Thursday, October 8, 2009

Punishing Mumbai Attackers

With emergence of fresh revelations relating to the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, the central apprehension gets confirmed that terrorists involved in the attack had direct links with militant organizations active in Pakistan, and the government agency. According to these revelations, the Mumbai attackers were recruited by the Lashkar-e Taiyiba (LeT) and trained by Pakistan's intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The charges of imparting training, supplying arms and ammunition, and extending monetary support to terrorists have been consistently leveled against the ISI from time-to-time.

There is a long history of enrolment of non-employee operatives and getting terrorist activities carried out by them. Pakistani security expert Asif Jamal has stated in his book that preparation of non-employee elements costs less from the strategic, financial, political, and military aspects. From this viewpoint, it is evident that the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies have been using militant outfits for proxy war against India.

Global War on Terror
After start of the global war on terror, the nexus between security agencies and militant organizations caused embarrassment to Pakistan at the international level. Amid global pressure, the Pakistani Government tried to break the contact between intelligence agencies and militant organizations, on the face of it. Owing to such a pressure, ISI and militant organizations endeavored to cover up their coordination. This coordination continues in a covert manner through former military generals.

During this period, militant outfits expanded the area of their support and influence. This expansion makes a crucial impact on existing military, ISI, and political circles. As a consequence, inductiveness invariably persists in taking action against militant outfits. Militant agencies like LeT are no longer under that control as they used to be in the initial period. These agencies have turned arbitrary. There is all likelihood that training and supply of arms and ammunition was carried out by intelligence agencies, and might be autonomous in respect of taking action.

Tantamount to Harboring Terrorism
The question is how military proves instrumental in execution of activities of militant agencies? If they remain silent even after having knowledge of everything and shy away, even then it is tantamount to harboring terrorism. Security experts maintain that given the relationship between militant outfits and ISI, the breakup of this relationship is not possible without political willpower. Acting as they do as forerunner in the proxy war against India, militant organizations like LeT are duly aware of loopholes in the military and ISI. They do not require any centralized strategy or institutionalized planning for security support from them. In the circumstances, there is no prospect of implementation of verbal assurances and paper promises until pro-militancy loopholes are plugged within the military and ISI.

The Pakistani Government cannot shy away from its responsibility by thrusting militant activities on non-employee operatives. The government will have to take the responsibility of ties between non-employee operatives and employees. The Pakistani Government can win the confidence of the international community by acting against organizations responsible for incidents like the Mumbai attack. This will make its intention clear to unruly officers, generals, and militant organizations.

No comments: