Monday, August 31, 2009


May like to see,1

Sunday, August 30, 2009



( To be read in continuation of my earlier article of August 18,2009, titled "Maritime Security Concerns of Japan & Prospects of India-Japan
Co-Operation" at )

Media reports from Japan indicate that as widely forecast by opinion polls, the Democratic Party of Japan ( DPJ) has won the elections to the House of Representatives, the lower House of the Japanese Diet (Parliament), held on August 30,2009,dislodging from power the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-led coalition, which had ruled the country almost continuously for over 50 years except for 11 months in 1997 when a non-LDP coalition ruled the country. The 62-year-old Yukio Hatoyama, a founding father of the DPJ in 1996 and its President since May,2009, who used to act as the media spokesperson of the non-LDP coalition in 1997, is expected to take over as the new Japanese Prime Minister.

2.The DPJ, which came into existence in 1996, was expanded on April 27, 1998, by merging into it the Party of Japan, the Good Governance Party, the New Fraternity Party and the Democratic Reform Party. The newly-expanded party had a liberal or social-democratic agenda. In 1998, as a result of these mergers, the newly-expanded DPJ had 93 members in the House of Representatives and 38 in the upper House called the House of Councilors. Naoto Kan, former Health and Welfare Minister, was appointed as the President of the party and Tsutomu Hata, former Prime Minister, as Secretary-General.

3.On September 24, 2003, the party was further expanded by merging into it the small, centre-right Liberal Party led by Ichir Ozawa, which had eight seats in the House of Councillors, but none in the lower House.

4.In the 2003 elections to the House of Representatives, the DPJ won 178 seats, increasing its tally by 85 seats, but still short of a majority. Following a pension scandal, Naoto Kan resigned and was replaced as President of the party by Katsuya Okada, a liberal. In the 2004 elections to the House of Councillors, the DPJ won one seat more than the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

5.In 2005, Junichiro Koizumi, the then Prime Minister, dissolved the House of Representatives before it had completed its tenure following the rejection by it of a Bill moved by his Government for the privatisation of the postal banking services and called for fresh elections. The DPJ did badly in the elections and lost 62 seats to the LDP. Following this electoral set-back, Okada resigned as the President of the Party and was replaced by Seiji Maehara in September 2005. He had to resign on March 31,2006, following allegations that he used a fake E-mail to make allegations of wrong-doing against the Koizumi Government. He was replaced on April 7,2006, by Ichir Ozawa as the party President.

6.The real credit for building up the DPJ, which started as a hotch-potch party of various liberal or social democratic factions, into a viable political formation capable of beating the LDP should go to Ozawa, who started his political career as a member of the LDP in the Diet in 1969 succeeding his father and as a political aide to Kakuei Tanaka, the legendary LDP leader.Dissatisfied with the policies of the LDP leadership, he and some of his followers quit the LDP in 1993. After his resignation from the LDP, he gravitated to the small New Frontier Party and then to the Liberal Party, which subsequently merged with the DPJ.Even before he moved to the DPJ, he had published a document titled a Blueprint for a New Japan, which called for electoral reforms and more assertive foreign-affairs and defense policies. As the President of the DPJ, he worked for gaining public support to some of these ideas incorporated in the Blueprint. He had to resign abruptly as the Party President in May,2009 after his secretary Takanori Okubo was accused of accepting political donations from a company involved in scandals.Ozawa, who had pledged to cleanse Japanese politics of corruption and wrong-doing, was embarrassed when his own secretary was allegedly found involved in political corruption.

7.But for this, Ozawa would have led the DPJ to victory in the elections and might have become the new Prime Minister. Ultimately, after the resignation of Ozawa, Yukio Hatoyama, who has been in the DPJ right from its inception in 1996, took over as the President of the Party and led it to a spectacular electoral victory, which would make him the Prime Minister.While Ozawa was embarrassed by the scandal involving his secretary, he has not been politically weakened. He still has many supporters and admirers in the Party and is expected to play an important role in policy-formulation either as a member of the Cabinet under Hatoyama or as a senior functionary of the party.

8.Hatoyama, who belonged to a blue-blooded LDP family, studied engineering at the prestigious University of Tokyo and earned his Ph.D. from the Stanford University of the US. His grand-father was the Prime Minister of Japan from 1954 to 56. His father served as the Foreign Minister of Japan for some years. Hatoyama, who started his career as a teacher, entered politics in 1983 as the personal secretary to his father.

9.In a personality profile on Hatoyama disseminated on August 27,2009, Mari Yamaguchi of the Associated Press wrote as follows: "Stiff and professor-like, Hatoyama is an unlikely figure to bring about major political change. He is not seen as charismatic and has a tendency to be verbose and dismissive. His shock of curly hair is often piled up on his head as though he just awoke from a troubled sleep. He has even garnered the nickname "alien" because he can come across as eccentric or aloof. During the campaign, Hatoyama appealed to voters with promises that he will cut wasteful government spending, rein in the power of the bureaucracy and put more money in consumers' pockets by holding off on tax hikes that the ruling party has said are in the works.One of his biggest departures from the LDP's positions is Japan's relationship with the United States, its biggest trading partner and military ally. He wants Japan to be more independent from Washington and closer to Asia. "We must not forget our identity as a nation located in Asia," he has said. But Hatoyama has also stressed he does not intend to change Japan's course overnight. In an opinion piece published Thursday in The New York Times, Hatoyama said the U.S.-Japan alliance would "continue to be the cornerstone of Japanese diplomatic policy." Polls indicate that voters want change — but not too much.
And Hatoyama's relatively conservative pedigree suggests that he's not going to seek any radical departures from what most Japanese feel comfortable with."

10.Some Japanese analysts view the victory of the DPJ under Hatoyama as more due to the disgust of large sections of the voters with the long period of corruption and cronyism ridden LDP rule than to any fascination for the DPJ and Hatoyama. Hatoyama has promised wide-ranging changes in the political,economic and social spheres. They are doubtful of his ability to deliver.Three of his promised flagship
changes are:

Regional sovereignty. He has promised to reverse the process of the over-centralisation of the Japanese Government under the LDP by transfering more powers and funds to regional authorities.

Breaking the nexus between the bureaucracy and the political rulers which, according to him, became the hallmark of the LDP rule. He has promised that he will ensure that politicians are responsible for policy formulation and the bureaucrats are responsible for implementation.

A shift away from the urban-centric policies of the LDP towards greater attention and importance to the problems of the rural areas.

11. He has also promised many lollipops to various segments of the population such as pensioners, farmers etc. Skeptics are doubtful whether he would be able to implement them and, even if he wants to, whether he will be able to find the required funds if he sticks to his promise not to raise taxes.

12.In the manifesto issued by the DPJ when Okada was the President before the 2005 elections to the House of Representatives,the references to India were positive.It said:

"India is expected to be a nucleus of Asian economic development in the 21st century along with Japan, China, South Korea, and ASEAN. It projects a unique charisma not only as an economic, demographic, and cultural/ philosophical giant but also as a huge democracy. Establishing and maintaining a close relationship, including strategic, with this India will be in the national interests of Japan and will expand Japan's diplomatic options."

"The East Asian Community should never become an exclusive institution. India, Australia, and New Zealand will be important partners when building a full-scale East Asian Community."

"Japan can also promote a joint sea lane patrol program against terrorists and pirates in collaboration with ASEAN, China, India, and the United States, naturally paying due respect to the sovereignty of coastal states."

13.At the same time, it contained a worrisome reference linking Pakistan's nuclear proliferation to the Kashmir issue. It said: "In the overall context of Asian security, WMD proliferation and terrorism are extremely important challenges. The new Japanese government will further promote the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and actively engage itself with the peaceful solution of the Kashmir conflict, which has led to the nuclear armament of India and Pakistan."

14.All these references to India have disappeared from the election manifesto for the August 30,2009, elections drafted under the Presidentship of Hatoyama. The only reference to India in the manifesto is the following sentence: "Play a leadership role in environmental diplomacy and encourage the participation of major emitter nations, including the United States, China,and India, in the "post-Kyoto"
international framework for greenhouse gas emissions reduction."

15.What are the views of Hatoyama on India? Does he attach importance to the strategic relationship between India and Japan? The answers to these questions are not yet available. If one were to go by the latest manifesto, Hatoyama's world consists essentially of Japan, the US, China, South Korea, North Korea (all mentioned by name) and "other countries". India has been relegated to the position of one of the "other countries".

16.Is this interpretation correct? One has to wait and see.

17. The text of the foreign policy chapter in the latest manifesto of the DPJ is annexed.(31-8-09)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )


( From the DPJ's manifesto for the August 30,2009, elections)

VII. Foreign Relations. Build a close and equal Japan-U.S. relationship

Build a close and equal Japan-U.S. alliance to serve as the foundation of Japan's foreign policy. For this purpose, having developed an autonomous foreign policy strategy for Japan, determine the assignment of functions and roles between Japan and the United States, and work positively to fulfil Japan's responsibilities in this regard.Promote liberalization of trade and investment through the conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. The measures will not include any which are detrimental to the safety and stable supply of food,increasing Japan's food self-sufficiency ratio, and the development of Japan's agricultural industry and its farming villages.Propose the revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. Move in the direction of re-examining the realignment of the U.S. military forces in Japan and the role of U.S. military bases in Japan.

Strengthen Japan's foreign relations in Asia with the aim of building an East Asian Community.

Make the greatest possible effort to develop relations of mutual trust with China, South Korea, and other Asian countries.Establish intra-regional cooperative mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region,particularly in such areas as trade, finance, energy, the environment,disaster relief, and measures to control infectious diseases.Take positive measures to promote the conclusion of economic partnership agreements (EPAs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as countries throughout the world, covering a broad range of fields including investment, labour and intellectual property.The measures will not include any which are detrimental to the safety and stable supply of food, increasing Japan's food self-sufficiency ratio, and the development of Japan's
agricultural industry and its farming villages.

North Korea must not be permitted to possess nuclear weapons. North Korea's repeated nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches constitute a clear threat to the peace and stability of Japan and the international community, and they certainly cannot be permitted.In cooperation with the international community, especially the United States, South Korea, China, and Russia, we will take firm measures,including cargo inspections, to induce North Korea to abandon the development, possession, and deployment of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and missiles.The abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea is a violation of Japan's sovereignty and
a serious violation of human rights, and we will make every effort to resolve this issue as a responsibility of the Japanese government.

