Sunday, June 7, 2009


International Terrorism Monitor--- Paper No. 533
B. Raman

Some years ago, when Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the blue-eyed warrior against terrorism of the then President George Bush, was the President of Pakistan, its police had arrested an individual on a charge of belonging to Al Qaeda, a terrorist organisation. When he was produced before an Anti-Terrorism Court, it asked the Government lawyer to produce a copy of the notification under which Al Qaeda had been declared a terrorist organisation. After some days, the lawyer went back to the court and told it sheepishly that the Government had overlooked declaring Al Qaeda a terrorist organisation.He promised that a notification would be issued shortly and wanted that the arrested person should continue to remain in custody till then. The court did not accept the plea. It ordered his release. It held that even if it was a fact that he belonged to Al Qaeda, he had not committed an offence because Al Qaeda was not a terrorist organisation under Pakistani laws.

2. Some years later, in December 2008 to be precise, the Pakistani Govt. placed Prof. Hafeez Mohammad Sayeed, the Amir of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD), the political front of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET), under house arrest in the wake of the Mumbai terrorist strike of November 26. The action was taken following the decision of the anti-terrorism Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council to include the JUD and the LET as associates of Al Qaeda and the LET.

3. Sayeed went to the Lahore High Court to challenge his house arrest. The Government lawyer told the court that the action of the Sanctions Committee obliged the Government to act against him. When the court did not agree with that contention and asked the lawyer whether the Government had any independent evidence of its own, the lawyer met the three judges privately and showed them what he claimed was independent evidence of the LET's links with Al Qaeda. The judges wanted to see a copy of the Government notification under which Al Qaeda was declared a terrorist organisation.

4. After some days, the lawyer went back to the court and told it sheepishly that the Government had not yet declared Al Qaeda a terrorist organisation. The court told him that if that was so, the LET's having links with Al Qaeda is no offence under the law.

5. The court, which ordered the release of Sayeed on June 2, 2009, released on June 6, 2009, the details of the grounds on which it ordered his release. One of the grounds says: "The security laws and anti-terrorism laws of Pakistan are silent on Al Qaeda being a terrorist organisation." The court added: "Even after the perusal of these documents we do not find any material declaring that the detention was necessary for the security of the petitioners and there was no evidence that the petitioners had any links with Al Qaeda or any terrorist movement.”

6. Thus, eight years after 9/11, Pakistan is yet to declare Al Qaeda a terrorist organisation.Osama bin Laden may be an illegal immigrant for having crossed over into Pakistan from Tora Bora without a valid visa, but he is not a terrorist under Pakistani laws. Is this sheer, shocking negligence or is there something more sinister to it? Does one require any more evidence to show that Pakistan's so-called war against terrorism is a farce?
7. Annexed is a copy of a report carried by the "Daily Times" of Lahore on the details of the grounds cited by the court for Sayyed's release,

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


(Report carried by the "Daily Times" of Lahore on June 7, 2009)

LHC full bench issues detailed judgement in Hafiz Saeed case

Bench observes detention decision lacks solid evidence

* Bench says Pakistani laws silent on Al Qaeda being terrorist organisation

* Points out negligence in detention orders

Staff Report

LAHORE: A full bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday released a 20-page detailed judgment in the detention case of Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Dawa leader Col (r) Nazir Ahmad.

The bench held that the government’s decision to detain the Dawa leaders was not based on solid evidence and the material provided by the government against them was incorrect and even prepared after their detention. The bench observed that the government had no evidence that Saeed and Nazir had any link with Al Qaeda or were involved in anti-state activities, except the ‘bald allegations’ leveled by the Indian lobby that they were involved in the Mumbai attacks.

The bench on June 2, through a short order, while accepting a habeas corpus petition, had declared the detention of both Dawa leaders illegal and had ordered their release.

The bench held the material against the petitioners was mostly based on intelligence reports, which had been obtained after four months of their detention. Moreover, these reports were found to be incorrect as nothing apprehended in the reports actually took place, it held.

The bench observed that several intelligence reports were obtained during the period when the petition was pending, apparently to cover the lacunae, but there was no solid evidence or source to supplement the reports. 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.

