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Rains on Tuesday claimed 11 more lives in North India, taking the toll to 73, even as 71,440 pilgrims bound for the Himalayan shrines remained stranded in monsoon-ravaged Uttarakhand, apart from 1,700 people stuck in Himachal Pradesh.
Though rescue efforts picked up in flash flood and landslide-hit areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with a let-up in the rains and decrease in water level in the Ganga and its tributaries, the whole of Uttarakhand still wore a marooned and devastated look.
Flash floods, cloudbursts and subsequent landslips in Uttarakhand have claimed 44 lives, left as many injured and destroyed 175 houses.
Rudraprayag was the worst hit where 20 people perished and 73 buildings, including 40 hotels along the banks of the River Alaknanda, were swept away by the swirling waters.
Pilgrims bound for Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, are stranded in Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts with the ‘Char Dham’ yatra still suspended due to massive damage to the road network.
While 27,040 devotees are stranded in Chamoli, 25,000 in Rudraprayag and 9,850 in Uttarkashi faced the same situation, said disaster management authorities.
In Himachal Pradesh, chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who was stranded in tribal Kinnaur district for nearly 60 hours due to landslides, was airlifted by a chopper hired by the Congress, even as 1,700 people remained stranded at various places.
In Uttar Pradesh, four persons were killed in rain-related incidents. Incessant rain held up the first two batches of the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Meanwhile, people living in low-lying areas along the River Yamuna were evacuated as its water level crossed the danger mark of 204.83 metres at 1pm and reached 205.24 metres at 2.30pm, officials in the flood and irrigation department said.
The attack in southern Chhattisgarh this past May 25 has again raised questions — and some bogeys — about India’s internal conflicts and the place Maoist rebels occupy in this universe. What’s the situation? And what is likely to happen? The short answer is that over the past three to four years, Left-wing rebels led primarily by Communist Party of India (Maoist) have been severely depleted by the surrender, arrest or death of leaders and cadres.
Pressured by the onslaught, often knee-jerk, of both central and various state governments, the Maoists’ effective area of combat has shrunk to southern Chhattisgarh and adjacent areas of western Maharashtra and southwest Odisha (known as Dandakaranya), Bihar, a few pockets in Jharkhand, a sliver of Andhra Pradesh.
While it is an emphatic weakening, the area is still vast, and cadre numbers and abilities enough to inflict severe damage in areas of strength.
The Dandakaranya zone, where the attack on May 25 took place, is both major Maoist sanctuary, and core laboratory for administration, education, healthcare and way of community living and economic activity run by the Janatana Sarkar, or people’s government.
This remains among the most inaccessible and forbidding policing and combat terrains in the country. This is where top Maoist military leadership shelters. This is where some of the most battle-hardened cadres are.
Naturally, this is also where most government forces combating Maoists are located. For Maoists, this region is also quite different from the rough and tumble in Bihar and Jharkhand where Maoist rebels have for long been less concerned with trying to provide an alternate grassroots model; because of what can be called ‘objective conditions’ of rebellion, more engaged in retribution and survival.
The Maoists’ duress is manifold. Among other things, they appear to be increasingly hard-pressed to communicate issues. There is a core hard-Left-leaning pool in urban India that will continue to provide recruits for on-ground action and eventual, ideological leadership.
As ever this core is driven by angry intellectualism, and can move easily, generationally, from farmers’ rights-related land issues prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s to, say, land-related issues of tribal rights, and callous, often-corrupt land acquisition for various projects.
Given the enormity of such ongoing government- and business-led misdemeanour, it may be of some surprise that the intensity of Maoist recruitment has waned. But tools of protest and redress increasingly available in India’s imperfect but dogged democracy — Right to Information, protests by local communities and civil society, judicial and media activism, investor watchdogs — are showing ways to negotiated solutions that do not require the gun.
The Forest Rights Act is not perfect — indeed, several critics feel it does little to protect the interest of tribal folk. PESA, or Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act is also known for lack of true application.
And the Land Acquisition, Resettlement & Rehabilitation Bill, 2011 is floundering in Parliament as it takes hits from political and corporate interests seeking to weaken it; give less to the project-affected. Yet, there are entirely democratic and non-violent moves to strengthen such ostensibly people-friendly legislation.
In this respect, in their strategic measurement the Maoists appear to be focusing more on the negative aspects and failures of India than calculating the aspirational, positive aspects and strengths of India.