Realise world peace and prosperity. Aim to build world peace that emphasise the importance of the United Nations, and play a significant role by taking the lead on UN reforms and other areas.Play a role in building peace by participating in UN peacekeeping operations and related efforts. However, such participation must be based on Japan's own judgment and must be placed under democratic control and
governance.Carry out anti-piracy operations according to proper procedures in order to provide security for maritime transport and make an international contribution.Promote liberalisation of trade and investment, in particular by exercising leadership toward the successful conclusion of World Trade Organisation(WTO) negotiations through such means as improvement of the dispute settlement system and a fundamental review of agricultural and other policies.

Take the lead in working for the elimination of nuclear weapons, and remove the threat of terrorism. Work toward a nuclear-free Northeast Asia.Make efforts to facilitate the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the early realisation of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.Play a leadership role in the 2010 review conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).To eradicate terrorism and its breeding grounds, study the implementation of economic assistance, strengthening of government institutions, and humanitarian and reconstruction activities, in conjunction with NGOs, and contribute to the eradication of poverty and to national reconstruction.

Friday, August 28, 2009



One used to talk of Pakistan as a State drawn by a troika----the President, the Prime Minister and the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), with the COAS often acting as the arbiter between the President and the Prime Minister when a democratically elected Government was in power.

2.This image did not hold good only between 1996 and 1999 when Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister enjoying a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly. He used that majority to amend the Constitution and deprive the President of the power to dismiss the Prime Minister and imposed on the State a powerless President (Mohammad Rafique Tarar), who would do his bidding.Pakistan came under a duality of leadership----the elected and on-paper powerful Prime Minister and the COAS, powerful on paper as well as in reality. When there was a clash of will and egos between the two, Gen.Pervez Musharraf, as the COAS, overthrew the Prime Minister and assumed the leadership.

3.If one keeps aside this brief period, the post-1971 history of Pakistan has seen repeated instances of an assertive Prime Minister being either overthrown by the Army or being dismissed or forced to quit by the President either at the instigation of the COAS as it happened to Benazir Bhutto in 1990 or with his tacit consent as it happened to Nawaz in 1993 and Benazir in 1996. The post-facto backing of the judiciary under the so-called doctrine of necessity enabled the President and the COAS to rid themselves of an inconvenient or assertive Prime Minister.

4. For the first time since 1971, the State of Pakistan is being drawn not by a troika, but by four horses----- the President, the Prime Minister,the COAS and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Since re-assumuing charge as the Chief Justice, a post from which he was unceremoniously thrown out by Musharraf, Mohammad Iftikhar Chaudhury has shown how powerful and popular a genuinely independent judiciary can become.So long as he heads the judiciary, neither the President nor the Prime Minister nor the COAS can count on the automatic support of the judiciary if they indulge in political wrong-doing.

5. Thus, one finds in Pakistan a President (Asif Ali Zardari), a Prime Minister (Yousef Raza Gilani ) and a COAS (Gen.Ashfaq Pervez Kayani),each equally powerful on paper, but relatively powerless in reality. Despite the action of the Chief Justice in declaring post-facto the proclamation of the State of Emergency in November,2007, by Musharraf as illegal and in setting aside the illegal orders of Musharraf
relating to the judiciary, Zardari continues to be powerful on paper and retains many of the powers assumed by Musharraf, including the most important power to dismiss the Prime Minister , which was re-introduced into the Constitution by Musharrf. But with a powerful and independent Chief Justice in position now, he cannot be certain that his exercise of this power of dismissal will be automatically validated by the judiciary. As a result, he has no other alternative but to grin and bear an increasingly assertive Gilani unless he is able to organise a revolt in the party against Gilani.

6. The power of Gilani derives from the fact that Zardari would find it difficult to dismiss him, but his powerlessness can be attributed to the fact that he has very little popular backing in the country or political backing in his Pakistan People's Party (PPP)----like Benazir and Nawaz had in the country and in their respective parties. Gilani, a Seraiki from Multan, was Zardari's choice as the Prime Minister to keep Makhdoom Amin Fahim, a Sindhi feudal personality and a close political confidante of Benazir, out of power.The party by itself would never have chosen Gilani as the Prime Minister but for Zardari's support. Gilani entered office as a weak leader, who would depend on Zardari for his survival as the Prime Minister, but has grown in office as an assertive and politically influential Prime Minister against whom the President dare not act so long as he enjoys the support of the Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and so long as Mohammad Iftikhar Chaudhury continues as the Chief Justice. But there is a limitation to his power imposed by his weak political base in the Party. The fear that in a confrontation, the party may back Zardari and not him acts as a check on Gilani. He is trying to neutralise this check by cultivating Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML).

7.Nawaz has been playing his cards more shewdly than he had ever done in the past.His humiliation at the hands of Musharraf between 1999 anbd 2008 has rendered him more mature and less impetuous. The man, who humiliated the judiciary when he was the Prime Minister between 1996 and 1999, has emerged as the upholder of the independence of the judiciary. The man, who in the past was prepared to side
with the Army against the PPP, has emerged as the well-wisher of the PPP. The man, who sought to concentrate all the powers in his hands between 1996 and 1999, has emerged as a seeming statesman for whom national and people's interests are paramount and not partisan political interests. He has retained his political manoeuvrability. He has neither assumed the mantle of the leader of the opposition nor accepted the role of a partner of the ruling coalition. The fear that in the event of a confrontation, the Punjabi and Seraiki MPs of the PPP might join hands with Nawaz acts as a check on Zardari.

8.Gen.Kayani, as the COAS, is powerful on paper, but not as powereful as his predecessors. The Army can no longer take the support of the judiciary for granted if he interferes in politics. The humiliation of Musharraf has had an impact on the minds of senior army officers. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, a former COAS had to run away from the country and seek to live in political exile in order to escape arrest, prosecution and conviction.In the past, powerful political leaders used to go into exile to escape the jail, but now a former COAS had
to seek exile to escape the jail. So long as the image of a humiliated Musharraf remains fresh in their mind, Gen.Kayani and his successors will hopefully think many times before indulging in political adventurism.

9. The powerful yet powerless syndrome has till now had a checks-and-balances effect on the running of the Pakistani State----the like of which it has never had since it became independent in 1947. Important decisions are being taken on the basis of a consensus reached by the President, the Prime Minister and the COAS----- whether it be in relation to the operations against the Pakistani Taliban or relations with
the US or tacit co-operation with the US in its operations against the Taliban or Al Qaeda. There seems to be no differences on these three issues. All the three have taken in their stride the increasingly active role being played by Richard Holbrooke, President Barack Obama's special representative for the Af-Pak region, who goes around as if he is the viceroy of Pakistan.

10. But there are differences with regard to India. Zardari seems better disposed towards India than Gilani and Kayani. According to well-informed PPP sources, whenever Zardari made some friendly overtures to India, Gilani and Kayani jointly sought to have them neutralised.According to them, whatever little co-operation Pakistan has extended to India in the investigation and prosecution of the
Pakistanis involved in the Mumbai terrorist attack of November,2008, was due to the initiative of Zardari and his confidante Rehman Malik, who is the Interior Minister. They say that it is Gilani and Kayani, who have been acting as speed-breakers on this co-operation.They are surprised that Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh showed what they consider as unwarranted gestures to Gilani, who is not a well-wisher of
India, at Sharm-el-Sheikh and snubbed Zardari, who, according to them is a well-wisher of India, at Yekaterinburg in Russia.

11.Zardari's political role till now has been uncharacteristically low profile. Gilani has taken advantage of the relative inability of Zardari to act against him to inflict one affront upon another on him such as his disapproving the posting of a non-Foreign Service officer close to Zardari as the Ambassador to France or his sacking on charges of corruption the head of Pakistan Steel, who is also reputed to be close to Zardari.

12. Zardari has quietly put up with these affronts. His low-profile role and his seeming reluctance to call Gilani to order have resulted in conflicting images of Zardari circulating in the political circles of Islamabad---- Zardari, the isolated President, Zardari, the disinterested President, Zardari, who has been playing his cards intelligently, but silently and Zardari, who is biding his time before getting rid of Gilani.

13. Which image is correct---it is difficult to say. The equalibrium in the State of Pakistan has thus far remained stable. If it turns unstable leading to a confrontation with unpredictable consequences, Gilani would most probably be the trigger for it. Till now, he has been assertive, but not over-confident. If he turns over-confident, Pakistan could be in for another spell of political instability. (29-8-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, the Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Thursday, August 27, 2009



Among the major development projects in Pakistan in which the Chinese have been involved till now are the construction of an international commercial port cum naval base in Gwadar on the Makran coast in Balochistan, the development of the Saindak copper-cum-gold mines in Balochistan, the upgradation of the Karakoram Highway connecting the Xinjiang province of China with Pakistan via the Northern Areas
(Gilgit and Baltistan), the construction of a small-scale hydel project in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the development of a mobile telephone network in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).

2. The commercial port in Gwadar has already been completed and commissioned, but it has not been attracting many foreign sea-going vessels due to the poor security situation in Balochistan because of the increasing activities of Baloch nationalists demanding an independent Balochistan. The construction of a naval base in Gwadar, which could also be used by Chinese naval ships visiting the Gulf, has also slowed down due to the poor security situation in the area.

3. The Pakistanis, since the days of Gen.Pervez Musharraf, have repeatedly sought Chinese assistance for the construction of a petro-chemical complex at Gwadar and oil and gas pipelines and a railway line connecting Gwadar with the Xinjiang province. The Chinese have till now not shown much enthusiasm for additional involvement in Balochistan because of the security situation. Since 2002, there
have been at least three attacks on Chinese engineers working in Balochistan. In two of these, Uighurs were suspected and in one in 2007,which took place after the Pakistani Army raid in the Lal Masjid of Islamabad in July,2007, the Pakistani Taliban was suspected. While there were Chinese fatalities in the first two attacks, there were no Chinese fatalities in the third attack of 2007, in which many passers-by were killed. All these incidents involved the use of improvised explosive devices (IED).