On the government’s point of view that the leaders were detained on the United Nations’ directions, the bench observed that in the Memoona Saeed vs Government of Punjab case, it had already been held that there was no evidence that Dawa had links with Al Qaeda.

Silent laws: The bench held that the security laws and anti-terrorism laws of Pakistan were silent on Al Qaeda being a terrorist organisation.

The bench held, “Even after the perusal of these documents we do not find any material declaring that the detention was necessary for the security of the petitioners and there was no evidence that the petitioners had any links with Al Qaeda or any terrorist movement.”

The bench observed that it was mandatory for the detaining authority to provide grounds of detention, but it violated the provisions of the constitution by depriving the petitioners of an opportunity to assail their detention before a competent forum and also to know the allegations against them.

The bench held that this violation of law alone was sufficient to declare the detention of the petitioners illegal.

Negligence: The bench pointed out the negligence of the detaining authorities in issuing the detention orders. It remarked that even the second order passed by the home secretary did not contain that it was an extension of the earlier order, but from the language, it seemed to be a fresh order. This showed that the executive authorities had passed the detention orders in a careless manner, and did not even know that the detainee was already in custody. On the question of the review board’s authority to extend the detention, the bench held that the status of the board was of a recommending body.

The bare perusal of Article 8 of the Constitution revealed that a sitting judge of the LHC, nominated by the chief justice, was a member of the board but even then the LHC had set aside the order of the review board in different reported judgments. The bench remarked that even the apex court had already declared that the order of the review board was quasi-judicial and was amenable in writ jurisdiction. On the question of maintainability of the petition, the bench held that it was maintainable, as prima facie the government had no sufficient grounds to detain the petitioners as a preventive measure. The bench comprised of Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Justice Hasnat Ahmad Khan and Justice Zubdatul Hussain.


B. Raman

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has kept up his campaign against China on the question of the alleged violation of the human rights of the Tibetans in China by the Chinese authorities. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, His Holiness has undertaken a visit to Denmark, Iceland, Holland and France at the invitation of his supporters and admirers in these countries. This was his first visit ever to Iceland. He had visited the other three countries before.

2. Keeping in view the Chinese sensitivities, the local authorities projected his visit as private, but many local Government leaders associated themselves with private functions organised in honour of His Holiness. Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller of Denmark met His Holiness privately at Copenhagen on May 29, 2009. Reacting to this, a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said: "This has ruined the friendly, cooperative atmosphere between China and Denmark. China expresses strong dissatisfaction and protest over this." Explaining the meeting, the Danish Foreign Minister said: "The meeting with the Dalai Lama does not change Denmark's policy or our wish to build an ever closer relationship with China."

3. From Denmark, His Holiness went to Iceland on June 2 and 3, 2009. His engagements included a public talk on “Compassion, Values and Happiness”, a visit to the Parliament House where he met the Speaker Mrs Asta Ragnheidur Johannesdottir and the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee and private meetings with the Ministers of Environment, Health, and Industry.

4. In Holland, His Holiness met the members of the Dutch Parliament on June 5, 2009 and called on the international community to make an independent assessment of the situation in Tibet and put pressure on China to end the "oppression". The Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted him as saying: "Please, international community, judge whether there is a problem or not. Go there and investigate. In case the majority of people genuinely are happy, then our information is wrong ... and we will have to apologise to the Chinese Government. If, on the other hand, there is real resentment to China's ... oppression, then tell the Chinese Government they should accept the reality and should start a realistic approach. Force is not a solution. My faith in the Chinese Government is becoming thinner and thinner and thinner, but to the Chinese people: we have never been shaken in our faith. Tibet's future lay within the People's Republic of China but with cultural and religious autonomy. We are not seeking separation."

5. While the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende avoided any meeting with His Holiness, His Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen met him privately at an inter-faith dialogue on June 5, 2009, at The Hague. The previous day, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the office of His Holiness released the following statement issued by him: " On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square students' democracy movement, along with others who take an interest in Chinese affairs, I respectfully honour those who died expressing the popular demand for the Government to be more accountable to its people. The students involved in the Tiananmen Square movement were neither anti-communist nor anti-socialist. Their speaking out in defence of the Chinese people's constitutional rights, in favour of democracy, and taking a stand against corruption, truly conformed to the underlying beliefs of the Chinese Communist Government. This was confidently stated by the then party chief Zhao Ziyang. Therefore, the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China presents a great opportunity to review the events of June 4, 1989. Great changes have taken place in the People's Republic of China since 1989. Today, it is a global economic power poised to become a superpower. It is my hope that the Chinese leaders have the courage and far-sightedness to embrace more truly egalitarian principles and pursue a policy of greater accommodation and tolerance of diverse views. A policy of openness and realism can lead to greater trust and harmony within China and enhance its international standing as a truly great nation."

6. His Holiness arrived in Paris on June 6, 2009, to receive the award of the honorary citizen of Paris. He told the media on his arrival: "China has imposed a death sentence on Tibet. Since March 2008 I have the feeling that a very old nation and its heritage and culture have received a death sentence. The Chinese Government makes a hard line policy, but the Chinese people are ignorant of the situation. The international community must go there to investigate, without restrictions." Lionnel Luca, President of the French Parliament's 170-strong Tibet Studies Group, who met His Holiness after his arrival, said: "He seemed to us very pessimistic. For the first time he told us that the March 2008 events were a provocation by the Chinese authorities. The Dalai Lama accused the Chinese state of sending its agents to smash up shops in an effort to blacken the name of Tibetan protest movements. "Luca belongs to the ruling party of President Nicloas Sarkozy.

7. In addition to statements by the Chinese Foreign Ministry condemning His Holiness' visit to these countries, the Government-controlled Chinese media also encouraged a discussion on the Dalai Lama in the discussion groups of their web sites. The following are typical of some of the comments in a discussion group of the "People's Daily":

"In Kashmir there is a permanent riot by Muslim against Hindu."

"Best to think beyond just one country"s border to embrace the entire world and recognize that we all breathe the same air. "

"Tibet is Chinese and Chinese are Tibetans."

"The Chinese Govt should not let this puppet of West & India Dalai Lama let down the great Chinese Government. Dalai Lama has been bought for a few dollars by the Western & Indian govts. Why does not India give freedom to Kashmir and wants Tibet to have its freedom? Why these double standards? Kashmir is an independant state occupied by Indians while Tibet is an integral part of China."

"China has little respect for any culture but its own. Look at their history of assimilation, repression of freedoms, and religious distrust. Another example is the closing of websites for the purpose of denying their own people from growth and exploration. Tibetans have been reduced to the situation in Dharmsala by the Chinese Government."

"Dalai says, "go to Tibet and see the hell on earth for yourselves". Why not go to Dharmasala and see what a pig sty the Tibetans have made of this once pastoral mountain retreat? The garbage is piled up as high on street corners and the Dalai Lama's own pile of words that trash out others. What a monk? Did he ever take vows? Rememeber proper speech, conduct, livlihood and so forth?"

"China alway has to be mindful that Western countries attempting to use human rights, freedom of expression and other tricks to create internal chaos inside China. It is easier to use Dalai Lama as a tool for this purpose. Never let your guard down China, overseas Chinese will back you all the way. "

"Why would any country want to keep a region that does not actually want to be part of that country? Why do you fear secession so much? Is China not big enough to cope with a few more neighbours? "

" The US fought a civil war to keep the South from secession. China is not the only country to want to keep the country from splitting apart. "

" Why do you assume that the Dalai and his gang speak for a whole region? And what would the Dalai and his gang take Tibet back to if allowed to separate? What do you really "know" about the true nature and intentions of the Dalai and his groupies? What do you really "know" about what life was like in Tibet under the Dalai (for the masses not for a few parasites)? "

"I have had the most success in trying to expose the ugly side and intentions of the so-called Dalai by showing the accounts of the hard-core Nazis who went on their expedition to Tibet in 1938 (some of whom, like Dr. Bruno Berger, became lifelong friends of the Dalai) and praised the system of Tibet under the Dalai as the kind of system of barbarism and cruelty that they believed in and sought to build in Germany and throughout the world."

"Most Tibetans would rather be Chinese than going back to backward, impoverished serfdom under the Dalai Lama with no modern roads and communications. It's the Dalai Lama's followers and ignorant racist Americans who are spewing all the lies and anti-Chinese hatred. "

"Sources of some of the facts on the Dalai? National Geographic Special and History Channel Special on The Nazi Expedition to Tibet; "Himmler"s Crusade" by Christopher Hale; "The CIA"s Secret War in Tibet" by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison"

"Please take a note. With the previous riots done by the Dalai Lama’s cliques and supported by the UN countries and the U.S., now it is time for China to make a comeback by promoting a campaign for the charity in the name of Tibet’s progress by stating in all Chinese cities, the Dalai Lama and his buffoon flock aren’t the legitimate people to represent the Tibet majority of people, and at the same time to show that Chinese people are committed to the cause of Tibet."

"If the truth on Tibet was as this newspaper continually rants then there would be no need for the ranting. The fact is that this newspaper carries on an endless and constant series of attacks on the Dalai Lama and Tibet secessionists without EVER printing the opposing view, as does its master the CPC. That tells me that not even the people writing here on this topic believe what they say, they are merely trying to shout the loudest and hope it is accepted as the "truth".

"The best way to see the truth is to master the Chinese language. By doing that you will be able to read the historical records dated back to the nationalist regime, the Qing Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty, the Yuan Dynasty and others. Then you will know that China"s sovereignty over Tibet and the theocratic system in Tibet isn't something cooked up by People"s Republic Government in the last 60 years."

"What you said is really trivial. Who cares? But we must continue to search for facts ourselves. The insurmountable obstacle to a better understanding of China is often in our own hearts. It is time to drop the prejudice, and see China ourselves."

"Please read what the Western Shugden Society says about Dalai Lama."

"Please educate the whole world about the truth of old Tibet and the progress of Tibet over the last 50 years. China under CPC has not only united the country physically but spiritually as well. Tibetans look just like the rest of Chinese. Tibetans are so nice, gentle, calm and full of life. China and every Chinese will not tolerate any foreign country interfere with Chinese internal affairs. As a 4th generation overseas Chinese descendent in USA, I love you China, Tibet, President Hu."

" Dalai Lama is really boring. He excommunicated all the Shugden Monks, Monasteries and any private individuals for making fun of his ridiculous position that has caused him to commit Political Suicide. Keep up the education and make Barack Obama aware of this Wolf in Sheep Clothing and tell Pelosi to stick with her Catholic roots. She is acting like a school girl."

"I remember when President Jiang Zemin came to the United States some ten years ago. He told questioning students at Harvard University that the Chinese Liberation of Tibet was similar to the United States liberation of the slaves in the South during our civil war. Since then I have looked into the history of Tibet, and have been horrified at the crimes against the Tibetan people perpetrated during the feudal system ruled by the Tibetan Buddhists. Shame on them and shame on the Dalai Lama."

"I think as long as we can remind ourselves to remain objective, and read about China from different sources of information, it is not too difficult to see China in the proper perspective. By doing so, it will become difficult for people like Dalai Lama and his supporters to mislead us. I believed in what Dalai Lama and his supporters said for a while, and later on I found that their stories do not add up."

(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:


B. Raman

We have had enquiries in the past into national security lapses and disasters such as our humiliation at the hands of China in 1962, intelligence failures during the Indo-Pak war of 1965 and the revolt in Mizoram in 1966, the security failures resulting in the assassinations of Indira Gandhi in October, 1984 and Rajiv Gandhi in May, 1991, and our being taken by surprise by the Pakistan Army in the Kargil heights in 1999.

2. The report of the enquiry into the Chinese occupation of our territory was never released to the public, but we do know that many of the actions taken by the Government of India post-1962 for revamping our national security management were the result of the deficiencies identified during the enquiry. Similarly, the report of the enquiries into the lapses during the 1965 war and the Mizo uprising was not released to the public, but we do know that the creation of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) was a result of these enquiries. The reports of the other enquiries were released to the public by the Governments of Rajiv Gandhi, Narasimha Rao and Atal Behari Vajpayee. Whatever be the merits of the follow-up action, no attempt was made by any of those governments to cover up the failures and deficiencies.

3. Since 2000 the world has seen a series of major terrorist strikes--- the attack on the US naval ship USS Cole off Aden in October, 2000, 9/11 in the US, the explosion in Bali in October 2002, the Madrid explosions in March 2004 and the London explosions in July, 2005. Each and every one of those terrorist strikes was followed by a detailed enquiry ordered by the Government in power in order to identify deficiencies and faults, which enabled the terrorists to succeed. No attempt was made by any of those Governments to cover up the sins of omission and commission, which made those terrorist strikes possible. Follow-up action was taken to see that similar acts of negligence were not repeated in future and that identified deficiencies were rectified. The conclusions of the enquiries were made known to the public and were discussed by their respective legislatures.

4. On February 27, 2008, Mas Selamat Kastari, said to be a leader of the Singapore branch of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), escaped from a high security detention centre of Singapore. The escape of this dreaded terrorist created alarm and concern in Singapore about the state of their security agencies. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave his word of honour to the Parliament and the public that he would see that a thorough enquiry would be held to find out how he escaped, to identify the acts of negligence and take necessary follow-up action. He promised that there would be no cover-up and that the enquiry report would be released to the public and discussed in Parliament. He kept his word of honour.

5. Between November 26 and 28, 2008, Mumbai witnessed what has been described by many international terrorism experts as the most daring terrorist strike anywhere in the world since the 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US. Nearly 170 persons, the majority of them civilians, including some foreigners of different nationalities and some brave police officers, were killed. The terrorists had virtual control of two leading hotels of Mumbai and a Jewish religious-cum-cultural centre for three days.

6. The terrorist strike, which was seen by the entire world on TV, caused such an alarm that some leading think-tanks of the world such as the Rand Corporation have already brought out detailed studies on the incident. The Homeland Security Committees of the US Congress held detailed sessions on the incident for which they invited leading experts to give their assessment of the incident.

7. The conclusion of some of these studies was that India neither had the required preventive capability nor the retaliatory capability to deal satisfactorily with incidents of this nature and hence, one cannot rule out repeats of Mumbai style attacks.

8. The terrorist strike took place in our territory. Our people were killed. An attempt was made tro shake the confidence of foreigners ---- especially businessmen--- about the security of life and property in India. We should have been the most concerned to find out what happened so that we can see that this does not happen again.

9. One would have expected the Governments of India and Maharashtra to order a joint comprehensive and independent enquiry similar to the enquiries held in our own country in the past and similar to those held in other countries since 2000 to identify the sins of commission and omission and the weak points in our counter-terrorism management and to take follow-up action. Unfortunately, the Government of India focused largely on Pakistan's involvement in the strike and avoided any independent enquiry into its own responsibility and that of the Government of Maharashtra, which made the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Lashkar-e-Toiba succeed in such a spectacular manner.

10. The Government of India was successful in its cover-up exercise because neither the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership nor the other opposition parties, whose responsibility it was to see that there was no cover-up, failed to exercise this responsibility. By their confused inaction, the BJP and other opposition parties played into the hands of the Government and unwittingly facilitated its cover-up exercise. Nobody asked questions about our own failures at New Delhi as well as in Mumbai.

11. While the Government of India successfully avoided any enquiry, the Government of Maharashtra did order an enquiry into the role of the Mumbai police. It set up a two-member enquiry commiittee consisting of R.D.Pradhan, an officer of the IAS cadre of Maharashtra, who had served as the Union Home Secretary, and V.Balachandran, an officer of the IPS cadre of Maharashtra, who had served for two decades in the R&AW and retired in June, 1995, as a Special Secretary. The enquiry committee has completed its work and submitted its report to the Government. The Government of Maharashtra has reportedly promised to lay the report on the table of the State Assembly along with an action taken report.

12. This was what the Vajpayee Government did in respect of the enquiry report by the Kargil Review Committee, headed by K.Subramanyam, the strategic analyst, who was at that time Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board. While there was a wide dissemination of the report and its critical findings, the only substantial discussion of the report was in the media. As a follow-up, the Government also set up a number of Special Task Forces to look into various aspects of national security management such as internal security, border security management, higher defence management and the revamping of the intelligence set-up. An exercise for strengthening national security management on the basis of the recommendations of these task forces was undertaken. Details of the recommendations of all the task forces except the one on the intelligence set-up were released to the public.

13. Anybody who had watched the TV during those three horrible days and read everything that was available to read about the terrorist strike would have noticed that there were apparent lapses which made the strike possible. According to sections of the New Delhi-based national newspapers, intelligence was available, but not complete and continuous. Two reports in September, none in October and one just before the strike. The follow-up action even on the available intelligence was ill-co-ordinated. Emergency response after the strike left much to be desired. There were complaints about inadequate and unsatisfactory protective equipment. The quality of the perational leadership at the counter-terrorism nodal points was criticised. There was an inadequate culture of joint action by various agencies responsible for counter-terrorism.

14. In his statement to the Lok Sabha after taking over as the Home Minister after the Mumbai attack, Shri P.Chidambaram admitted that the responsibility for follow-up action on even the available intelligence was diffused. It must be said to his credit that even though a formal enquiry of an independent nature was not held, he apparently made his own in-house enquiry to determine the deficiencies and correct them. He has tightened up our internal security management system and has been taking active interest in ensuring that the system would function as it should. The fact that an independent enquiry was not held does not mean that a comprehensive in-house exercise was not undertaken to identify and correct deficiencies.

15. But the public of this country and its legislators have a right to know what went wrong and why. The national security management system is funded by the tax-payers' money. When a terrorist strike takes place, it is their lives and those of their relatives that are affected. By denying the public knowledge of the acts of commission and omission, the political leadership is denying the public and the opposition an opportunity to judge whether the tax-payers' money allocated for counter-terrorism is being spent efficiently. The successful functioning of the national security management system depends not only on the quality of the various components of the system, but also on the co-operation which it is able to get from the public. The readiness of the public to co-operate will depend on the system's credibility in the eyes of the public. If the public is kept in the dark, how can it have the required confidence in the system? Today's terrorism is trans-national. Our ability to deal with it depends not only on our capabilities, but also on the co-operation received from other countries. If the others find that we do not have the moral courage to look into our deficiencies and admit them, what incentive they will have to improve their co-operation with us?

16. In the light of this, we should have followed the example of other countries and held a comprehensive and independent enquiry, different from an in-house enquiry. One was surprised to note that Shri Chidambaram firmly rejected on June 5, 2009, the demand of Shri L.K.Advani, the leader of the opposition, for such an enquiry. In an interview to some journalists, he gave the following reasons for his rejecting the demand: Firstly, the demand is belated as it came six months after the terrorist attack. Secondly, the Vajpayee Government did not hold an enquiry into the hijacking of an aircraft of the Indian Airlines by some terrorists to Kandahar in December 1999 and into the attempted attack on the Indian Parliament in December, 2001.

17. The attack on the Parliament was not an instance of security failure. It was an instance of security success. That was why the terrorists did not succeed. Kandahar was an instance of failure by the then Government. An enquiry should have been held, but the fact that no enquiry was held by the BJP-led Government should not be cited as a ground for not holding an independent enquiry into the Mumbai attack.

18. Shri Chidambaram is right in pointing out the belated nature of the BJP demand, but this should not be allowed to stand in the way of a comprehensive and independent enquiry, which would be in the national interest. I have been pointing out since 2004 that one of the reasons for things going wrong in counter-terrorism management in our country is the lack of activism by the relatives of the victims of terrorist strikes. It was the activism of the relatives of the victims which ensured a thorough enquiry in the US, the UK and other countries. One saw on the TV the way the relatives of the victims by rotation attended the hearings of the Congressional committees on the 9/11 strikes and the interest which they took in ensuring that the recommendations of the National Commission were implemented. Unfortunately, in our country, that kind of activism is not there. The Governments are consequently able to get away with their stonewalling.

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