I believe this, as much as great force applied by central and state government by using vast numbers of paramilitaries and police against Maoist rebels, will ensure that Left-wing extremism remains in pockets. Nobody with rational expectations expects Left-wing extremism to disappear, because the root causes that feed it are unlikely to disappear for the next few decades.
Anybody disagreeing with this assertion need only to look at the internal conflict map since 1967, when the so-called Naxalbari phase exploded into play, and contributed the words ‘Naxal’ and ‘Naxali’ to India’s tragically robust vocabulary of conflict.
This initial movement, what I term Mark I, was physically demolished by the early 1970s. But successive movements — factions and large groups coalescing and breaking rapidly with rebel ego and expediency — worked through the 1980s and 1990s to emerge as Mark IV in 2004, with the formation of CPI (Maoist) after the merger of two major factions.
As India grew, prospered and evolved, so did rebellion, spreading from one district to nearly a third of India’s 600-odd districts, from basic to intense.
Now, with massive state domination and internal party contradictions it has already morphed into Mark V. With such pressure it is not unrealistic to expect CPI (Maoist) to further fracture along geographic and organisational fault lines, though there are already desperate efforts to knit and evolve this organisation, extend limits of indoctrination and sanctuary, maintain routes of resupply.
One future is clear: whatever the formation, Left-wing rebellion is here to stay.
Quite often people fail to differentiate between Maoists and Naxalites and use the two terms (Maoists and Naxalists) as synonym.
Even the contemporary media seems to be in oblivion over the two widely used terms and use them interchangeably in their reports leading to confusion and impression that both are same with two different names.
Here is the difference:
The basic difference between Maoists struggle and the Naxalite movement is, though both trace their origin in the Naxalbari Uprising of 1967, but while the Naxalite Movement thrives on the original spirit of Naxalbari; the Maoist struggle is an aberration of the 1967 Uprising. Naxalism focuses on mass organisations while the Maoism relies mainly on arms (add their motive - to grab power using arms).
Naxalism originated as a rebellion against marginalization of the poor forest dwellers and gradually against the lack of development and poverty at the local level in rural parts of eastern India. It began in 1967 with an armed peasant uprising in Naxalbari village of Darjeeling district in West Bengal. The term ‘Naxal’ came from the name of the village. The Naxals are considered left radical communists who support Maoists political ideology.
The origin of the Naxals was a result of the split that took place in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1967. It led to the formation of Communist Party of India (Marxist and Leninist). West Bengal being the centre of the movement initially, Naxalism spread to the lesser developed areas like Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
The CPI-ML has been fighting elections in several states across India. Prominent among these groups are the CPI-ML (Liberation), CPI-ML (Kanu), CPI-ML (Jan Shakti), CPI-ML (New Democracy) and others.
Maoism, on the other hand, originated in China as a form of communist theory derived from the teachings of Chinese political leader Mao Zedong. Maoists were the loyal believers of the Chairman Mao’s philosophy that ‘Power flows from the barrel of the gun.’
When the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) was born out of the Naxalbari Uprising, a section of communist rebels retained a distinct identity. Along with Marxism and Leninism, a new concept, which is of Maoism, started emerging in India.
Around 1966, Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) was formed in West Bengal. Keeping a low profile in the earlier years, the group shot into prominence in Bihar in mid-1980s when they killed 54 Rajputs in Dalelchak-Bhagaura village of Aurangabad.
Another violent struggle was started by the Peoples War Group (PWG) in Telangana. The MCC and the PWG merged to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist) later, which is posing a big challenge to India.
To put it simply, there are two fundamental differences between the Naxalites and Maoists. While the Naxalites take part in elections and many of them are registered parties with the Election Commission of India, Maoists do not support the electoral politics. Secondly, the Naxalites may or may not have an armed wing, but the existence of the Maoists depend on their armed militia.
Therefore, the two terms (Naxalites and Maoists) should not be used interchangeably as they are not same and their ideologies have different roots.
Abdul Karim, a 74-year-old resident of Old Delhi, says he first visited the newer part of the city in 1955 – or over twenty years after “New Delhi” was officially inaugurated. “I went there with my school friends and we plucked and ate jamun [a fruit] from trees around Connaught Place,” he recalls. “The policemen would run after us for damaging trees,” he says. “But they could never catch us.”
The market area of Chandni Chowk, the heart of Old Delhi, is less than a 10 minute drive from Connaught Place, a New Delhi landmark. Yet, 100 years after the building of New Delhi was first inaugurated, these two areas still feel worlds apart.
These days, Mr. Karim seldom visits New Delhi – once or at most twice a month. He goes there to meet his friends and relatives who have shifted their businesses and residences there.
Mr. Karim, whose family-run shop sells electrical appliances, is one of many Muslims who still live in the Old City. Many more, however, left for Pakistan during Partition, in 1947.
Mr. Karim says that compared to the leafy New Delhi, Old Delhi is overcrowded with traders, shoppers and beggars. He sees a class divide between the two. “Old Delhi belongs to the common man, to everybody,” he says. “New Delhi is very expensive, only the rich and powerful can live there.”
He says he likes Old Delhi as it is. “What still distinguishes Old Delhi is its self-sufficiency. There is a kind of self-rule here,” he adds.
He says there is more contact between Old Delhi and New Delhi today than there once was. Before 1947, few ventured outside their respective neighborhoods, he recalls. He blamed this on the British, which he sees as having encouraged a culture of separation and diffidence.
After the British left, the older and newer parts of Delhi gradually merged. Shopkeepers in Old Delhi started opening branches in Connaught Place, which slowly emerged as a commercial center.
“New Delhi was a new experience for us. It was a prelude to openness and to our embrace of the outside world,” Mr. Karim says. Today, what puts off Mr. Karim from going to New Delhi is mainly the commute. He used to walk to New Delhi “but now the roads have become very congested and traveling by auto or bus takes a long time,” he says.
A leading global rights organization has serious doubts over the intent of India’s Central Monitoring System (CMS) and has asked the government to enact clear laws to ensure that increased surveillance of phones and the internet does not undermine rights to privacy and free expression.
In April 2013, the India began rolling out the CMS which will enable the government to monitor all phone and the internet communications. The CMS will provide centralized access to the country’s telecommunications network and facilitate direct monitoring of phone calls, text messages, and the internet use by government agencies, bypassing service providers.
Cynthia Wong from Human Rights Watch called the CMC a chilling threat “given its reckless and irresponsible use of the sedition and the internet laws”.
“New surveillance capabilities have been used around the world to target critics, journalists, and human rights activists.” Wong added “Surveillance tools are often used by governments and bureaucrats for political reasons instead of security purposes, and often in a covert way that violates human rights. If India doesn’t want to look like an authoritarian regime, it needs to be transparent about who will be authorized to collect data, what data will be collected, how it will be used and how the right to privacy will be protected.” The ministry of communications and information technology announced in January 2011 that “steps will be taken to establish the CMS, which will facilitate and prevent misuse of lawful interception facility”.
However, the government has released very little information about this. India at present does not have in place a privacy law to protect against arbitrary intrusions.
Two laws address interception or access to communication data.
HRW says the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, allows the government to “intercept, monitor, or decrypt” any information “generated, transmitted, received, or stored in any computer resource” in the interest of “sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above or for investigation of any offence.”
The colonial Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, also allows wire-tapping in conformity with guidelines that are supposed to act as a check on indiscriminate interception by the law enforcement agencies.
An expert group chaired by retired Justice A P Shah was created by the Planning Commission to set out principles for an Indian privacy law.
In its report in October 2012, it concluded that the two laws were inconsistent on the “permitted grounds for surveillance, the type of interception that is permitted to be undertaken (monitoring, tracking, intercepting), the type and granularity of information that can be intercepted, the degree of assistance that authorized agencies can demand from service providers, and the destruction and retention requirements of intercepted material.”
These differences, it concluded, “have created an unclear regulatory regime that is nontransparent, prone to misuse, and that does not provide remedy for aggrieved individuals.”
Because the CMS was created without parliamentary approval, the government should convene a full public debate about the intended use of the system before proceeding.
In his report to the UN Human Rights Council in April, the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression underscored the importance of the role of governments in fully guaranteeing the right to privacy of all individuals, saying that without such guarantees, the right to freedom of opinion and expression cannot be fully enjoyed.
Section 66A of the Information Technology Act - which deals with information that is “grossly offensive” or “has menacing character,” or causes annoyance or inconvenience - has been used repeatedly to arrest critics of the government.
The law allows for up to three years in prison under this section.