4.The authorities of Pakistan and Iran have been claiming that the Chinese have been showing interest in the extension of the proposed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to Xinjiang. Presently, the proposal for the pipeline envisages the involvement of Iran, Pakistan and India----with India participating only as the purchaser of the gas and not as a contributor of funds for the construction of the pipeline. Since 2005, Indian enthusiasm for the project has declined due to the security situatiion in Balochistan through which the pipeline has to pass and the US opposition to it.Pakistani and Iranian authorities have been repeatedly hinting since last year that if India withdrew, China might be prepared to step in as a purchaser of the gas as well as a contributor of funds for the construction. There has been no indication from the Chinese side on their reported interest in the project.

5.Chinese interest in participation in projects in the Pashtun belt has also declined following two incidents of kidnapping by the Pakistani Taliban of Chinese engineers working in South Waziristan for the China National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Group Corporation in October,2004, and in the mobile telephone network in the Dir District of the NWFP in August 2008. There was also an attack by the Pakistani Taliban on some Chinese meat importers in Peshawar after the Lal Masjid raid, resulting in fatalities.

6. As a result, the Chinese interest in participating in development projects in Pakistan is presently confined to Pakistani Punjab,Sindh and
Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, including the Northern Areas. In Punjab, they have been participating in projects like the development of a special economic zone, construction of shopping malls etc. In Sindh, talks have been going on for their participation in the development of the Thar coal mines and the construction of thermal and fertiliser plants.

7. The Karakoram Highway was originally constructed with Chinese assistance with the participation of Chinese engineers. For the last 10 years it has been in a bad state of repairs due to poor maintenance by Pakistani engineers.During the second tenure of Benazir Bhutto as the Prime Minister ( 1993 to 1996) she sought Chinese assistance for the repair and upgradation of the Highway. The Chinese agreed to it.
The proposal was that the Chinese would upgrade it on their side and the Pakistanis on their side with Chinese technical assistance. The upgradation work has been going on. It has been reported that while the work on the Chinese side has been completed ahead of schedue, it has been much behind schedule on the Pakistani side. It is not known whether Chinese engineers are participating on the Pakistani side and, if so, how many of them.

8.During his visit to Hang Zhou in the Zhejiang province and Guangzhou in the Guangdong province from August 21 to 24,2009, President Asif Ali Zardari, who met the local authorities and investors, sought Chinese participation in the development of hydel, thermal and solar energy projects, irrigation and fisheries and mobile telephone networks and in creating facilities for higher technical education, including the setting-up of a telecommunications university and research complex.Among the concrete results from his visit were:

The signing of a a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote cooperation in river fisheries and related technologies by representatives of the Indus River Fresh Water Fisheries Research Institute and the Pearl River Fishery Research Institute of

The signing of an MOU for the construction of a dam at Bunji in the Astore district of the Northern Areas by officials of Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power and China’s Three Gorges Project Corporation. The Chairman Board of Investment Saleem Mandviwala and Li Yang’an of the Chinese corporation signed the MoU.The dam, one of the eight hydel projects short-listed for construction by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), will have a capacity of generating 7,000 megawatts of electricity.

9.Zardari attended a presentation on small and medium sized dams, water conservation and irrigation by the Zhejiang Design Institute of Water Conservancy and Hydroelectric Power.Li Yueming, the President of the institute, said they had carried out feasibility studies of a couple of medium-sized dams in the POK.Shakeel Durrani,Chairman of the WAPDA, who was present on the occasion, said that Chinese
companies were already working on a number of hydel projects in Pakistan, including Neelum-Jhelum and Gomal Zam and the raising of the height of the Mangla dam in the POK. He said the institute would be invited to bid for the construction of 12 small dams.

10.Meanwhile, in a report carried by the "News" of August 18, 2009, before Zardari's visit to China, Kamran Khan, its journalist, alleged that without inviting open bidding from interested companies and investors, the Pakistan Steel has signed a non-transparent secret MoU with the Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) for a $2.2 billion expansion programme to raise its current production capacity of 1.1 million
tons to five million tons. According to him, contrary to relevant government rules and regulations as well as basic norms of transparency, the Pakistan Steel didn’t place any advertisement in the local and international press to seek the best international offers before entering into secret negotiations with the Chinese company, which was long seeking to clinch this deal. He said: "The most shocking element of this MoU, available with this correspondent, which will bind Pakistan with an additional foreign loan of $2.2 billion, is a clause that requires
complete secrecy of this understanding. Clause 6.1 of this MoU states: “This MoU and any discussions related to it shall remain strictly confidential between the parties and no public announcement shall be made without written consent of both parties.”

11. Kamran Khan quoted a Pakistani official as saying: “This was not our requirement but the Chinese company asked for this secrecy clause and we agreed.”

12. There have been allegations that a businessman close to Zardari would be a major beneficiary of this expansion project. The Pakistan Steel has become one of the bones of contention between Zardari and Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani. A day after the publication of the "News" report Gilani announced in the National Assembly that the Chairman of the Pakistan Steel Mills,Moin Aftab Shaikh had been sacked on corruption charges. “I had directed the Interior Ministry to investigate the affairs of the Pakistan Steel Mills and submit a report,” he said.Some Pakistani columnists interpreted Gilani's action as an affront to Zardari.

13. Since taking over as the President a year ago, Zardari has been periodically visiting Chinese provinces to study their economic development. During these visits, he does not go to Beijing. Most of his meetings are confined to Chinese businessmen and local Party and Government officials. A member of the Chinese Cabinet---generally the Foreign Minister--- goes to the province being visited by Zardari and
makes a courtesy call on him. Befor going back to Pakistan, he speaks over phone to President Hu Jintao. He has so far made four such visits to China in the last one year, including the latest one. These frequent visits to meet Chinese investors and businessmen have given rise to allegations that he was going there to promote the business interests of his friends in Pakistan. (28-8-09)

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )

Tuesday, August 25, 2009




Baitullah Mehsud , the dreaded chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is no more. On August 23,2009,he succumbed to injuries sustained by him in the US Drone strike on the house of his father-in-law Ikramullah in South Waziristan on August 5,2009. Hakimullah Mehsud, who was till now one of the deputy chiefs---- the other being Waliur Rehman Mehsud---- and in charge of operations in the Orakzai,Kurram and Khyber Agencies, is the new Amir as decided unanimously by the TTP Shura at a meeting in the Orakzai Agency last week.

2. This was reportedly stated on August 24,2009, by Hakimullah and Waliur Rehman in calls made to some sections of the media independently of each other. They have thus sought to put an end to rumours floated by Rehman Malik, Pakistan's Interior Minister, about a fierce succession struggle in which, according to him, Hakimullah was killed and Waliur was injured.

3. If the earlier US and Pakistani claims that Baitullah was killed instanteneously on August 5 after the Drone strike is correct----there is no reason to believe otherwise---- it is intriguing that the TTP took 19 days to admit his death at the hands of the US and even then attributed his death to injuries and projected it as not instantaneous. These 19 days were probably taken to decide on the successor and to identify those who had allegedly betrayed Baitullah to the Americans---either directly or through Pakistan. This long time shows that the Shura,which met in Orakzai and not in South Waziristan as claimed by Rehman Malik, needed time to sort out differences.

4. Waliur Rehman is a Mehsud of the soil. He had spent his years as a jihadi in South Waziristan, where the native place of the Mehsuds is located, and became a trusted confidante of Baitullah, his cousin. He was the man who controlled the coffers of Baitullah, who trusted him with money and wanted him to succeed him so that he would continue to have the control over the money.

5. Though Hakimullah was born in South Waziristan, grew up and had been known for his legendary exploits against the Pakistan Army there, he did not enjoy the confidence of Baitullah to the same extent as Waliur Rehman. Baitullah did not trust him with money and sent him away to Orakzai to co-ordinate operations in that Agency as well as in the Khyber and Kurram Agencies. Of the many tasks which
Hakimullah performed, three need special mention: first, disruption of logistic supplies to the NATO troops in Afghanistan from the Karachi port; second, the organisation of suicide strikes in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the non-tribal areas of Pakistan with the help of suicide volunteers trained by his cousin Qari Hussain Mehsud; and third, operations against the Shia extremist Sipah Mohammad members headed by Hussain Ali Shah in the Kurram Agency.

6. Many successful attacks on NATO convoys in the Khyber Agency gave Hakimullah large quantities of arms and ammunition and other equipment. He shared some of these with Baitullah for use in South Waziristan, but kept a large quantity for his own use. He also captured large quantities of arms and ammunition during attacks on posts and convoys of the Frontier Constabulary and other Pakistani para-military
units. Thus, after Baitullah, while Waliur Rehman will control the coffers of the TTP, Hakimullah will control its weapon holdings and its reserve of trained suicide volunteers. In terms of men, the "Daily Times" of Lahore ( August 24,2009) had estimated the total number of trained and armed followers under the command of Hakimullah in the Orakzai-Khyber-Khurram areas as 8000 as against 30,000 under the
command of Baitullah in South Waziristan at the time of Baitullah's death. These 30,000 armed men in South Waziristan are now expected to be loyal to Waliur Rehman.

7. Thus the Mehsud component of the TTP, which has been the most dominant till now and which has been in the forefront of the operations against the Pakistani security forces, will now have about 30,000 trained and armed men owing primary loyalty to Waliur Rehman and another 8,000 armed men plus an unquantifiable number of suicide volunteers owing primary loyalty to Hakimullah. Waliur Rehman will have to depend on Hakimullah for weapon replenishments and suicide volunteers and Hakimullah will have to depend on Waliur Rehman for funds replenishments.

8. For the present, the two have chosen to project a picture of unity and solidarity to all the units of the TTP---Mehsuds as well as non-Mehsuds. Whether this will last remains to be seen. Ever since the TTP made its appearance in 2007 after the Lal Masjid raid in Islamabad in July of that year, the Mehsuds under Baitullah have been its driving force. This will continue at least in the short term. An interesting feature of the post-9/11 scene in the Af-Pak area has been that whereas there were splits in the Pakistani Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) with one group under Maulana Masood Azhar forming the Jaish-e-Mohammad in 2000, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), with a group owing loyalty to Zafar Iqbal and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi forming a separate organisation in 2004 which called itself the Kairun Naas (Welfare of the Masses) and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) with some elements coming out of it and forming the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), Al Qaeda, the Afghan Neo Taliban under Mulla Mohammad Omar, the TTP, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI),the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) and the Islamic Movement of Eastern Turkestan (IMET) have maintained their unity in the face of pressure from the US. One should not, therefore, be surprised if the TTP maintains its unity even after the death of Baitullah.

