter-terrorism team with inputs from New Delhi.

Pakistan
Further, given the nature of the beast unleashed against India and the brutalised psyche of Pakistan which wants revenge for the vivisection of Pakistan in 1971, the Kashmir pot will continue to be stirred. Pixabay

Close cooperation and information sharing with several countries is resulting in these wins. The swoopdown by the Thais at the Rohingya camp led to arrest of Jagtar Singh Tara and Harminder Singh Mintoo. Last year, Tara, who is undergoing life imprisonment till death for the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, expressed threat for his life in Burail jail, Chandigarh. Tara said this while expressing doubt over the death of Khalistan Liberation Force chief Harminder Singh Mintoo who died of cardiac arrest in Patiala Central Jail. Three others had been sent back by the Thais, including Bathinda resident Ramandeep Singh, alias Sunny, who was arrested in November 2014 with a handmade bomb and explosives.

Ramandeep was allegedly provided training by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence in Bangkok and Malaysia as he was in touch with Tara who was absconding at that time and was arrested later. Authorities in Thailand arrested Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) militant, Gurmeet Singh alias Jagtar Singh Tara, convicted for his involvement in the 1995 assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Tara, who escaped from Chandigarh’s Burail Jail, entered Thailand in October 2014 and was arrested in the eastern province of Chonburi at a Rohingya camp. The tip-off came from Punjab intelligence which reported ISI-trained Khalistani terrorists in Thailand (2014) were planning to launch strikes in India.

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One of the things that PM Modi doesn’t get adequate credit for the Indian diplomatic encirclement of Pakistan by cutting off the intellectual and monetary feed stock from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and even Qatar.

The PM in conjunction with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the Ministry of External Affairs has systematically suffocated Pakistan by cutting the umbilical cord from its erstwhile theological supporters and purveyors of Wahhabi Salafisim. The inputs are coming from these areas because the Crown Princes Mohd bin Salman and Mohd bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE Mohd bin RashidJ Al Maktoum enjoy an excellent relationship and rapport with PM Modi. (IANS)

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India Needs to Define Special Placement of Function of Intelligence in Interest of National Security

The Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy, in February last, by a suicide bomber of Jaish-e-Mohammad, was a case more of inadequate response

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India, Intelligence, National Security
Terrorists would always have a lead in springing up surprises -- it has to be appreciated, therefore, that the agencies using both human and technical means have produced information to preempt them in most cases. Pixabay

It is a matter of deep satisfaction for the people of India that our Intelligence agencies moulded in a non-political work ethos and practising the dictum of ‘working with urgency even when there was no emergency’ enabled the first Modi regime to successfully deal with the threats to national security — particularly in Kashmir where they helped the security forces to pursue Intelligence-based operations that guaranteed minimal collateral damage in counter-terror work. Terrorists would always have a lead in springing up surprises — it has to be appreciated, therefore, that the agencies using both human and technical means have produced information to preempt them in most cases.

The Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy, in February last, by a suicide bomber of Jaish-e-Mohammad, was a case more of inadequate response than Intelligence failure. In security, failure of ‘action’ not of ‘information’ does happen often enough to remind us of the need to improve coordinated responses to Intelligence alerts and to never be dismissive about information. No Intelligence is ‘non-actionable’ as it should rightly be presumed to be the tip of the iceberg warranting all possible preventive measures, howsoever tedious these might seem to be for the action takers.

Most of the serious threats to national security have external and internal dimensions and the Multi Agency Centres at Delhi and in the state capitals with years of functioning now, make sure that the available actionable information is passed on to the concerned functionaries without delay and that further lines of pursuit to dig out more intelligence were specified as an ongoing task. Our Inteligence agencies — inheriting a British tradition — exercise the sovereign power of identifying the emerging threats to national security and initiating the effort to ‘cover’ them to ensure a constant flow of information on them without waiting for a clearance from the political executive. They have to keep the latter fully informed at the same time. This is what enables the agencies to go on without change of pace even when a new government assumes charge at the Centre after a General Election.

The system in India has upheld the position that national security was above politics and this principle was in play for most times since India became a democratic republic in 1950 — except for spells when the Intelligence chief of the day himself fell short of the highest levels of objectivity and independence. The natural changes brought about by the country’s democratic process enabled me to serve as Director Intelligence Bureau with three Prime Ministers of different political backgrounds — Congress, BJP and the United Front. Since the institution of National Security Advisor did not exist then, that function was also built into the DIB’s working in my time. I can say with emphasis that all the three valued IB’s information on national security even when they chose to run their politics in their own ways – by and large without involving Intelligence agencies in their political agenda.

India, Intelligence, National Security
It is a matter of deep satisfaction for the people of India that our Intelligence agencies moulded in a non-political work ethos and practising the dictum of ‘working with urgency even when there was no emergency’ enabled the first Modi regime to successfully deal with the threats. Pixabay

Because of the ever enlarging threat scenario, Intelligence agencies were in need of more manpower, funds and logistical support. As a historical legacy Intelligence Bureau was manned and led by officers of IPS — this made for the agency’s close cooperation with and a much-needed mentoring role in regard to the state police organisations. The Bureau was regarded as a Central Police Organisation for cadre management but was not otherwise bracketed with the investigation outfits or the para military organisations of the government. Intelligence agencies have a bulk of operators directly recruited from amongst the best through a rigorous examination and thoroughly trained in the trade craft.

The IPS officers leading them are on a turf of anonymity, covert operations and delicate information gathering — entirely different from the sphere of visible legal action handled by men in uniform including investigators. The Intelligence set-up, therefore, ought to have its own performance and promotion parameters. This is what gave Director IB the status and pay grade as the most senior police officer in the country in keeping with his function as the Chairman of the DGPs Conference even when IPS officers with longer years of service headed the state police or other police organisations at the Centre.

Intelligence agencies in Indian conditions handle only ‘information’ accessed through trade craft techniques and the responsibility of taking ‘action’ against a suspect in a legally empowered way would fall on the state police or a central investigation body like the NIA. The Intelligence agencies act as the eyes and ears of the sovereign power ruling the democratic state and could be scanning any other functionary — high or low — in the national interest under the express authorisation of the highest political executive exercising that power. Since Intelligence agency does not dictate ‘action’ or ‘policy’ it cannot be blamed for any legally untenable response of the police. The Centre needs to define the special placement of the function of Intelligence in the interest of national security.

The internal security situation in the country and the developing threat scenario around the world justify a quantum jump being made in the manpower and resources provided to the Intelligence set-up in general and Intelligence Bureau — the mother agency for counter intelligence work — in particular. IB watches every nook and corner of the country where terror agents and other anti-national elements might be harbouring taking advantage of the free society offered by Indian democracy. Kashmir, typically, illustrated the challenge to national security created by the paucity of ‘Intelligence from below’. Now that the J& K has been fully integrated with the rest of the country the Centre must raise enough trained professionals of the state to cover every Panchayat circle and town from the angle of counter terror watch. Failure to quickly identify the local masterminds behind the organised stone pelting was a major reason why the J&K government could not effectively handle the civic disturbances occurring in Srinagar and elsewhere in recent months. The collusion of the Valley parties ruling the state with the pro-Pak Hurriyat was the principal reason why the state administration remained infested with separatists and failed to work for the development and uplift of the average Kashmiri.

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A hard-pressed organisation like IB should have no ‘vacancies’ caused by procedural delays arising out of the issue of equivalence of batch positions of IPS officers serving elsewhere. An officer is inducted and kept in IB purely on a special evaluation of merit and suitability and a faster career graph for him or her during the stay with the agency should be a part of the deal. IB, in any case, was expected to be ahead of the state cadres in matters of promotion. National security is the joint preserve of the Centre and the states. Cadre management complexities should not, therefore, be allowed to come in the way of central Intelligence agencies getting the best of the available manpower at any point of time. The new global terror targeting the Indian subcontinent adds urgency to this requirement. (IANS)