In April 2012, a university professor was arrested in West Bengal for circulating an email with pictures that poked fun at the state’s chief minister. In September, police in Mumbai arrested a political cartoonist, Aseem Trivedi for his work focusing on political corruption. In October, police in Puducherry arrested a businessman for posting messages on Twitter questioning the wealth amassed by the son of the country’s finance minister.
In November, two girls were arrested in Maharashtra for a post on Facebook questioning the shutdown of their city following the death of a powerful political leader.
Following the girls’ arrest, the central government issued an advisory to all state governments requiring prior approval from senior police officers for all arrests under section 66A. In May 2013, the Supreme Court directed all states to carry out the government’s advisory, making it mandatory for police to seek clearance from high-ranking officials.
A decade-and-a-half ago, his legendary uncle had stood like a rock against the waves of Taliban fundamentalism sweeping through his motherland. On Friday, Ahmad Zubair Massoud, nephew of Ahmad Shah Massoud, earned his first formal military qualification — and vowed to put it to use in a manner that the Lion of Panjshir himself would have applauded.
Soon after Zubair graduated from the National Defence Academy (NDA), his sister Nilofar tweeted Friday, “Congrats to the youngest member of our family @ZubairMassoud to graduate from the military academy!” Zubair’s bio on his own Twitter profile reads, “Currently studying in the National Defence Academy, India. Soon to be an Officer in the ANA Afghan National Army”.
As the US pulls combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, Zubair will be ready to be commissioned into the country’s national army as second lieutenant, carrying forward a hallowed family legacy. Between now and then, he will take advanced lessons in military training from a finishing academy either in India or in Afghanistan.
In many ways, Zubair’s destiny as a military man was pre-decided at birth in the Massoud-Rabbani family in 1989. “Though I was very small, I grew up hearing stories of the bravery of my uncle Ahmad Shah Massoud. His armed opposition to the Taliban has been my inspiration to take up the profession of arms,” Zubair said.
Zubair’s father Ahmad Zia Massoud, who was vice-president of Afghanistan in the first government of President Hamid Karzai, added, “My brother was a national hero. His life has been the main inspiration for my son.”
Ahmad Shah Massoud was a central figure in the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation, and later became the political and military commander of the Northern Alliance which fought against the Taliban in the late nineties. He was assassinated by al-Qaeda suicide bombers two days before the 9/11 attacks on the US.
DHARAMSHALA, May 23: An alleged Chinese spy has been arrested by Indian police from the exile Tibetan headquarters of Dharamshala following a tip-off by Tibetan security agencies.
The Department of Security of the Central Tibetan Administration in a release today said that the accused Penpa Tsering, 33, a former member of the People’s Liberation Army, was hatching a “terror plot” to poison two Tibetan youths aimed at “spreading chaos and terror in the Tibetan community.”
“A terror plot to poison two Tibetan youths – Tashi Gyaltsen@Tashi Dhondup and Karma Yeshi@Tashi by Chinese Security Agencies aimed at spreading chaos and terror in the Tibetan community was uncovered,” the release said.
“This latest exposure goes well beyond Chinese government’s aggressive intelligence gathering on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Central Tibetan Administration and other exile based organisations to undermine the exile community.”
According to the DoS, the accused hails from Lhari region of Nagchu in central Tibet and confessed to Tibetan security officials that he was first recruited and then sent across to India in 2009 by Li Yuquan who was then working as Party Secretary of Political and Legal Committee; Head of Public Security Bureau of Nagchu Prefecture, ‘TAR’ and a member of the 9th National People’s Congress of TAR. Li has been since transferred to Chamdo Prefecture, TAR but holding the same portfolio as before.
“Penpa Tsering is fully trained in intelligence tradecrafts and physical combat including weapon handling. He was in PLA from 1999 to 2002 and later worked in Public Security Bureau, Nagchu Prefecture prior to coming to India,” the release noted.
“Li Yuquan has initially tasked Penpa Tsering to collect intelligence on alleged “terrorist” activities against China by Central Tibetan Administration and Tibetan NGOs based in exile. He was asked to report on health condition and schedules of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
The accused had posed himself as a staff of the DoS and made contacts with numerous individuals to “collect specific intelligence on exile based Tibetan NGOs, important personalities, new comers from Tibet and vulnerabilities in Tibetan community; and reported these information to his handler on regular basis through phone, Internet based Weechat and QQ.”