9. While organisationally remaining intact, the Mehsud component of the TTP has been suffering attrition in the form of individual elements letting themselves be tempted by American offers of huge rewards for betraying their leaders. It is such individual elements which have been behind the impressive success rate of the US Drones in South Waziristan. Gnawing suspicions over US moles in their midst will impose an increasing strain on this unity. There are already reports of the TTP detaining Ikramullah, the father-in-law of Baitullah, and some membes of the family, who allegedly absented themselves from the house when it was attacked by the Drones on August 5.

10.Of the Punjabi terrorist organisations, three have been closely collaborating with the TTP components---- the JEM has been collaborating with the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) headed by Fazlullah in the Swat Valley of the NWFP, the HUJI headed by Qari Saifullah Akhtar was collaborating with Baitullah's men in South Waziristan and the anti-Shia LEJ with Hakimullah in Kurram, Khyber and Orakzai. While the collaboration of the JEM and the LEJ remains intact, there is a question mark over the HUJI. According to reliable police sources, the TTP now suspects that he was another mole of either the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) or the CIA or both and it was to protect him that the Pakistani authorities have again taken him into custody.

11. After the success of their hunt for Baitullah in co-ordination with the ISI and the Pakistan Army, the Americans have started a similar hunt for Serajuddin Haqqani, the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani. The Drones have started going after places, which were in the past known to be among his hide-outs. Surprisngly, almost the entire focus of the US covert operations, of which the Drone strikes are an important
component, were initially against the TTP and now against the Afghan Taliban.When the Drone strikes initially started under former President George Bush the focus of their hunt was on Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and other Al Qaeda leaders. After a number of unsuccessful strikes against suspected Al Qaeda hide-outs due to incorrect human intelligence, the focus has now shifted to the two Talibans. While the flow of correct human intelligence has been good in respect of the TTP, it is still poor in respect of the Afghan Taliban.

12. It remains to be seen whether Hakimullah as the new Amir will choose to co-ordinate the operations of the TTP from Orakzai or will shift to South Waziristan.Most probably, he will remain in Orakzai because of the suspected CIA penetratiion of the Mehsuds in South Waziristan.He will focus on identifying all the moles and getting them eliminated, continuing to disrupt NATO convoys, stepping up attacks on Shias in co-ordination with the LEJ and targeting the leaders of the Awami National Party (ANP) in the NWFP. The ANP is his sworn enemy.

13. Will there be an act of retaliation to avenge the death of Baitullah? If so, will it be directed against the Americans or the Pakistani Army and the ISI? If against the Americans, will it be in Pakistan itself or outside? These are important questions, but it is difficult to answer them now. ( 26-8-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical
Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Sunday, August 23, 2009



With the high-profile celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China just five weeks away, the Chinese authorities have stepped up physical security measures right across the country in general and in Beijing,Tibet and Xingiang in particular. Other sensitive areas receiving special attention are the provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan and Shanghai. Special security measures have been
taken in towns having a large Uighur migrant population.

2. More than the Tibetans, the Chinese have been particularly worried about the Uighurs and the suspected links of the Islamic Movement of Eastern Turkestan (IMET) with Al Qaeda. Reliable reports from Police sources in Pakistan say that Rehman Malik, the Pakistani Interior Minister, has been requested by the Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad to step up vigilance on the Uighur elements in Pakistan and
particularly on the activities of the IMET based in North Waziristan.

3. The Chinese nervousness has been increased by the outbreak of violence in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, on July 5,2009, and the failure of their Ministry of Public Security, which is responsible for internal intelligence and security, to detect the preparations for the violence by the Uighurs. The Ministry of Public Security was as badly caught napping in Xinjiang in July as it was in Tibet in March last year.

4. The Lhasa riots of March,2008, and the Urumqi riots of July,2009, have underlined the weak intelligence capabilities in the peripheral regions. The security authorities did well in preventing any undue incident anywhere in China during the Beijing Olympics of August last year, but their subsequent performance in Xinjiang was unsatisfactory.

5. The Chinese nervousness over possible threats from pro-Al Qaeda elements has been increased by the fact that the Muslim fasting period of Ramadan, which started on August 23,2009, coincides with the weeks preceding the October celebrations, which start on October 1, and will end when the celebrations start in October.Restrictions on the movements and gatherings of Muslims become very difficult during this
period and often prove provocative.

6. The security authorities of Beijing staged a simulation exercise on August 11,2009, to test the reflexes of the local authorites to a terrorist raid into the capital. Scanty details of the exercise available so far indicate that one of the scenarios apprehended by the Chinese security is a complex, multi-target, multi-modus operandi terrorist attack of the kind witnessed by Mumbai between November 26 and 29,2008. Similar complex attacks have subsequently been seen in Kabul, Khost, Kandahar and Peshawar, but not on the same scale as in Mumbai. The security agencies in all these places were caught napping.

7. While widespread disturbances of the kind seen in Lhasa and Urumqi would require dozens of law-breakers, a terrorist attack of the kind witnessed in Mumbai required less than a dozen well-motivated and well-trained terrorists. The IMET has such well-motivated and well-trained members in its ranks and could create havoc if they manage infiltrate into Beijing.

8. The security precautions all over China are being planned on the same scale as were taken during the Beijing Olympics. The "China Daily" of August 24,2009, has given details of some of these security measures. Relevant extracts from its report are annexed. (24-8-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )


Extracts from the report carried by the "China Daily" on August 24,2009

Over the weekend, police activated hundreds of checkpoints developed for last year's Olympic Games to beef up checks on people and vehicles entering the city.

Xu Ke, a driver who constantly travels between Handan in Hebei province and Beijing, said Sunday the toll station at the Beijing end of the Hebei-Beijing expressway has been fitted with new security-scanning machines.

Thousands of militia soldiers have also been deployed to watch key infrastructure such as bridges, overpasses, railways and highway tunnels, according to the police bureau.

Security measures have also been tightened in the city's subway system and key areas such as Tian'anmen Square.

All bags carried by subway passengers are subject to security checks, and armed police officers and plainclothes officers will patrol more often in Tian'anmen Square.

Bags taken into the square are being checked, China Daily noted over the weekend.

Taxi drivers have also been told to report any suspicious customers to police, especially along Chang'an Avenue, a major thoroughfare that runs along Tian'anmen Square, the latest issue of Southern Weekly reported.

The report also said the Beijing Radio Administration Bureau is screening radio devices in the city, especially near Tian'anmen Square, Chang'an Avenue and three "parade villages" where civilians and troops participating in the parade are exercising.

Meanwhile, gas stations have been asked to be wary of customers buying gasoline with containers. Stations are required to question the purpose of the purchase, and keep a copy of the buyer's ID card and contact information.

The administration also asks gas stations make contingency plans in case of emergencies, including terrorist attacks, administration director Zhang Jiaming was quoted by the local media as saying.

In June, a 62-year-old man ignited a bucket of gas he bought at a local station on a bus in Chengdu, killing 27 people, including himself.

Local communities have also been mobilized as an important supplement to police. The city's police bureau said ideally about 800,000 people would be involved, including college students, retired and self-employed residents. They will wear red armbands and watch for suspicious strangers around their communities.

Wang Taiyuan, a professor with the Chinese People's Public Security University, said these measures are a comprehensive system to improve security ahead of National Day.

He said unlike last year's Olympic Games, threats for National Day are more likely to come from inside the country than from abroad.

"However, the security work for the coming event is by no means easier. Some of the threats, such as Tibetan and Xinjiang Uygur separatists, may not give up the opportunity (to disrupt the celebration)," Wang said.

Li Wei, director of the center for counter-terrorism studies with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, also said the risk of violence and terrorism rose after the July 5 riot in Urumqi in Xinjiang.




In a broadcast over his FM radio station on August 22,2009, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, the Amir of the Taliban unit in the Bajaur Agency of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and deputy Amir of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), stated as follows: " The shura has appointed Hakimullah as successor to Baitullah Mehsud. The shura earlier had nominated me as the acting chief, but now I will be again
deputy chief.I shall continue to be the Amir of the TTP in Bajaur."

2.He was reported to have told the Agence France Press as follows: "A Taliban shura has unanimously appointed Hakimullah Mehsud as successor to Baitullah Mehsud.The shura meeting continued for two days and was attended by 22 members."

3. Media reports originating from Bajaur had also quoted Faqir Mohammad as saying: " ‘Baitullah is alive but he is seriously sick.God forbid if Baitullah is dead, Hakimullah will be his successor." It is not clear when this statement was made. Probably before the official selection of Hakimullah as the Amir of the TTP by the Shura.

4.The claims of the US and Pakistan that Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US Drone attack on the house of the father of his second wife in South Waziristan on August 5,2009, had been strongly refuted by the members of the TTP. If Baitullah had really been killed by a US Drone, it is difficult to understand why this was denied by the TTP because achieving martyrdom while fighting the Americans ---- any foreigner for that matter---is considered a divinely-bestowed honour for a Pashtun.

5.The TTP had also vehemently denied the claims made by Rehman Malik, the Pakistani Interior Minister, after the Drone attack that factional fighting broke out at a Shura meeting in South Waziristan to choose his successor in which Hakimullah was killed.At that time, I had pointed out that it was surprising that the Shura meeting should have been held so soon after the attack and that too in South
Waziristan where the Shura members would be vulnerable to Drone attacks by the US. It is now reported by tribal sources that the Shura meeting was actually held in the Orakzai Agency, where Hakimullah normally lives, on August 20 and 21.

6. In his broadcast, Faqir Mohammad did not announce the death of Baitullah. He merely announced the selection of Hakimullah as the new Amir.It would be interesting to see whether the TTP now announces the death of Baitullah and if so, what it attributes the death to---the Drone attack or his illness. Admiting his death as a result of the Drone attack would give him a place of honour as a martyr in the hearts of fellow-Pashtuns, but would at the same time indicate that he was probably betrayed by some fellow Pashtuns. Attributing his death to illness would deprive him of martyrdom while fighting the 'infidel' Americans and the 'apostate' Pakistani Army.

7. Hakimullah is known as the mobile jihadi because of his habit of constantly traveling. He is believed to be the cousin of Qari Hussain Mehsud, who is in charge of training suicide bombers. Both of them are natives of South Waziristan. While Qari Hussain operates from South Waziristan, Hakimullah operates from the Orakzai Agency. Till his appointment as the chief, he was in charge of the TTP's operations in the Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram Agencies. He was, inter alia, in charge of disrupting the NATO's logistic supplies to Afghanistan via the Pakistani tribal areas. He is believed to be in his late 20s and often moves around in a Humvee vehicle captured by his men from a NATO logistics convoy. He reportedly has a large weapons holding of NATO origin. He is healthier than Baitullah and more ruthless.

8.On April 1,2009, a Drone attacked with a missile the house of Hakimullah Mehsud in the Khadezai area of the Orakzai Agency. Twelve persons were killed ----- six of them followers of Hakimullah, two women and four other unidentified persons. Hakimullah himself, who was apparently one of the targets, escaped unhurt and warned of a retaliatory strike by the Taliban in Islamabad. The retaliation through a
suicide bomber came within three days. Late on the evening of April 4,2009, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the barracks of a company of the Frontier Constabulary (FC) from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), which is deployed in Islamabad on VIP security duties. At least eight members of the FC were killed by the explosion.

9. In the last week of November,2008, Hakimullah had invited a group of about 20 Pakistani journalists to his hide-out in the Orakzai Agency. In a report in "The News" of November 30,2008, Rahimullah Yusufzai, the Pakistani journalist, stated as follows: "Hakimullah, who could aspire to succeed Baitullah Mehsud one day, made some strong-worded statements in his maiden encounter with the journalists. He
threatened attacks against the PPP and ANP( Awami National Party) leadership for having ordered military operations against the Taliban.He made no effort to hide his group’s plans to disrupt the supplies for Nato forces passing through Pakistan and warned of a tit-for-tat response for the US drone attacks in the tribal areas. He claimed the Taliban could attempt to take Peshawar and other towns and cities “if
the rulers failed to change their pro-US policies”. The young Taliban commander remarked that he found no difference between Bush and Obama. He also felt former president General Pervez Musharraf’s policies were still being followed in Pakistan. Other claims made by Hakimullah were that Baitullah Mehsud was hale and hearty, that their differences with Pakistani Taliban commander for North Waziristan, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, had been resolved and that there were no Taliban in Karachi. He alleged that MQM leader Altaf Hussain was raising the bogey of Talibanisation in Karachi to hide his own reign of terror. He also denied Taliban involvement in the recent bomb explosions in Lahore.Obviously, there was no way to verify his claims. About the rise in missile strikes by US drones in the two Waziristans, Hakimullah
claimed the Taliban had apprehended and beheaded about 12 men spying for the Americans and guiding them to targets."

10. In the meanwhile, the TTP has undertaken an enquiry to find out how the US intelligence knew about the visit of Baitullah to his father-in-law's house. Ikramullah, the father-in-law, who was reportedly not in the house at the time of the attack and some other members of his family, who were also not in the house during the attack, have reportedly been detained for questioning.

11. According to local Police sources, the TTP leadership also suspects Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the Amir of the Pakistan branch of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), who had reportedly ingratiated himself with Baitullah and was collaborating with him.Last week, the Islamabad Police reported that he was found to be undergoing treatment in an Islamabad hospital for an injury suspected to have been sustained in a Drone attack and has been taken into custody. This is the fifth or sixth time Qari Saifullah has been taken into custody for questioning. Previously, he was detained for questioning in connection with a coup plot against Benazir Bhutto in 1995, the two attempts to murder Pervez Musharraf in December,2003, the attack on Benazir Bhutto in Karachi in October,2007, and the murder of the Surgeon
General of the Pakistan Army early last year. Every time he managed to come out unscathed.

12.The HUJI was not banned by Musharraf as a terrorist organisation either in his notification of January 2002 or in his notification of November,2003. No action has been taken against it by the present Government either. While the US has declared the Bangladesh branch of the HUJI as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, it has not made a similar declaration against the HUJI of Pakistan. It has not declared
Saifullah as a terrorist, No action has been taken by the US to move for the declaration of the HUJI of Pakistan as a terrorist organisation by the anti-terrorism committee of the UN Security Council. All actions taken so far either by the US or the committee of the UNSC, which generally acts at the US initiative, have been against the Bangladesh branch. It is suspected that the US and Pakistani intelligence agencies have been going out of their way to protect the HUJI of Pakistan and Saifullah.Is he a double agent working for the ISI against the
TTP and for the TTP against the Pakistan Army? That is the question which is reported to be troubling the new leadership of the TTP.

13. This may please be read in continuation of my earlier article of August 8,2009, titled "The Mole In Their Midst: The Top Guns of the Taliban Suspect Each Other" available at


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical
Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Saturday, August 22, 2009




Of all the jihadi terrorist organisations of Pakistan, there is one which has never been banned either by the Government of Pakistan or designated by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) or banned by the Governments of the European Union Countries or by the anti-terrorism sanctions committee of the UN Security Council.

2.Of all the jihadi terrorist organisations of Pakistan, there is one whose assets and bank accounts have never been sought to be frozen either by Pakistan or by the US or by the EU or by the UNSC Committee.

3.Of all the jihadi terrorist leaders of Pakistan, there is one who has not been sought to be declared as a terrorist by the anti-terrorism sanctions committee of the UNSC because this subject was not taken up by the US.

4. Which is that terrorist organisation and who is that terrorist leader? You find the answers to those questions and you will be able to make a fairly reasonable guess as to how the US managed to direct a Drone strike at the house of the father of the second wife of Baitullah Mehsud, the Amir of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan , in South Waziristan on August 5,2009, in which Baitullah was reported to have been

5. I have written repeatedly and extensively about this organisation and its leader. I am not going to say anything more.

6. It is for you to find the answers. (22-8-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

Friday, August 21, 2009



Revisionists, Stalin used to call members of the Soviet Communist Party, who questioned the Party's core ideological beliefs, expel them from the party and have them jailed for anti-party and anti- State activities. They used to become non-persons---no more heard or seen or spoken or written about. They just disappeared from public view and the pages of history.

2. Revisionism was seen as a serious crime against the Party and the State. Many critics of the party and the State controlled by the party just disappeared from public view after they were branded as revisionists. We saw this happen in the erstwhile USSR, the former Communist States of Eastern Europe, China, North Korea and Cuba.

3. We are seeing this happening today in democratic India in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In the eyes of the BJP leadership, Jaswant Singh, former External Affairs and Finance Minister and a senior leader of the Party, has been guilty of revisionism for reportedly projecting Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who played an active role for the creation of Pakistan, in a positive light and for questioning some of the
conventional historical wisdom regarding the role of Vallabh Bhai Patel, who was Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister under Jawaharlal Nehru for some years after India became independent in 1947.

4. Jaswant Singh has been unceremoniously thrown out of the Party in a humiliating manner because large sections of Hindutva opinion were outraged by his positive projection of Jinnah and by his analysis of the role of Patel. Fortunately, the BJP is not in power. Even if it is, Indian democracy and public opinion will not tolerate a political leader or any other individual being harassed for his political views.

5. Fortunately again, in this modern age of mushrooming TV channels and a vigorous and irreverent print media, no State or no party----whether communist or non-communist--- can render a revisionist a non-person any longer. Instead of becoming a non-person, the revisionist Jaswant Singh has already become even more well known than earlier----not only in India, but also in the rest of the world---
thanks to the unwise action of the BJP leadership, which would have made Stalin proud of them.

6.I have not read his book. Nor extracts from it in any print media. I only saw his interview by Karan Thapar. I would have expected Karan to question Jaswant Singh in some detail on his research, including his sources, on the basis of which he came to his revisionist conclusions. Karan didn't. No one has gone into his research methodology. As a result, one does not know how well-founded is his analysis of the
pre-1947 political events in the sub-continent, which led to the Partition.

7. I myself grew up during the independence struggle. Though very young, I was an avid reader of "The Hindu". I hardly missed attending the public meetings of Gandhiji, Nehru, Patel , Rajaji and other leaders whenever held in Chennai. My own recollection is that the role of Jinnah was not as positive as reportedly projected by Jaswant Singh and the role of Patel was not as negative as reportedly projected by him.

8. One can understand the BJP's discomfiture over the book and over the way Jaswant Singh has questioned the conventional wisdom in the Party. The right thing for the Party would have been to set up a small group of party historians to go into the book and come out with a rejoinder for the education of the party cadres.

9.Instead, by expelling Jaswant Singh in a humiliating manner and starting a campaign to discredit him, the party has once again exhibited disturbing tendencies reminiscent of those of Stalin and Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi during the days of the Emergency between 1975 and 1977.

10. One might ask why I say "once again". Remember the Tehelka episode of 2001 when the BJP was in power at the head of a coalition? Remember the manner in which the Government of India went after the Tehelka company and its chief for organising a sting operation to expose alleged corruption in the Government and the BJP? The company was reportedly ruined financially as a result of this campaign.This intolerance of criticism emanating from inside or outside the party has been a disturbing feature of the party. Unless the party leadership does an introspection and rids itself of the negative features of its working, its hopes of returning to power again one day may again be belied.

11.Another negative feature of the BJP, which has come to the fore after the elections, is the determination of L.K.Advani, its leader, to stick to the chair despite his ripe old age and despite his perceived role in the failure of the Party to win the elections. Contemporary history has many laudable instances of famous leaders graciously bowing out either because their party fared badly in the elections under their leadership or because they wanted to pave the way for a younger leadership to come to the top.

12. As examples of the former, one can cite John Major of the UK and Abdullah Badawi of Malaysia. Both of them were much younger than Advani, but decided to bow out graciously because their parties did badly in the elections. As examples of the latter, one could cite former Singapore Prime Ministers Lee Kuan-Yew and Goh Chok Tong, who were again much younger than Advani. They graciously bowed out as
the Prime Minister in order to pave the way for a younger leadership.

