Tuesday February 19, 2019
Home India ‘Need f...

‘Need for concrete policy against terrorism’

0
//

kpsgill2

By Rupesh Dutta

There was urgent need for a concrete policy against terrorism to prevent incidents like Monday’s terror attack in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, former state police chief K.P.S. Gill said, adding that political parties should desist from hyping such attacks.

Gill, 81, who is credited with rooting out militancy in Punjab about two decades back, said India should be firm about its policy concerning Pakistan.

Other security experts IANS spoke to also said that India needs to adopt a tough approach in dealing with its western neighbour.

Gill said tackling terrorism was not child’s play and there was need to take concrete policy measures rather than indulging in rhetoric.

“Politicians should stop giving hype to such attacks and instead get together and formulate a policy to curb terrorism.
Three civilians and four security personnel, including a superintendent of police, were killed early Monday when three heavily-armed terrorists suspected to have infiltrated from Pakistan went on a killing spree in Dinanagar town of Gurdaspur district, shattering two decades of calm in Punjab.

All three attackers were killed after an 11-hour gun battle.

Gill said the attack did not signal that Khalistani groups were trying to revive militancy in Punjab.

However, he said there were still a lot of pockets in Punjab and its borders with Pakistan where people harboured pro-Khalistan ideology.

He said such thinking needs to be rooted out before tackling the menace beyond Indian borders. Gill said it was disappointing to see political leaders creating “media-hype” after a major terror strike.

“I wonder why all this? Instead, why not formulate a policy aimed at retaliating against militant groups and their masterminds? Why go soft every time even after knowing where they (terrorists) come from,” Gill said.

Gill denied that intelligence failure was a major reason for Monday’s terror attack, saying that cross-border terror groups keep making persistent efforts to carry out their designs and are able to penetrate and carry out attacks only a few times.

Strategic expert Brigadier S.K. Chatterji (retd) said India will continue to be prone to such attacks if the government does not firm up its stance vis-a-vis Pakistan and terror outfits operating from its soil.

“Retaliation is the answer to such terror attacks. The actual reason behind the Gurdaspur attack will come to light after some days. I feel there is a need for consistency and toughness,” Chatterji told IANS.

He said India’s intelligence-gathering apparatus also needed to be strengthened.

Chatterji said there was need for the Indian Army to observe more closely how militants were misusing the border areas and take necessary counter-measures.

He said the Gurdaspur terror attack was an attempt to shatter the hard-won peace in Punjab.

“There is a need to intensify patrolling along the border and monitor movements carefully,” he said.

E.M. Rammohan, former director general of Border Security Force, said Indian security agencies needed to understand how militants struck in a border area.

He said either they were foreigners who infiltrated and reached the civilian areas in Dinanagar with their arms and ammunition or they could be members of Pakistan-based outfit operating in Jammu and Kashmir or Punjab.

Dinanagar is about 15 km from the international border from Pakistan.

Rammohan also said that the government should not follow a policy of vacillation towards Pakistan by sometimes going soft on its approach to talks.

(With inputs from IANS)

Next Story

US-Taliban Meeting Cancelled, 14 Members on “The US and UN Blacklist”

A day later, Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed the talks during a press conference, calling it a “game changer.”

0
US, Taliban, Pakistan
FILE - Taliban political chief Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanikzai, in the first row, second from left, Abdul Salam Hanafi and other Taliban officials pray during the intra-Afghan talks in Moscow, Feb. 6, 2019. VOA

An upcoming meeting in Pakistan between a delegation of the United States and Taliban representatives has been cancelled, according to information coming from both sides.

A Taliban leader confirmed, on condition of anonymity, that the meeting was cancelled, “by the Americans.” A Taliban statement issued later in the day said the talks were postponed because many members of its 14 person negotiating team were unable to go overseas since they are on “the US and UN blacklist.” Several of them are on the U.N. Security Council sanctions list which bars them from international travel.

Meanwhile, a U.S. official said Zalmay Khalilzad, who was supposed to lead the American delegation, is not planning to visit Islamabad this week.

US, China, Taliban
FILE – U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, center, speaks during a roundtable discussion with Afghan media at the U.S Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan Jan. 28, 2019. VOA

The U.S. said it had not received an official invitation from the government of Pakistan for this meeting which was first announced by Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid a couple of days ago.

Mujahid’s statement had set February 18 as the date of the talks and said a formal invitation had been issued by Pakistan. In addition, he said, the Taliban delegation would also meet the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

A day later, Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed the talks during a press conference, calling it a “game changer.”

“The next round of negotiations with the Taliban will be in Pakistan, and as a result of these negotiations, there is a chance of stability in Afghanistan,” he said.

US, China, Taliban
FILE – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) speaks with U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad (3rd L) during a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office in Islamabad, Pakistan, in this handout photo released Jan. 18, 2018. VOA

Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry reacted strongly to the announcement of a meeting in Islamabad, saying it was in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

“#Afghanistan complains to #UNSecurityCouncil on #Pakistan’s engagements with the Taliban on which #Afg Govenrment is not consulted,” Tweeted Sibghatullah Admadi, a spokesman for the Afghan foreign office.

Previously, Afghanistan launched a similar complaint against Russia for allowing Taliban members to travel to Moscow for a conference in which nearly 50 Afghans, including various political leaders, former jihadi commanders, and civil society activists were invited. However, the Afghan government was not invited to that conference because the Taliban have so far refused to engage with the Kabul administration despite pressure from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and others.

President Ashraf Ghani lashed out at those attending the conference saying they had no “executive authority” to make any agreements.

“Let hundreds of such meetings be held,” he said.

Some analysts say Ghani’s statements indicated his frustration at being left out of the negotiations between the Americans and the Taliban that first started last Summer. Since then, the two sides have held several rounds of talks.

ALSO READ: ‘Big Progress’ in US-China Trade Talks, Says Trump

The last meeting in Doha early January lasted for six days and Khalilzad said the two sides had agreed “in principle” to a withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in return for guarantees that Afghan soil will not be used by any terrorist groups or individuals.

Speaking in a public event at Washington based United States Institute of Peace, Khalilzad said the Taliban do not want to “sit with the government alone” because they did not want to give President Ghani an advantage in the presidential elections scheduled in July.

“There are indications that they will be willing to sit with the government in a multi-party arrangement,” he said. (VOA)