Penpa Tsering was later tasked to poison the two Tibetan youths – Tashi Gyaltsen and Karma Yeshi – both of whom had escaped to India in early 2010.
“To execute this terror plot, Li summoned Penpa Tsering twice to Kathmandu, Nepal since 2012,” the DoS said. “Li along with other Chinese agents personally instructed him to eliminate the two youths by poisoning. Three different poisonous substances were first tested in front of his eyes on two puppies and a chicken and then handed to him.”
Penpa Tsering is believed to have received more than Indian Rupees Eleven lakhs from Li Yuquan since May 2009 for providing intelligence reports and task of eliminating the above two youths.
Following the revelations, the DoS appealed “all sensible and right thinking Tibetans to cooperate with us in further exposing evil designs of Chinese security agencies by providing credible and timely information whenever they come across of any such nature.”
The local police chief later told reporters that they have arrested Penpa Tsering on suspicion.
“We were keeping an eye on him after receiving a written complaint from Tibetan security agencies about his suspicious activity and on Wednesday evening, we arrested him,” said superintendent of police (SP), Kangra, Balbir Thakur.
VK Krishna Menon, Nehru’s close friend and ally, was India’s representative to the United Nations from 1952 - 1960. Known for his outspokenness and unapologetic championing of India all through the world, Krishna Menon was referred to by various names by the media in the west.
Among his many epithets were: - Mephistopheles in a Savile Row suit, India’s Rasputin and Nehru’s Evil Genius.
I had wondered why this was, given that in all of Menon’s interviews, I’d judged him for a surefooted, but softspoken man.
I had my questions regarding this, wondering if the portrayal was accurate or if it were a deliberate attempt to delegitimize Indian ambassadors during the time of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Fifteen minutes into searching for answers, an old Hindu article told the following story, of an old Krishna Menon interview:
(Interviewer begins the interview by elaborating Menon’s background and education, in a very derisive tone)
Meet the Media Interviewer to Krishna Menon: ”That is wonderful, Mr. Menon; from log cabin to White House in a manner of speaking. But tell me Mr.Menon - is it true that you are a communist?”
VK Krishna Menon to Interviewer: ”Thank you Mr.Stormwell, I would like to return the compliment; you too, sir, have risen from humble beginnings, from selling newspapers in the streets to leading this distinguished panel. I believe that you draw a salary higher than that of the President of the United States. Now that is wonderful, Mr. Stormwell, but tell me is it true that you are a bastard?”
Currently, I have no more questions.
A Day In India - A short film that combines three weeks of eating, and travelling in India into one “day”.
NEW DELHI: The IPL spot-fixing controversy acquired a sinister edge on Saturday. Delhi Police sleuths investigating the crime said that D Company mobsters controlling the illegal betting operations were desperate to involve other young IPL players to join the spot-fixing racket.
According to transcripts of recorded phone conversations between bookies and gangsters, the criminals instructed bookies to threaten some young players with dire consequences if they refused to cooperate.
Cops refused to divulge the players’ names but added that the gangsters seemed desperate to drag them into the racket. “Sometimes, when a player refused to take money, he was threatened. Anybody would be scared hearing the names of Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon. But we need to verify all these things,” a Delhi Police source said.
The underworld was also furious at Ajit Chandila for forgetting to signal before bowling the ‘fixed’ over on May 5. In a conversation with a bookie, a gangster is heard using foul language while referring to Chandila.
In an intercepted telephone conversation, a mobster can be heard asking a bookie to get Ajit Chandila to act as per plan or the bowler would face dire consequences.
“Saala… kaise nahi karega, paisa liya hai”. Cops also said that Chandila definitely took money from bookies on several occasions and that they used to visit his house too.
During the interrogation, some of the bookies revealed that they often travelled with the players on the same flights and stayed with them in the same hotels. “The bookies deliberately stayed around the players so that the underworld could be informed whether the work was being done properly or not,” said the source.
Police have footage of a few hotels where the tainted trio - S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Chandila - are seen in the company of bookies. “We have footage of players meeting bookies and also the delivery of money as evidence,” said the source.
Officials also said that these bookies are part of just one group working for the underworld. They have been focusing their interrogation mainly on Ashish Aggarwal, Chandresh, Jiju, Manan and player-turned-bookie Amit Singh. Cops also suspect such groups of bookies all over India, who work in silos for the underworld with one group unaware of the other.
“There are hierarchies of bookies who report to a master bookie. We suspect he sits in Mumbai and is continuously monitored by Tiger Memon from Dubai,” said the source.
Kabul: Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai will be on a two-day visit to India starting Monday. He will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on enhancing strategic ties, security and developmental work in the run-up to next year’s withdrawal of western troops. As Afghanistan braces for 2014, we travelled extensively in the AfPak region to find out whether the proposed end of war would impact India.
Braving for 2014, whether the exit of western troops will end the war in Afghanistan or start a fresh round of violence is a million dollar question, an important one for India’s security concerns as well.
After the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Pakistan pushed the trained jihadis to fight the insurgency in India. Kashmir saw its bloodiest decade. 9/11 made Pakistan, America’s ally on the war against terror and gave birth to Pakistan Taliban - a group attacking Pakistan itself. Pakistan’s attention shifted to the western border and some experts believe Pakistan’s internal worries led to relative peace on its eastern front, one it shares with India.
Will Pakistan push the trained militants again in our direction?
Over the last decade India has earned immense good will in Afghanistan. At a certain point, the timing of soap opera ‘sans bhi kabhi bahu thi’, popularly known as ‘Tulsi’ here, coincided with the time of the prayers. This was taken up in the parliament of Afghanistan, so the shows timing could be adjusted. India has made friends across the ethnic groups through cultural connections and developmental work.
None of this pleases Pakistan. Rawalpindi has always thought of Afghanistan as a no go area for India, a strategic base for themselves in event of war against India. In the past Kashmir insurgents have received training in mountainous areas of Afghanistan.
Retired Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul of Pakistan’s army once headed the ISI. Credited in Pakistan for pushing hard line policies against India, he played a pivotal role in the insurgency that began in Kashmir.
He warns India of tomorrow’s reality. “Tomorrow’s reality is, if Afghan freedom fighters come out freely then they will give a fillip to the idea. It is going to kindle a new spirit, because yet another superpower has been defeated. They will think why we can’t do it, the Kashmiris will do it.”
In Afghanistan, the governor of Nuristan tells us, “Many border areas are full of anti-India groups. LeT is here, they are more powerful than Al Qaeda. If Afghanistan is a trouble area, if there is a war here, I think India will never feel safe. The war is going to come to their borders.”
Sources in the United States government have told NDTV, for months now the US has been trying to convey to India of a change of heart in Pakistan’s deep establishment, though most Afghan leaders like Amarullah Saleh, Afghanistan’s former chief of intelligence do not buy into that.
“They define Pakistan as a vulnerable country, which if truly put under pressure, may collapse. We don’t buy the argument. We see it as a calculative strategy. India should strengthen Afghanistan. Every spectacular attack in Afghanistan one way or another is linked to Rawal Pindi and every spectacular attack in India is linked to LeT. So why is the root of terrorism not drying up in our region? One primary reason is the ambiguity of the Western policy vis-a-vis Pakistan,” said Amarullah Saleh.
India’s decision-makers acknowledge that India’s own internal security would be at risk especially if the drawdown of international troops from Afghanistan leaves behind a security vacuum that is filled by militant groups backed by Pakistan. India is aware of Pakistan’s sensitivities but is not shying away for defining it as a long-term relationship with Afghanistan. India’s former ambassador to Afghanistan confirms “In terms of being able to contribute more to Afghanistan security, to regional security through co-operative activities, yes that is possible. But as always it is something that has to be decided and we have to take into account their requirements, we have to take into account our capacities, and we have to take into account regional stability. So whatever we try to do, we would do in a responsible way in a responsible direction.”
The Afghans want India to play a bigger role, not only in developmental work and investments but also security cooperation. While president Karzai’s visit is unlikely to bring any major surprises, sources have told NDTV, India has not yet revealed its entire plan for Afghanistan. Policy they say is work in progress.
Pakistan’s new Prime Minister says Afghanistan would be left to Afghans and has made all the right noises on relationship with India. The big question, will his words become reality?
Bacha Khan: Only a dead nation remembers its heroes when they die. Real nations respect them when they are alive.
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was called “Frontier Gandhi” by Indians.
Such is the respect Indians had towards him; nobody else would be given an epithet that equated them with the Mahatma in any way.