13. All of them continue to be active as senior mentors in their parties and civil societies, which listen to their views and advice with respect and follow them, when called for. Such grace does not come naturally to the BJP. (22-8-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. e-mail: )

Thursday, August 20, 2009



( Article prepared for "Eternal India", a monthly published from New Delhi )

There were eight jihadi terrorist strikes in Indian territory outside Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) between 2000 and 2003 involving a total of 120 fatalities including civilians, members of the security forces and terrorists. The break-up of these strikes is given below. The identities of the terrorists involved in two of these strikes could not be established. In the remaining six strikes the suspects were from either the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) or the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) or the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami (HUJI), all of them Pakistani organisations sponsored by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). There was also evidence of local involvement from the Students" Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). In one incident at Kolkata an organisation called the Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF) was also involved.

Year strikes fatalities


2001 3 17

2002 2 39

2003 2 64

2. During his visit to IsIalamabad in January 2004 to attend the SAARC summit, Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister, took up with Pervez Musharraf, the then Pakistani President, the question of continued Pakistani sponsorship of jihadi terrorism in Indian territory and reportedly made it clear that any talks between the two countries on pending bilateral issues would depend on Pakistan stopping the
use of its territory for launching terrorist strikes against India in Indian territory. Musharraf made a formal commitment that he would not allow Pakistani territory or territory controlled by Pakistan to be used by Pakistan-based terrorists for mounting acts of terrorism in Indian territory.

3. A joint statement issued on January 6,2004, at the end of Shri Vajpayee's talks with Musharraf said inter alia : "Prime Minister Vajpayee said that in order to take forward and sustain the dialogue process, violence, hostility and terrorism must be prevented. President Musharraf reassured Prime Minister Vajpayee that he will not permit any territory under Pakistan's control to be used to support terrorism in any
manner. President Musharraf emphasised that a sustained and productive dialogue addressing all issues would lead to positive results.To carry the process of normalisation forward, the President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India agreed to commence the process of the composite dialogue in February 2004. The two leaders are confident that the resumption of the composite dialogue will lead to peaceful settlement of all bilateral issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, to the satisfaction of both sides. The two leaders agreed that constructive dialogue would promote progress towards the common objective of peace, security and economic development for our peoples and forfuture generations."

4. A careful reading of the statement would show that while de jure Shri Vajpayee had linked the dialogue process to Pakistan carrying out its commitment to end the use of its territory for terrorist strikes in India, de facto he had agreed to the dialogue process starting in February 2004, without waiting to verify whether Musharraf carried out his commitment. He decided to commence the dialogue in February
2004, believing in Musharraf's good faith.

5. Musharraf did keep his de jure commitment as would be evident from the fact that there was no act of jihadi terrorism in Indian territory outside J&K between January 2004 and July 2005. After Dr.Manmohan Singh had taken over as the Prime Minister in May,2004,Musharraf visited India from April 16 to 18, 2005 at his invitation for bilateral talks. There were two significant sentences in the joint statement issued
by the two leaders at the end of their talks. Firstly, "they determined that the peace process was now irreversible." Secondly,"they condemned attempts to disrupt the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service and welcomed its successful operationalisation. The two leaders pledged that they would not allow terrorism to impede the peace process."

6. This meant a separation of terrorism from the dialogue process and an understanding between the two leaders that periodic acts of terrorism should not be allowed to disrupt the bilateral dialogue on various issues. Thus, Dr.Manmohan Singh had carried out the de facto and the de jure separation of terrorism and the dialogue process as early as April 2005.Hardly anybody in India noticed it or commented upon it. Why? The talks between Gen. Musharraf and Dr.Manmohan Singh were held against a back-drop of 18 months of respite from Pakistan-sponsored jihadi terrorism in Indian territory outside J&K. Indian public opinion was, therefore, not highly agitated over Dr.Manmohan Singh's action in removing the linkage between terrorism and progress in the dialogue process which Shri Vajpayee had introduced by inserting the condition " in order to take forward and sustain the dialogue process."

7.Shri Vajpayee, while expressing his belief in the good faith of Gen. Musharraf, had kept a Damocle's Sword hanging over Pakistan's head by making it clear that India would not hesitate to use a military or a para-military option if Pakistan-sponsored terrorists continued to indulge in terrorism in Indian territory and that India's continued participation in the dialogue process would depend upon Musharraf's honouring his commitment of January 6,2004. His mobilisation of the Indian Armed forces after the Pakistan-sponsored jihadi terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13,2001, was meant to underline India's readiness to use the military option if left with no other alternative to put a stop to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

8. What Dr. Manmohan Singh did in April 2005, was to remove this Damocle's Sword from the head of Pakistan. Pakistan interpreted the concessions made by Dr. Manmohan Singh at New Delhi in April 2005, to mean that if it resumed the acts of terrorism sponsored by the ISI there would be no disruption of the dialogue process, which would be "irreversible" and that it did not have to fear any military or
para-military retaliation by India.

9. This newly-acquired confidence of Pakistan that it did not have to worry about the dangers of any retaliation by Dr.Manmohan Singh had its immediate effect. ISI-sponsored Pakistani jihadi terrorist organisations as well as organisations of Indian Muslims supported by the ISI such as the SIMI and the so-called Indian Mujahideen (IM), which came into the picture subsequently in 2006, resumed their acts of terrorism in the Indian territory outside J&K from July 2005--- hardly two months after Dr.Manmohan Singh removed the Damocle's Sword from the head of Pakistan by deleting the conditionality dictated by Shri Vajpayee to Gen.Musharraf in January,2004.

10.On July 5, 2005, a group of unidentified terrorists unsuccessfully tried to attack the disputed temple complex in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. Their attempt was beaten back by the security forces guarding it. Since then, there has been a sharp surge in acts of jihadi terrorism in Indian territory outside J&K by ISI-sponsored Pakistani terrorist organisations such as the LET and the HUJI as well as by
Pakistan-helped Indian jihadi terrorists such as those of the SIMI and the Indian Mujahideen. The break-up figures are given below:

Year strikes Fatalities

2005 3 63

2006 3 241

2007 5 141

2008 7 335

2009 nil

11. A comparison of jihadi terrorist strikes outside J&K between 2000 and 2004 under Shri Vajpayee and between 2004 and 2009 under Dr.Manmohan Singh would be as follows:Under Shri Vajpayee there were eight strikes involving 120 fatalities.Of these, two remained undetected. Under Dr.Manmohan Singh there were 18 strikes involving 780 fatalities. Of these,10 remained undetected.

12. Since Dr.Manmohan Singh removed the Damocle's Sword from the head of Pakistan in April 2005, there has been a revival of jihadi terrorist strikes in Indian territory outside J&K after a respite of 18 months.The number of jihadi strikes has more than doubled, the number of fatalities has increased by more than six times and the number of undetected cases has increased by five times. The percentage of detected cases came down from 75 under Shri Vajpayee to less than 50 under Dr.Manmohan Singh. Dr.Manmohan Singh's tenure has been marked by the largest number of jihadi terrorist strikes since 2000 and two acts of mass casualty terrorism by any terrorist group jihadi or otherwise involving fatalities of more than 150 as against one each under Rajiv Gandhi ( the Kanishka explosion ) and Narasimha Rao (the
Mumbai blasts of March ,1993).

13. After the act of mass casualty terrorism directed at some suburban trains of Mumbai on July 11,2006, in which 182 innocent civilians were killed, one thought that he would reverse his post-April 2005 policy of a soft approach to Pakistani-sponsorship of terrorism in Indian territory and take a stronger line to make Pakistan pay a price for going back on its solemn commitment of January 6,2004, and for resuming the use of its terrorist groups in Indian territory. He did not do so. Instead, his attitude became even softer. A joint statement issued after his meeting with Gen. Musharraf at Havana in the margins of a non-aligned summit on September 16,2006, said: "The leaders agreed that the peace process must be maintained and its success was important for both countries and the future of the entire region. In this context, they directed their Foreign Secretaries to resume the composite dialogue at the earliest possible. The two leaders met in the
aftermath of the Mumbai blasts. They strongly condemned all acts of terrorism and agreed that terrorism is a scourge that needs to be effectively dealt with. They decided to put in place an India-Pakistan anti-terrorism institutional mechanism to identify and implement counter-terrorism initiatives and investigations."

14.The focus of the discussions at Havana and the joint statement was against " all terrorism" without specifying the Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. The reference to the act of mass casualty terrorism was merely in passing where it should have occupied the main attention. Despite the death of 182 civilians, Dr.Manmohan Singh stuck to his line of "the irreversibility of the peace process" even if the ISI and its
jihadi surrogates such as the LET, the JEM and the HUJI continued with their orgy of killings in Indian territory. Worse still, he agreed to a suggestion, which reportedly emanated from the US, for setting up a joint anti-terrorism institutional mechansim with Pakistan, which is behind all acts of jihadi terrorism against Indian nationals.

15. Even the July 7,2008, explosion of a vehicle with explosives outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul would not make him re-consider his policy towards Pakistan despite intelligence reportedly collected by the US agencies that the ISI was involved in the explosion. His reluctance to act vigorously against Pakistan after the Mumbai suburban train attack of July,2006, and the Kabul attack of July,2008,against the Indian Embassy strengthened the impression in the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment as well as among the Pakistani jihadi terrorist organisations that he did not have the stomach for retaliation against Pakistan. The more the number of Indians attacked and killed by the Pakistan sponsored and assisted jihadi terrorists, the more helpless he looked and the softer became his approach to
Pakistan. At least, that was the perception he created in the minds of the military and intelligence officers in Pakistan and the terrorists sponsored by them.

16. The inexorable result of Dr.Manmohan Singh's failure to act: The commando-style attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists of the LET, trained,armed and equipped in Pakistan on two hotels, a Jewish religious-cum-cultural centre and other public places in Mumbai, which started on November 26, 2008, and continued till November 28,2008.It was an army-style operation involving the use of hand-held weapons,explosives, sophisticated communication equipment and modern internet telephony facilities, which shocked the world and created feelings of anger and outrage in India.

17. The enormity of the public anger against Pakistan forced Dr.Manmohan Singh to freeze the composite dialogue process without disrupting the normal diplomatic relations between the two countries. He did so not because he was convinced that his earlier policy of appeasement of Pakistan had failed, but because he and his Congress (I) party were worried that if they did not give the impression of
taking strong action against Pakistan, it might affect the party adversely in the elections of April-May,2009, to the Lok Sabha, the lower House of the Indian Parliament. The resumption of the composite dialogue was made conditional on Pakistan acting strongly against the LET, its operatives based in Pakistan who had planned and got executed the terrorist attack in Mumbai and its terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani territory.

18. The Pakistani Government headed by President Asif Ali Zardari, under US pressure to act against the LET, gave the impression of acting against it and its operatives. It placed Hafeez Mohammad Sayeed, the Amir of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa(JUD), the political front organisation of the LET, under house arrest, registered a case under the Anti-Terrorism Act against five operatives of the LET named by India as the main
conspirators of the Mumbai attack and certain others, arrested five of them, started its own investigation of the conspiracy and shared its findings with the public and the Government of India.

19.The Indian expectations from Pakistan fell into three categories:

Firstly, mutual legal assistance in the investigation and prosecution of the Pakistan-based LET conspirators involved in the Mumbai errorist strike.

Secondly, action against the main leaders of the JUD and the LET, whether they were directly involved in the terrorist strike or not.India was particularly keen that effective legal action should be taken against Hafeez Mohammad Sayeed.

Thirdly, action against the anti-India terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani territory----particularly against that of the LET_-- in order to ensure that there would be no more terrorism in Indian territory emanating from Pakistan.

20. Of these expectations, the only forward movement ---though halting and only partially satisfactory--- has been in respect of the mutual legal assistance. While Pakistan has arrested five LET conspirators who, according to Indian investigators, were involved in planning the terrorist strike and having it carried out, it has not yet started their prosecution. The Pakistani authorities have been blaming their Indian counterparts for the delay. Only if and when the case is prosecuted and it ends in conviction can India be satisfied that there has been a genuine change for the better in Pakistan’s stand on the question of mutual legal assistance.

21. There was a seeming forward movement in respect of action against Sayeed. He was placed under house arrest immediately after the Mumbai attack. However, the case for his continued detention was not prepared and pursued in a vigorous manner---- as if the heart of the Pakistani investigators was not in his continued detention. The result: he was ordered to be released by the Lahore High Court before which he had challenged the legality of his detention. The Federal and the Punjab Governments have filed an appeal against his release, but have not been pursuing it vigorously on the ground that India has not provided any firm evidence of his involvement in the conspiracy relating to the Mumbai attack.

22. There has been no forward movement at all in respect of action against the anti-India terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani territory. Of all the pro-Al Qaeda jihadi terrorist organizations operating from Pakistani territory, the LET is the closest to the Pakistan Army and the ISI,which look upon it as a strategic asset in their operations against India. In the past, they had always avoided taking action against the LET under some pretext or the other and there has been no change in this policy.

23. Even though the US and the European nations are increasingly concerned over the links of the LET with Al Qaeda, its capability for acts of terrorism, which is second only to that of Al Qaeda, and the presence of its sleeper cells among the Pakistani-origin diaspora in many countries, they still look upon it as a looming and not an imminent threat to their nationals and interests. For them, the imminent threat is from Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Their present efforts are focused on making Pakistan act against the imminent threats while exercising only proforma pressure---- to reassure India of their solidarity--- on Pakistan to act against the LET. As a result, Pakistan’s inaction against the LET tends to be overlooked by the West so long as it is acting against the Taliban and helping the US in its actions against Al Qaeda.

24. Thus, India finds itself in an unenviable position. It is not in a position to make the US and the rest of the Western world act against Pakistan for its inaction against the LET. At the same time, it is not in a position to act by itself because it has denied to itself a deniable retaliatory capability ever since the fatal decision taken by Inder Gujral, the then Prime Minister, in 1997 to wind up any retaliatory capability as a mark of unilateral gesture to Pakistan---despite remonstrations by senior officers of our security bureaucracy that Pakistan has never been known to appreciate and reciprocate such unilateral gestures.

25 The Pakistani leaders----political or military--- know the constraints on India and are taking full advantage of them to persist with their present policy of seeming to act against the LET without actually acting against it. One of the major problems faced by us in dealing with the LET’s acts of terrorism in different parts of the country has been due to the failure of our political leadership and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to make it clear to the world through facts and figures ---- and not through rhetoric--- that the LET’s acts have a much larger
agenda and have no longer much to do with the Kashmir issue. Unfortunately, Pakistan has once again almost succeeded in making the US and the UK look at the LET activities through the Kashmir prism.

27. The Mumbai terrorist strike---the attacks on Israelis and other Jewish people, the targeted killings of nationals of countries having troops in Afghanistan, attacks on Western businessmen etc--- clearly illustrated the global agenda of the LET, but our political leadership and diplomacy failed to clearly draw attention to the much larger agenda. As a result, we are once again seeing references to the so-called linkages between the Kashmir issue and the LET’s acts of terrorism. Pakistan has profited from our inaction or inept action.

28. In the meanwhile, in the elections to the Lok Sabha held in April-May,2009, the Congress (I) led coalition retained power with the Congress (I) itself improving its performance as compared to the previous elections of 2004. After the elections, Dr.Manmohan Singh showed signs of wanting to return to his pre-November,2008 policy of separating terrorism from the dialogue process and treating the process as
irreversible whatever be the acts of jihadi terrorism against innocent Indians.

29.It was against this background that Dr. Manmohan Singh met President Asif Ali Zardari at Yekaterinburg in Russia on June 16, 2009.The two were in Yekaterinburg as the heads of their respective delegations to attend the summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) of which India and Pakistan are observers and not full-fledged members. In an assessment prepared by me before this meeting, I had stated as follows:"Manmohan Singh is not a man of confrontation. He took the decision to freeze the composite dialogue mainly because of the fears of a likely adverse impact on the voting in the recently-held elections to the Parliament if he did not take a seemingly hard line against Pakistan. Now that the Congress (I)-led coalition has come back to power----with the Congress (I) improving its own individual position in the Lok Sabha, the lower House of the Parliament--- he is unlikely to feel the need for maintaining the present hardline position on the composite dialogue...... Manmohan Singh would find it difficult to reject suggestions from the US for a political gesture to the Government in Islamabad by way of a resumption of the composite dialogue.... The question is no longer whether it will be resumed, but
when and how it will be projected to save the faces of both India and Pakistan."

30.The Manmohan Singh-Zardari meeting did not lead to a decision to resume the composite dialogue. It merely led to an agreement for a meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries to discuss the action taken by Pakistan after the Mumbai attack. It was stated that any decision on the resumption of the composite dialogue would depend on the outcome of this meeting.

31.It was also reportedly agreed that the two leaders would meet again in the margins of a non-aligned summit at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt in July,2009. Zardari, on returning to Pakistan, decided to send his Prime Minister Yousez Raza Gilani to Sharm-el-Sheikh. The Pakistani press attributed Zardari's decision not to attend the NAM summit to his unhappiness over some blunt remarks of Dr.Manmohan Singh on the
issue of terrorism at Yekaterinburg in the presence of the media before the two started their private talks.

32. Dr.Manmohan Singh's meeting with Mr. Gilani took place at Sharm-el-Sheikh on July 16,2009. The entire nation was expecting that the Prime Minister would stick to his firm line that there can be no resumption of the composite dialogue unless and until Pakistan gave satisfaction to the Indian demands in respect of unconditional Pakistani co-operation in the arrest and prosecution of the LET operatives
involved in the planning and execution of the Mumbai attack and action against the anti-India terrorist infrastructure in Pakistani territory.

33.Public opinion in India was shocked when the joint statement issued at the end of the meeting indicated that the Prime Minister had once again succumbed to the Pakistani position that acts of terrorism in Indian territory should not be allowed to disrupt the composite dialogue and that the issue of Pakistani action against terrorism should be separated from the issue of the composite dialogue. The
statement said: ".Both leaders agreed that terrorism is the main threat to both countries. Both leaders affirmed their resolve to fight terrorism and to cooperate with each other to this end.Prime Minister Singh reiterated the need to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice. Prime Minister Gilani assured that Pakistan will do everything in its power in this regard. He said that Pakistan has
provided an updated status dossier on the investigations of the Mumbai attacks and had sought additional information/evidence. Prime Minister Singh said that the dossier is being reviewed.Both leaders agreed that the two countries will share real time, credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threats".

34.What was disturbing was not so much the reported agreement of Dr.Manmohan Singh that "India was ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues" as the phraseology relating to terrorism in the joint statement, which would enable Pakistan once again to wriggle out of any negative consequences arising from its involvement in the Mumbai terrorist strike of November 26, 2008.

35. The relevant question is not whether Pakistan is against terrorism. All Pakistani leaders had said that they are against terrorism. But, not one of them had ever agreed that the LET is a terrorist organisation. Even the Pakistani judiciary has already pronounced that the Zardari Government has not been able to produce any evidence linking the LET or the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) with any terrorist movement.
The Lahore High Court judgement of June 6, 2009, explaining the decision to release Sayeed from house arrest,clearly said as reported by the "Daily Times" of Lahore: "About the Dawa leaders’ involvement in the Mumbai attacks, the bench observed that not a single document had been brought on the record that Dawa or the petitioners were involved in the said incident. There was no evidence that the petitioners had any links with Al Qaeda or any terrorist movement.”

36. The oral observations made subsequently in the Pakistan Supreme Court by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhury during the preliminary arguments on the appeals sought to be filed by the Punjab and the Federal Governments against the release of Sayeed made more or less similar observations and expressed considerable skepticism over the case against Sayeed and the JUD.

37. When senior judges of the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court have already expressed their skepticism in open court over Indian allegations of the involvement of the JUD, the political wing of the LET, in the Mumbai attack, to expect that justice will be done to the memory of the 166 persons killed in Mumbai-----123 Indian civilians, 25 foreign civilians and 18 brave officers and other ranks of the security forces--- by the terrorists of the LET as promised by the Pakistani co-operation against terrorism will be naivete of a very high order comparable to the naivete of Neville Chamberlain, the predecessor of Winston Churchill as the British Prime Minister.

38. One would have been at least satisfied if the two Prime Ministers had specifically stated that the two countries would co-operate against the LET instead of just saying that they would co-operate against terrorism. If the Prime Minister's advisers had properly briefed him before his meeting with Gilani, they would have drawn his attention to the following facts:

While even Musharraf banned the LET for some months after the December, 2001, attack on the Indian Parliament, Zardari has till today not formally banned the JUD, through a Gazette notification though his Interior Minister Rehman Malik has claimed that it has been banned. If it has been banned, why Sayeed has not been arrested for leading a banned organisation?

Zardari and his advisers have been saying that they had to act against Sayeed and his associates because of the declaration of the anti-terrorism committee of the UN Security Council that the JUD is a terrorist organization and not because they had any independent evidence against it. It was on this ground that Sayeed was ordered to be released.

39. Not a single reference to the LET. Not a single reference to its continuing terrorist infrastructure. And, we have provided dignity to Pakistan's baseless allegations against Baloch freedom-fighters by agreeing to make a reference to Balochistan in the joint statement in the context of terrorism by indirectly bringing on record, without naming them, in an official statement Pakistan’s projection of the late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and other Baloch leaders as terrorists. Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed is not a terrorist, but Bugti and other Baloch leaders were or are. That has been Pakistan’s contention and we have let this figure in the joint statement in an implicit manner.

40. This agreement, which seeks to white-wash years of Pakistani sponsorship of terrorism against Indian civilians and security forces, will make all those who died at the hands of the terrorists shed tears in heaven. The public uproar in India over the volte face by Dr.Manmohan Singh at Sharm-el-Sheikh and reports of unhappiness in his own party over the implications of his volte face made Dr.Mammohan Singh
and his advisers go on the defensive. Dr.Manmohan Singh denied that there had been any change in India's position of not agreeing to a resumption of the composite dialogue till Pakistan gave satisfaction on the question of action against terrorism. The Foreign Secretary, Shri Shivshankar Menon, sought to blame poor drafting for the misunderstanding that a concession had been made. Shri Shashi Tharoor, the Minister of State For External Affairs, tried to play down the significance of the joint statement by creating an impression that it had no legal
value. The reference to Balochistan was sought to be explained away as indicating India's clear conscience since it had nothing to do with the happenings in Balochistan.

41.The explanation of the Prime Ministerin the Lok Sabha on July 29, 2009, on the subject skillfully sought to control the damage done by the ill-advised and ill-drafted joint statement. It was ill-advised because it has enabled Pakistan to claim to the international community that our PM was satisfied with the action taken by it against some Pakistan-based members of the LET for their involvement in the Mumbai
terrorist attack , in the hope that this would result in a relaxation of the international pressure to act against the LET.

42. The international pressure on Pakistan to act against the LET has been there since the attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13,2001. It was because of this pressure that Musharraf banned the LET through a gazette notification on January 15, 2002. The ban is still in force, but has not been implemented effectively by either the previous Government of Musharraf or by the present Government of Asif Ali Zardari.There was intensified international pressure on Pakistan after Mumbai 26/11 because among those killed were 25 foreign civilians. It
was this pressure and not the bilateral diplomacy of the Government of India, which made Pakistan register an offence against five members of the LET and investigate their involvement and place Sayeed under house arrest.

43. As a result of the unwarranted certificate of good neighbourly co-operation given by Dr. Manmohan Singh to Pakistan, there are already signs of this pressure being relaxed. This would be evident from the absence of forceful international reaction to the farce of the legal proceedings against Sayeed, which has resulted in his being released from house arrest.

44. The joint statement was also ill-advised because it has unwittingly conveyed an impression to Pakistan’s political leadership and military-intelligence establishment that a terrorism fatigue has set in among our political leadership and that continued use of terrorism by the ISI against Indian civilians and economic infrastructure could ultimately make India amenable to a change of the status quo in Jammu & Kashmir.

45. The Prime Minister is right in wanting peace and good-neighbourly relations with Pakistan, but unwise in giving an impression to Pakistani leaders that he is over-keen for peace with Pakistan and that he does not have the stomach for a prolonged confrontation with Pakistan on the terrorism issue----whether the confrontation is political, economic, military or covert. That was the impression which Gilani
and his advisers would have got at Sharm-el-Sheikh and the Prime Minister’s statement in the Lok Sabha has not been able to dissipate that impression.

46. The Prime Minister made use of the dossier given by Pakistan before Sharm-el-Sheikh on the investigation made by it so far against the LET in two ways. He tried to project this dossier as justifying the action taken by him at Sharm-el-Sheikh. He also tried to score a debating point against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led opposition coalition by claiming that his Government through pressure had been able to make Pakistan concede the LET involvement whereas the BJP-led Government was not able to do this.

47. If the BJP members had carefully studied and mastered facts and figures, they could have effectively countered the PM’s claim of credit by pointing out the following:

There have been four acts of mass casualty terrorism since 1981. All the four were carried out when the Congress (I) was in power in New Delhi.

There have been three instances of targeted attacks on foreigners since 1991----two in J&K and one in Mumbai. All the three were carried out when the Congress (I) was in power.

There have been seven acts of ISI-sponsored aircraft hijackings since 1971. Six of them were carried out when the Congress (I) and one when the BJP was in power.

There has been one instance of an Air India plane being blown up in mid-air killing over 250 persons. This took place when the Congress (I) was in power.

The LET was banned by the Musharraf Government as a terrorist organization through a Gazette notification on January 15, 2002. The Manmohan Singh Government has not been able to get the JUD banned by the Zardari Government through a Gazette notification even nine months after the Mumbai attack.

Indira Gandhi was assassinated when the Congress (I) was in power in New Delhi. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated when an ally of the Congress (I) was in power in New Delhi and another ally in Chennai.

The Indian Mujahideen came into existence when the Congress (I) was in power.

The first commando-style complex terrorist attack in Indian territory by a group of terrorists, all hailing from Pakistan, has taken place when the Congress (I) is in power.

48. The PM used the dossier against the LET received from Pakistan in justification of his action at Sharm-el-Sheikh. A close examination of the dossier as published in the media and a study of the various statements made since February,2009, by Rehman Malik, the Pakistani Interior Minister, would bring out the following:

The Pakistani authorities continue to make a distinction between the LET and the JUD, projecting the LET as a defunct organization in view of the January 15, 2002, ban still in force and the JUD as a legitimate organization despite the declaration of the anti-terrorism committee of the UN Security Council calling it a terrorist organization. Their action has been confined to those who hold position in the LET and not to those who hold position in the JUD.

Till now, their action has been focused on the logistics cell of the LET in Karachi and not against the planning and training cell of the LET based in Muridke in Punjab and in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

They continue to project the Mumbai attack as the outcome of a multi-national conspiracy involving elements in Pakistan, India, Europe, the US and Russia.

They have been trying to claim that the role of the Indian elements has not been fully investigated by the Mumbai Police.

49. As a result of the pressure from the Governments of countries whose nationals were killed in Mumbai, Pakistan has embarked on an elaborate exercise of seeming co-operation with India in the investigation, but the sincerity of this co-operation is yet to be established. We should have waited till this sincerity was established. What was the need for the indecent hurry shown by Dr.Manmohan Singh at
Sharm-el-Sheikh for fresh talks with Pakistan?If we had waited for a few months more till a clearer picture emerged from the proceedings of the Anti-Terrorism Court, will the heavens have fallen on our heads? A convincing answer to this has not been forthcoming from the Prime Minister.

50. The Prime Minister used former President Ronald Reagan of the US as a prop by quoting his remark: “Trust, but verify”. Yes, he had said it. In 1986 some US soldiers were killed by an explosion in a West Berlin discotheque. The US investigators established that the terrorists had come from Libya. After verification, he ordered the US Air Force to bomb the training centre in Libya.Indian investigators have clearly verified and established that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai were trained in the POK. Will the Prime Minister emulate Reagan?

51. By posing this rhetorical question, I am not advocating a military strike against Pakistan if there is another Mumbai 26/11.There is a basket of retaliatory options available before one is forced to consider a military retaliation---political, economic, diplomatic, covert action etc. Instead of considering these options, the Prime Minister keeps on repeating that there is no alternative between talks and a war. This is the typical argument of an appeaser who wants to avoid having to take firm action and to retaliate. It is not surprising that the Pakistanis have come to the conclusion that Dr.Manmohan Singh does not have the stomach for retaliation or a confrontation on the terrorism issue and so they can continue using terrorism against India.This impression of helplessness also encourages the terrorists.

52. In a study of the Mumbai attack, the prestigious Rand Corporation of the US has stated that more such terrorist attacks are possible because the jihadi terrorists have found out that India has neither an adequate preventive capability nor an effective retaliatory capability.All Prime Ministers after Shri Gujral have neglected this vital task of building up a retaliatory capability. Even if we have one today, of what use will it be when the Prime Minister of this country does not have the will for retaliation and would rather appease the state-sponsor of
terrorism than retaliate against it?

53. The Balochistan issue has not been properly understood by any party or even by the strategic analysts community. There has been a freedom struggle going on in Balochistan for nearly three years. Many Baloch nationalists are living in political exile in the UK, the US and other countries.The Pakistan Government has been trying to have them deported by projecting the freedom struggle as terrorism. No country in the world has recognised it as terrorism.By allowing a reference to Balochistan in the context of the references to action against terrorism, we have become unwitting accomplices of Pakistan to demonise the Baloch freedom struggle as terrorism.Balochistan is Pakistan's internal affairs. It is for Pakistan to sort out its problems with the Baloch people. There is no question of our helping the Baloch
freedom-fighters.But we must not harm their cause by allowing Pakistan to use a joint statement with India for projecting the Baloch nationalists as terrorists.

54. Pakistan does not agree with us that the indigenous Kashmiri organisations such as the J&K Liberation Front and the Hizbul Mujahideen, whose leader operates from Pakistani territory, are terrorist organisations. It projects them as freedom-fighters. Why should we agree to any reference to the Balochs in a bilateral statement on terrorism? The question is not so simple as our having a clear conscience and hence not objecting to the reference to Balochistan. The issue is that in a bilateral statement on Pakistani-sponsored terrorism in Indian territory, Balochistan is irrelevant. ( 19-8-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )