Saturday, April 30, 2011


(A free translation of the French chanson Je ne regrette rien ( I regret nothing) composed by Charles Dumont, with lyrics by Michel Vaucaire in 1956.It is best known through its 1960 recording by Édith Piaf, a favourite French singer of mine when I was living in Paris. Never missed a concert of hers)

No! Absolutely nothing...
No! I regret nothing
Neither the good that I've done nor the bad
All this is much the same to me!

No! Absolutely nothing...
No! I regret nothing...
It is paid, swept away, forgotten
I don't care about the past!

With my souvenirs
I lit a fire
My sorrows, my pleasures
I need them no more!

Swept away the love affairs
With their tremors
Swept away forever
I leave with nothing ...

No! Absolutely nothing...
No! I regret nothing
Neither the good that I've done nor the bad
All this is much the same to me!

No! Absolutely nothing...
No! I regret nothing...
Because my life, because my joys
Today that begin with you!


Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou'art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy'or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

----- John Donne's Holy Sonnets ( Early 17th century. Exact year not known)



Chinese netizens interested in strategic issues have been showing interest in India's reported decision to go for European jet fighters for its Air Force in preference to the aircaft offered by US companies. They see this as a possible reflection of India's unhappiness over the continuing US restrictive policies relating to the transfer of high technology to India. Another point being made is that the US support for India's permanent membership of the UN Security Council was as a quid pro quo for the Indian selection of the US aircaft. Now that India has rejected the US aircraft, will the US still support India's permanent membership of the UNSC?

2. Annexed are some comments carried in the People's Forum section of the party-owned "People's Daily" online on the subject on May 1,2011. It is not clear whether these comments are of the "People's Daily" readers or have been lifted from non-Chinese sources. Normally, when the comments are lifted from non-Chinese sources, the sources are identified. In this case, no source has been identified for the post as a whole. ( 1-5-11)

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

(Text of a post in the "People's Forum" section of the "People's Daily" online carried on May 1,2011)

India arms contract spurns US fighters

India has shortlisted European jet fighters, in preference to US and Russian rivals, in a hotly contested $11bn competition to supply the Indian air force with advanced combat aircraft.

At stake is a deal to equip India with 126 multi-role fighter jets in one of the world’s largest military contracts. The winning bid is expected to shape India’s air power for the next three decades and serve as the bedrock of a strategic partnership.

After trials, India selected France’s Dassault Rafale and the multinational Eurofighter Typhoon – both currently operating over Libya – to compete in the next stage of the competition, according to India’s defence ministry. A spokesman told the Financial Times that a final decision would be taken within a year.

The move will be a blow to the US. Washington strongly lobbied India to buy its aircraft as payback for the landmark Indian-US civil nuclear deal in 2008. The agreement – brokered by Manmohan Singh, Indian premier, and then-US president George W. Bush – brought India’s nuclear programme out of decades of global isolation.

Timothy Roemer, US ambassador to Delhi, said the US was “deeply disappointed” by the decision not to select US defence companies. Earlier on Thursday, Mr Roemer, a personal friend of Barack Obama, US president, announced his resignation.

While Mr Roemer said he was leaving India for personal reasons, as ambassador he had heavily promoted the US bids. He said he had “accomplished all of the strategic objectives set forth two years ago” when he took the job.

Top Indian officials and politicians had indicated that they wished to buy US military hardware to improve a fast-warming relationship between the two democracies in the wake of the transformative nuclear deal.

Are U.S. export policies to blame?

Defense contractors and industry experts are trying to come to grips with India’s decision to exclude The Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. from its $11 billion competition for a new fighter jet.

India's decision was very surprising, says Tom Captain, vice chairman of global and U.S. aerospace and defense leader at Deloitte LLP. If the selection was based on technical merits, "It is difficult to explain how those two very capable aircraft were eliminated."

In the absence of factual information about how the selection was made, speculation is growing that restrictive U.S. export policies may have played a significant role in India’s evaluation of fighter jet candidates.

India is projected to spend $80 billion on new weapons and space systems over the next five years. It’s only a small fraction of what the United States spends, but the industry still regards it as a promising region where, once you get a foot in the door, opportunities could blossom.

Defense industry analyst Byron Callan contends that “technology transfer was a major consideration in this competition.”

Larry Christensen, an export controls attorney at Miller & Chevalier, in Washington, D.C., believes the Indian decision will have lasting implications for U.S. industry, even though he says he has not seen any proof that India’s choice was influenced by ITAR, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations that restrict exports of sensitive U.S. technology.

The fact that an emerging power such as India would snub U.S. advanced weaponry offers further evidence that the current export control system — which dates back to the Cold War — has outlived its effectiveness, Christensen says. “The U.S. government cannot repeal the laws of economics,” he says. As the United States denies access to some of its best technology, it leaves a market void that, sooner or later, another country will fill. “When that happens, the U.S. export control policy of denial, or policy of heavy restrictions, become ineffective” for the purposes of barring potential enemies access to advanced weaponry, he says.

It's a surprise for many analysts that US fighters didn't win out. In recently years, America has been trying to court India by asserting its supportive stance over India's aspiration for a permenant UNSC seat. America arms makers are one of beneficiaries in the improved bilateral ties. They even got deals from India with big number without competing with rivals in public bidding. Some defense expert said the embarrassing result indicates that India's wariness toward America doesn't loose. And your say...?

Friday, April 29, 2011



The tussle between Shri Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, and Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, an Indian Police Service Officer of the Gujarat cadre presently posted in Junagadh, is becoming murkIer and murkier---not reflecting well on either Modi or Bhatt.

2. The tussle has given rise to suspicions of petty-mindedness and vindictiveness on the part of Modi and a motivated unprofessional agenda on the part of Bhatt.

3. The present tussle started with an affidavit reportedly filed by Bhatt before the Supreme Court, alleging that Modi had instructed officers during a late night meeting held on February 27, 2002, to allow Hindus "to vent out their anger" during the clashes as he wanted Muslims to be "taught a lesson" after the massacre of some Hindu pilgrims by some Muslims at the Godhra railway station. There is nothing new about these allegations. Such allegations had repeatedly been made by the detractors of Modi from time to time since 2002 without their being able to prove them. Nor has Modi been able to disprove them in a convincing manner.

4.The only way of convincingly disproving them is by producing the minutes of the meeting held on February 27,2002, and the Roznamcha (General Diary) entries of the relevant police stations after the reported meeting of Modi.If the allegations against Modi are correct, this would be reflected in the lack of any reference in the Roznamchas to additional police deployments. If the allegations against Modi are wrong, such additional deployments would be reflected in the Roznamcha entries. The silence of the Gujarat Government all these years regarding entries in relevant records would give ground for suspicion that for some hours after the Godhra incident no written records were kept, particularly of the meeting reportedly held by Modi.

5.Bhatt's motive comes under suspicion for two reasons. Firstly, his belated action in coming out with these allegations. Secondly, the questions that have been raised regarding the correctness of his claim that he was present at Modi's meeting whereas some participants have reportedly denied it. Bhatt and his supporters have produced a statement of Bhatt's driver to show that Bhatt did attend the meeting, According to the driver, Bhatt travelled to the meeting in the car of a colleague and the driver drove Bhatt's car behind them. If this is so, this should have been reflected in the duty register of Bhatt's car. If there is an entry in the duty register of Bhatt's car, Bhatt is probably right and Modi's supporters are telling a lie. If there is no entry, Modi's supporters are probably right and Bhatt is telling a lie. Why has the Gujarat Government not released so far the relevant entries in the duty register of Bhatt's car ?

6. The tussle has been made more complicated by Bhatt's allegation that his security cover has been withdrawn after he filed his affidavit. This has been denied by the office of the Director-General of Police, according to which Bhatt's security entitlement has been reduced, but not withdrawn. Bhatt had been given a security entitlement of five security personnel of which four have been withdrawn.

7.The relevant question is when were they withdrawn. If they had been withdrawn before Bhatt filed his affidavit, Bhatt's complaint has no basis, If they had been withdrawn after he filed his affidavit, a strong presumption will be that there was a link between his filing his affidavit and a re-examination of the threat perception resulting in a dilution of the security provided to him.This would smack of petty-mindedness and vindictiveness towards Bhatt because of the affidavit.

8. A large number of Tweets recveived by me have claimed that this was purely a professional decision taken in the police department and that it will, therefore, be incorrect to blame Modi for it. Bhatt's case is unique----whatever be his motives in filing the affidavit. He had made serious allegations against Modi. If Modi was sensitive enough, he would have ensured that nothing was done either by his office or by the DGP's office which could be misconstrued as vindictiveness. By failing to act till now, Modi has strengthened the impression that there is more than meets the eye in the dilution of the security provided to Bhatt.

9. In recent months, Modi has been trying to project a positive image of himself as a good and progressive Chief Minister---with some success. The way Bhatt's case has been handled---it is immaterial whether it was done by his office or by the DGP's office--- would provide credibility to those who have not been convinced of the genuiness of this positive image and have been arguing that it is the same old vindictive Modi who has been ruling Gujarat.

10. The shadow of his alleged post-Godhra vindictive reflexes continues to follow Modi wherever he goes and whatever he does.He may not be able to shake off this shadow unless he comes out with a white paper giving details of all actions taken by him and the police after the Godhra massacre, supported by relevant records of his office and the police. (30-4-11)

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


The following is in reply to a reader's question received by E-Mail on the above subject:

I think the Government's decision on the choice of the aircraft was made purely on the basis of the recommendation of the Air Force. I write so much that I don't remember when and in what context, but I had written some months ago that while our Army and our Navy are increasingly enthusiastic about the prospects of closer Army-Army and Navy-Navy relationship with the US, our Air Force is not. During my participation in various seminars bearing on Indo-US strategic relations, I had noticed that the participation of our Air Force officers---serving and retired--- was low and without much enthusiasm. It is my impression that our Air Force officers continue to retain the skepticism of the cold war days relating to strategic partnership with the US. They continue to feel more comfortable with Russia and Europe than with the US. Of course, there are many joint exercises between the Air Forces of the two countries, but the enthusiasm generated by these exercises is more tactical than strategic. The decision regarding the choice of the aircraft reflects on the comfort level of our Air Force vis-a-vis the US and not on the comfort level of the Government as a whole. (29-4-11)

Thursday, April 28, 2011



The initial draft of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament, chaired by Dr.Murali Manohar Joshi, on the 2G scam and matters relating to it has not yet been considered and adopted by the PAC. Only when it is so adopted after discussion in the Committee will it become the findings or conclusions of the PAC. Till then, it will remain a draft prepared by the staff of the PAC for consideration by the PAC as a whole.

2. It will be inappropriate to comment one way or the other on the draft. One has to observe restraint till the final report as approved by the PAC is released to the public after it has been cleared for release by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

3. In the meanwhile, sections of the media---print as well as electronic---have managed to get hold of the initial draft and have given wide publicity to it. It is up to them to decide in this matter. The purpose of this article is to draw the attention of responsible sections of the Indian media not only to the continuing attempts of Arnab Goswami of the Times Now news channel to exploit certain observations in the initial draft on the role of some journalists who were in touch with Niiru Radia, the professional lobbyist, to carry on what appears to be a campaign against Barkha Dutt, the highly-reputed journalist of the NDTV’s news channel , but also to the current controversy in “The Hindu” group of Chennai which, in my view, has a bearing on ethics in journalism.

4. This campaign has been going on for some time since December last year. The professional jealousy of some journalists has been compounded by a vicious campaign being carried on against her and her channel by small sections of Hindutva groups, which are strongly opposed to her views on Shri Narendra Modi, the Chie Minister of Gujarat, Kashmir, terrorism and India’s relations with Pakistan.

5. As one could see from the beginning of this campaign in December last, Barkha as well as her channel have been maintaining a dignified silence on this issue in adherence to certain core values to which they are attached and have scrupulously avoided any resort to any campaign which could degenerate into mutual mud-slinging.

6. Uninfluenced by this restraint, the Times Now has maintained its subtle, but vicious campaign against Barkha that ought to be deplored by all right-thinking people who are attached to restraint in behaviour.

7.This viciousness in projection has been accompanied by a disturbing silence by many senior journalists on allegations regarding the contacts of Radia with senior journalists of the Times Now channel and other media houses--- these contacts were allegedly not of an innocent nature--- and on the controversy now going on in “The Hindu” regarding certain allegedly objectionable features of the management and editorship of N.Ram, its Editor-in-Chief. These features have been brought to light by N.Ravi, the Editor of “The Hindu” and a relative of N.Ram, in two letters ---one addressed to the staff and the other to Ram---both of which are available in the professional web site devoted to journalists at The latest of the letters of Ravi addressed to Ram is annexed.

8. Ram was in the forefront of the senior journalists who initially spearheaded the campaign against Barkha and even wondered why she had not been removed from her post by her channel. The blatant double standards of Ram in matters relating to journalistic propriety have been exposed by the controversy concerning him.

9. One would have expected that the allegations regarding the role of certain journalists, including a senior journalist of the Times Now channel, in maintaining contacts with Radia and regarding the objectionable features of Ram’s management and editorship would have received the scrutiny they called for in order to ascertain the truth. Instead, they have been pushed under the carpet and there is a deafening silence on these allegations from the senior members of the journalists’ fraternity.

10. This conspiracy of silence regarding the hypocrisy and double standards prevalent in our journalistic community should be a matter of concern to all right-thinking persons who believe in fair-play. I hold no brief for Barkha. She is quite capable of defending herself. At the same time I do feel I will not be worth my salt and will be guilty of cowardice if I keep quiet in the face of what seems to me to be a vicious campaign against her because she outshines many in our TV world. Throughout my life, I have taken the lead in supporting talented people and encouraging them. No one can deny that she is one of our highly talented TV professionals. ( 28-4-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi. E-mail: )


N.Ravi’s rejoinder to N.Ram's defence of The Hindu's coverage of the 2G scam, and the denial of a quid pro quo. (§ionId=1&valid=true )

Dear Ram,
The Hindu of April 23, 2011 carried on Page 15 of the Chennai edition your refutation of a report that was not carried in The Hindu. Fairness demands that you publish my account of the issue of the coverage of A. Raja relating to the Telecom licences and 2G spectrum allocation that is given below:

At the meeting of the Board of directors of Kasturi and Sons in January, I had specifically raised the issue of the biased coverage of the 2G spectrum scandal. While Raja was in office, even as evidence was mounting and there were widespread calls for his resignation, The Hindu did not demand his resignation. On the other hand, it functioned as an apologist for Raja and even on the day of his resignation carried an interview with him on the front page, with the transcript published inside. In this interview as well as the one on May 22, 2010, there were no hard questions but only the obvious ones designed to elicit ready, scripted answers. The entire coverage up to the point of his resignation was tailored to make him look good.

This unexplained softness towards Raja contrasted sharply with the coverage and editorial stand on other scams including those relating to the Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Society and land allotment in Karnataka. In those instances, The Hindu was quick to demand the resignations of Suresh Kalmadi, Ashok Chavan and Yeddyurappa even at a stage when the evidence was far less compelling than the material that was in the public domain on the 2G scam before Raja resigned. All the editorial outrage was reserved for the period after Raja’s resignation.

With regard to the advertisement that was published in The Hindu of May 22, 2010 along with his interview on the front page with the full transcript inside, records in the Central Government, particularly in the Ministry of Telecommunications relating to the clearance of this particular advertisement and of some others would go to establish by whom and how this advertisement was cleared. Of all the newspapers that are said to have carried the advertisement, only The Hindu published a friendly interview and not the others. People in the media are aware that promotional advertisements of this type unrelated to any occasion or to any specific announcements are issued as much as rewards to the media as for publicity for the Minister. The Minister’s intention to hugely reward The Hindu that had been so friendly to him in its coverage was obvious. Publication in other newspapers was just a cover, it would have been untenable for any Ministry to have issued an advertisement to just one newspaper.

Yours sincerely,



( Triggered by an interview of the pilot telecast by the Times Now news channel since this morning )


The clandestine Purulia arms drop of December 1995, in which an aircraft piloted by a group of mercenaries hired by an unidentified extremist organisation---suspected to be the Anand Marg--- managed to fly right across the Indian air space to Purulia in West Bengal, air-drop a consignment of arms and ammunition to a collecting party on the ground and fly to Pattaya in Thailand unprevented and unintercepted by the Indian intelligence and security agencies and the Air Force despite the availability of precise advance intelligence is a shameful episode in the history of Indian intelligence.

2. A few weeks before the actual air-drop, the extremist organisation which had procured the arms and ammunition had approached a retired pilot of the British Air Force and offered to pay him handsomely if he organised the air-drop successfullly. Even though tempted by the sum offered, he did not initially agree to carry it out. He asked for time to think over it. He then contacted an official of the British Defence Ministry and told him about the approach made to him by the extremists. The official advised him not to reject the officer and wait for further instructions.

3. The Defence Ministry official then told the MI-5, the British Security Service, about it. The MI-5 immediately informed the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), with which it had a liaison relationship, about it.The R&AW, after examining the matter, asked the MI-5 to advise the pilot to accept the task and to keep the MI-5 informed of all his meetings with the extremist organisation and the detailed plans for the air-drop including the date and time, the place of the air-drop and the flight path.

4. The pilot faithfully carried out the instructions and kept the MI-5 informed of all the details at every stage. These details were passed on by the MI-5 to the R&AW which, in turn, passed them on to the Intelligence Bureau, which was responsible for follow-up action. It was reported that the R&AW passed on the details given by the pilot through the MI-5 to the IB as if it had collected them on its own from one of its sources instead of specifying that the details were coming from the pilot himself through the MI-5.If the R&AW had taken the IB into confidence and told it that the details were coming from the pilot himself through the MI-5, the IB might have taken the details more seriously.

5.Normally, in such cases, if the matter had been handled professionally, the R&AW would have taken the clearance of the Prime Minister for flying out a team of officers of the IB and the R&AW to the UK to meet the piliot secretly with the help of the MI-5 and the British Defence Ministry and take his co-operation for organising a trap on the ground so that the collecting party could have been arrested while collecting the air-dropped arms and ammunition and the identity of the extremist organisation established.

6. Nothing of that sort was done. The R&AW passed on the information in a routine manner to the IB without specifying that it was coming from the pilot through the MI-5. The IB, instead of organising the follow-up action itself, passed it on to the West Bengal Police in an equally routine manner. The then Chief Secretary of the West Bengal Government later on complained that the IB had sent the information by registered post and that it was received after the air drop had taken place and the aircraft had flown out of India.

7. One does not know whether the R&AW and the IB kept the Indian Air Force in the picture so that the IAF could have kept track of the plane and made sure that the pilot did not play any tricks. The plane entered the air space over Mumbai from Pakistan, flew to the air space over Purulia, air-dropped the arms and ammunition and then flew on to Pattaya in Thailand.

8. In the meanwhile,most of the air-dropped arms and ammunition had been removed by unidentified elements. The IB issued an alert to all concerned to look for the plane if it flew over the Indian air space again while flying back to the UK. After a couple of days, the British pilot and his Latvian crew took off from Pattaya, flew to Chennai, landed at the airport there, got the aircraft refuelled there and then took off. Only after the aircraft had taken off from Chennai did the intelligence and airport officials realise that it was the same plane that had air-dropped the arms and ammunition.

9. The IAF intercepted the aircraft before it could leave the Indian air space and forced it to land at Mumbai. One person on board the plane, who reportedly belonged to the extremist organisation, managed to quietly walk out of the airport without being stopped by the security and the immigration. The British pilot and crew were arrested. Sections of the media had reported that the pilot was in a very violent mood and abused the police and intelligence officials.

10. No wonder. He had taken the initiative in alerting the intelligence agencies and keeping them informed of all the details. He expected that he would be honoured and rewarded. Instead, he was allegedly treated roughly, prosecuted and jailed.

11. A few weeks after this incident, the then British Home Secretary had come to India on a scheduled visit. In his interaction with our local media, he pointed out how the British intelligence had kept its Indian counterpart informed.

12. I have been writing about this shameful episode off and on since 1996. In my book "Intelligence---Past, Present and Future" published in 2001 ( Lancer Publishers of New Delhi), I had stated as follows on Page 233: " The normal response of any professional counter-terrorism agency, on the receipt of such precise information, would have been to organise a trap in co-operation with the pilot who had reportedly volunteered the information, for catching the terrorists on the ground while they were collecting the arms and ammunition after the air-drop. Till now, no satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming from the security agencies as to why this was not done."

13. We do not know the answer to this even today. (28-4-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi )

Wednesday, April 27, 2011




Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate has come under incriminating spotlight in the US as a result of the ongoing judicial proceedings in a Chicago court against Tahawwur Hussain Rana of the Chicago cell of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in connection with the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai and certain leaked WikiLeaks cables relating to the interrogation of Al Qaeda suspects detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba.

2.Rana along with fellow accomplice David Coleman Headley had allegedly played an active role in facilitating the 26/11 terrorist strikes by visiting India to collect targeting information and providing logistics help such as opening an office of Rana’s Chicago-based immigration consultancy agency in Mumbai to provide an ostensibly legitimate professional cover for Headley during his frequent trips to India to collect information for the LET.

3. Headley has already made a plea bargain before a Chicago court and a ruling on this is still awaited. In his depositions in connection with his plea bargain, Headley had given a total reconstruction of the preparations before the terrorist strikes and his role in facilitating them. Rana has not made a plea bargain. He has totally denied till now that he has had any links with the LET, which is a designated terrorist organization under the US laws. Media reports give reason to believe that his lawyers may argue when his trial starts on May 16 that Rana’s contacts were with the ISI and not with the LET and that he has not committed any breach of the US laws by helping the ISI in its covert war against India. His lawyers may also cite the close relations of the CIA with the ISI in this connection to underline their stand that co-operating with the ISI against India does not amount to an offence.

4. In his detailed statement in connection with the plea bargain, Headley had referred to the active role played by five individuals based in Pakistan in connection with the planning and execution of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai. The FBI documents filed before the Chicago court did not till now give their identifying particulars. Instead, they described them as LET members A,B.C and D and person A. Nor did the FBI till now choose to indict them and seek their arrest and extradition from Pakistan.

5. In a supplementary indictment to the main indictment against Rana filed before the Chicago court on April 25,2011, the FBI has for the time given the identifying particulars of LET members A,B,C and D , but not Person A. They have been sought to be prosecuted along with Rana for their role in the 26/11 terrorist strikes. By combining the trial of these four persons with the trial of Rana, the FBI seems to be trying to highlight the role of the LET and to undercut the expected defence of Rana that he had helped the ISI and not the LET.

6. One has strong grounds for suspecting that the belated decision of the FBI to disclose the identities of these four persons and try them along with Rana is meant to help the ISI in avoiding any embarrassment due to its role in the 26/11 terrorist strikes. The US intelligence may have many differences with the ISI because of its perceived non-co-operation against Al Qaeda, the Jallaludin Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban, but it is not prepared to initiate any action against the ISI for its role in the 26/11 terrorist strikes.

7. The leaked WikiLeaks cables relate to a list of terrorism indicators given to the US interrogators in the Guantanamo Bay detention centre to enable them to identify and zero in on people who could have been involved in acts of terrorism. These indicators give the names of all Foreign Terrorist Organisations figuring in the annual reports of the counter-terrorism division of the USA’s Directorate of National Intelligence plus the names of the intelligence agencies of Pakistan (ISI), Iran and Yemen which are known to be using terrorist organizations for achieving their national objectives.

8. The guidance given to the interrogators is that anyone found having links with these intelligence agencies could be involved in terrorism and would hence need to be intensely interrogated. The terrorism indicators seem to have been prepared between 2001 and 2007. The inclusion of the ISI as a suspect organization in the list is not a matter for surprise. We had seen for years that while the US officials were privately and informally prepared to admit the role of the ISI in sponsoring terrorism, they were not prepared to admit it formally in public. If they admitted it in public, the question of action against the State of Pakistan would arise.

9. The indictment filed against the four Pakistanis in the Chicago court and the leaked WikiLeaks cables raise two important questions: Firstly, will the US pressure Pakistan to arrest and extradite these persons or will it merely get them convicted in absentia without making serious efforts for their extradition? Secondly, is the US gradually moving towards officially declaring the ISI as a sponsor of terrorism? There is no reason to believe it is.

10. Whatever be the official US line in respect of these developments, the additional details of the ISI’s role that have become available could strengthen the case against the ISI in the petition filed in a New York Court by a relative of the Israeli woman who was killed in Narriman House by the terrorists involved in the 26/11 terrorist strikes. The relatives of the Indian victims of the 26/11 terrorist strikes should draw the attention of the petitioner in the New York case against the ISI and suggest to the petitioner and his lawyer that they should use these additional details. In fact, the relatives of the Indian victims should designate an Indian lawyer to co-ordinate with the lawyer of the Israeli family.

11. This may please be read in continuation of my article of April 27,2011, titled “Real Masterminds of 26/11 Still At Large In Pakistan” at

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



The authorities of the Aba County in the Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of the Sichuan province where the Kirti monastery is located, have started a demonisation campaign against the monks of the monastery. They have been blamed for the death of a 16-year-old monk, who committed self-immolation on March 16,2011, in protest against the Chinese colonisation of Tibet and the monks living in the monastery have been accused of indulging in illegal activities, including visiting prostitutes. A copy of a statement on the developments in the monastery disseminated by the Government-owned Xinhua news agency on April 26,2011, is annexed below.

2.Reliable reports indicate that the Chinese authorities continue to use food as a weapon to force the monks protesting against the re-education classes to attend the classes. Only those attending the classes are given a full meal. Others are given only a partial meal. (27-4-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. )



Lama's self-immolation carefully planned

Police in Aba County of southwest China's Sichuan Province said Friday that the self-immolation of a lama in Kirti Monastery last month was carefully planned and aimed at triggering disturbances.

Rigzin Phuntsog, a 16-year-old lama at the Kirti Monastery in Aba County, died on March 17, after setting himself on fire on March 16.

Police said the self-immolation was a carefully planned and implemented criminal case, which aimed at triggering disturbances.

Investigations showed that in the evening of March 15, Rigzin Phuntsog, accompanied by Lhadan, a monk in the monastery, bought three bottles of gasoline at a parking lot of Laolongzang Road, police said.

At around 9:00 am on March 16, Rigzin Phuntsog told Lhadan and other lamas that he was ready and would set fire on himself on the day.

In the afternoon, Rigzin Phuntsog set himself on fire after making sure that the lamas had finished reciting scriptures and many of them would be on street.

After police on patrol put out the fire, a group of monks from the Kirti Monastery forcibly took Rigzin Phuntsog away and held him for nearly 11 hours.

After hours of negotiation, the lamas agreed to allow Rigzin Phuntsog to be taken to hospital at around 3 am on March 17, but he died in hospital due to cardiorespiratory failure, according to the county government.

Soinam, head of the People's Hospital in Aba County, said Rigzin Phuntsog died from serious burns that caused heart and lung failures, and no gunshot wounds or injuries from blunt utensils or sharp tools were found on his body during treatment or post-mortem examination of body surface.iF Rigzin Phuntsog had been sent to hospital timely, he could have been saved, Soinam said.

Local law experts said that the lamas, fully aware that Rigzin Phuntsog was seriously burned and might die without immediate medical treatment, refused to send him to hospital. As Rigzin Phuntsog died due to delayed treatment, those lamas were on suspicion of intentional homicide.

The local government of Aba County of Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture said in a circular issued early Friday that the government decided to give legal education in Kirti Monastery and the decision was made in light of the "problems" in the monastery as well as illegal activities committed by some of its lamas over the years.

The lamas would study the country's laws and regulations as well as religious disciplines and commandments, it said.

The county government said a small number of lamas in the monastery have, for a long time, repeatedly disrupted social order. Since 2008, some lamas in the monastery have been found possessing guns and ammunition, committing criminal activities involving beating, smashing property, looting and arson, and carrying out self-immolation.

According to the circular, some lamas in the monastery had repeatedly violated Buddhist disciplines and commandments and were found visiting prostitutes, getting drunk and kicking up rows, and being engaged in gambling. And some even disseminated pornographic videos.

Those activities "have corrupted social values and tarnished the image of Tibetan Buddhism," the circular reads. Xinhua

Tuesday, April 26, 2011



Two Pakistani naval personnel--- a commissioned officer of the rank of Sub-Lieutenant and a sailor--- were among four persons killed in two separate but coordinated explosions in Karachi on April 26,2011.The explosions targeted two buses of the Pakistan Navy which were transporting naval personnel to their places of work.According to available indications, the improvised explosive devices, which struck the buses, had been planted along routes normally taken by the buses and activated through mobile telephones.

2 According to the " Daily Times" of Lahore ( April 27,2011), the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as the Pakistani Taliban is known, has claimed the responsibility for the blasts, and threatened more attacks on security forces. The claim was made in a telephone call to a foreign news agency by a person who identified himself as Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman of the Taliban. He reportedly said : "Security forces will be targeted in the future as well, because they are killing their own people in Waziristan and elsewhere at the behest of the United States.”

3.This is the third time that the Pakistan Navy has been targeted by jihadi terrorists since the raid into the Lal Masjid of Islamabad by the Pakistan Army in July 2007, triggered off a wave of terrorist attacks on the Pakistani Armed Forces by suspected elements from the TTP.

4.The first attack on a naval establishment took place on March 4, 2008. Two unidentified suicide bombers, operating in tandem, attacked the prestigious Naval War College located in a high security area of Lahore. They were both on motor-cycles. One of them rammed his motor-cycle against the security gate at the rear of the building breaking it open. The other drove through this opening into the parking area and blew himself up. Their target was the naval institution and not any particular individual or individuals inside. They wanted to demonstrate their ability to penetrate the campus and cause damage. Six persons were killed--- one of them a naval officer, three members of the security guards at the gate and the two suicide bombers.

5.The second attempted attack was reported from Islamabad on December 2,2009.An alert official of the Pakistani naval intelligence in plain clothes and a naval security guard in uniform deployed outside the building of the Pakistan Navy Headquarters in Islamabad prevented what could have been a major terrorist strike against the Naval Headquarters by an unidentified suicide bomber. Spotting a suspicious-looking individual outside the NHQ, they stopped him and searched him. He turned out to be a suicide bomber wearing a concealed suicide vest. However, they could not prevent him from activating the explosive device in the vest. One person was killed on the spot and another succumbed to his injuries later.

6. The Pakistan Navy has had no role to play in the operations in the Lal Masjid, the FATA (Federally-Administered Tribal Areas) and Swat. However, the logistic supplies for the NATO forces are brought to the Karachi port, unloaded there under the protection of the Pakistani Navy and then transported to Afghanistan by trucks. While the Pakistani Army and Air Force have no operational role to play in the US-led military operations in the Afghan territory against Al Qaeda and the Neo Taliban, the Pakistani Navy is a member of the US-led international naval force which patrols the seas to the west of Pakistan to prevent any hostile activity which could hamper the operations in Afghan territory. The Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, established at the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001, comprises naval forces from France, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The task force conducts maritime security operations (MSO) in the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean. The leadership of the Task Force is rotated amongst the participating navies. A Pakistani naval officer has been commanding it off and on when the turn of the Pakistan Navy comes. ( 27-4-11)

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



In an indictment filed before a Chicago court on April 25,2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has for the first time revealed the identities of four of the ringleaders of the Pakistan-based conspiracy for the planning and execution of the 26/11 terrorist strikes of 2008 in Mumbai. In previous court documents including the indictments against David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana of the Chicago cell of the LET and the plea bargain statement of Headley, these four individuals had throughout been described as follows:

* “Lashkar Member A” was a resident of Pakistan "associated with the LET who supervised others associated with the LET and served as a “handler” for HEADLEY and others."
* “Lashkar Member B” was a resident of Pakistan "associated with the LET who trained others in combat techniques for use in terrorist attacks."
* “Lashkar Member C” was a resident of Pakistan and "one of the LET commanders."
* “Lashkar Member D” was a resident of Pakistan and "one of Lashkar’s commanders."
* "During the course of the attacks in Mumbai, the attackers were in telephonic contact with Lashkar Members A, B and C, all of whom were then located in Pakistan. More specifically, during the course of the attacks, the attackers were advised to, among other actions, kill hostages and throw grenades. Lashkar Member A also sought to arrange the release of a hostage in exchange for the release of a captured attacker." ( My comments: Kasab)

2. The previous court documents did not give their identifying particulars. The latest indictment of April 25,2011, enables one to identify them as follows:
• Lashkar Member A: Sajid Mir also known as 'Wasi,' 'Ibrahim,' and 'Sajid Majeed' .
• Lashkar Member B: Abu Qahafa.
• Lashkar Member C : Mazhar Iqbal.
• Lashkar Member D :Major Iqbal

3. Connecting these names with the earlier narrative in the court documents, the following reconstruction is possible:

Between late 2005, and till his arrest on October 3, 2009, HEADLEY conspired with Sajjid Mir, Abu Qahafa, Mazhar Iqbal and Major Iqbal and “others known and unknown to the grand jury, to deliver, place, discharge and detonate explosives and other lethal devices in, into and against places of public use, state and government facilities, public transportation systems, and infrastructure facilities in India, with the intent to cause death and serious bodily injury, and with the intent to cause extensive destruction of such places and facilities and where such destruction would likely result in major economic loss."

Around late 2005, Sajjid Mir, Abu Qahafa and Major Iqbal told HEADLEY that he should travel to India to carry out surveillance of potential targets for attack by the LET, and that he should take steps to conceal his association with Pakistan and his Muslim religion during his travels in India.

In February 2006, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, HEADLEY changed his original name of “Daood Gilani” to “David Coleman Headley” in order to facilitate his activities on behalf of the LET by enabling him to present himself in India as an American who was neither Muslim nor Pakistani.

In the spring of 2006, Sajjid Mir and Major Iqbal discussed with HEADLEY the idea that he could open an immigration office in Mumbai, as a cover for his surveillance activities in India.

In June 2006, HEADLEY traveled to Chicago, advised Tahawwur Hussain Rana of his assignment to perform surveillance for potential targets in India, and obtained Rana’s approval for opening a First World office in Mumbai, as cover for these activities. Rana directed an individual associated with First World to prepare documents to support HEADLEY's cover story. Rana also advised HEADLEY on how to obtain a visa for travel to India. In applying for his visa for travel to India, HEADLEY misrepresented his birth name, father’s true name, and the purpose for his travel.

In July 2006, Person A provided to HEADLEY approximately $25,000 to, among other purposes, establish and operate the Mumbai office of First World and pay for living expenses while he carried out his assignments for the LET in India.

In September 2006, February 2007, September 2007, April 2008, and July 2008, HEADLEY traveled to Mumbai for extended periods for conducting surveillance of possible targets of attacks by the LET, using his association with First World as cover for his travels. Prior to HEADLEY's departure for each of these trips, Sajjid Mir, Person A and others, instructed HEADLEY regarding locations where he was to conduct video surveillance in and around Mumbai, as well as other locations in India. After each trip, HEADLEY traveled to Pakistan, where he met with Sajjid Mir, Person A and persons associated with the LET to report on the results of his surveillance, and provided Sajjid Mir and Person A with photographs and videos from the surveillance.

Prior to HEADLEY's surveillance activities in India starting in September 2006, Sajjid Mir and Person A instructed him to get settled in India, including by opening the business and obtaining an apartment, and to take photographs and make videos of various locations of public significance in India, including but not limited to, the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai.

In November 2006, HEADLEY opened the Mumbai office of First World for the purpose of providing cover for his travel and activities in India on behalf of the LET.

In September 2006, HEADLEY conducted surveillance on behalf of the LET, including taking pictures and making videotapes, of various targets in India, including but not limited to, the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai

Following these initial surveillance activities, HEADLEY traveled to Pakistan, where he met with Sajjid Mir and Abu Qahafa and Person A and provided them with accounts of his surveillance. HEADLEY provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to Sajjid Mir and Person A.

Prior to HEADLEY's surveillance activities in India starting in February 2007, Sajjid Mir and Person A separately instructed him to conduct surveillance of the second floor of the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, specifically including the conference rooms and ballrooms.

In February 2007, HEADLEY conducted surveillance on behalf of the LET, including taking pictures and making videotapes, of various targets in India, including but not limited to the Taj Mahal hotel (where he made detailed videos of the second floor conference rooms and ballrooms), and the Oberoi hotel, both in Mumbai.

Following these surveillance activities, HEADLEY traveled to Pakistan, where he met with Sajjid Mir, Abu Qahafa, Major Iqbal and Person A, and provided them with accounts of his surveillance. HEADLEY provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to Sajjid Mir and Person A.

Prior to HEADLEY's surveillance activities in India starting in September 2007, Sajjid Mir and Person A separately instructed him to conduct further surveillance of the second floor of the Taj Mahal hotel, specifically including the conference rooms, and to obtain schedules of future conferences at the hotel.

In September 2007, HEADLEY conducted surveillance, including taking pictures and making videotapes, of various targets in India, including but not limited to the Taj Mahal hotel. In addition, HEADLEY attempted to obtain a schedule of conferences to be held at the Taj Mahal hotel.

Following these surveillance activities, HEADLEY traveled to Pakistan, where he met with Sajjid Mir and Person A, and provided them with accounts of his surveillance. HEADLEY provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to Sajjid Mir and Person A. During one of HEADLEY's meetings with persons associated with Lashkar, Sajjid Mir displayed to HEADLEY a styrofoam mockup of the Taj Mahal hotel. During a meeting with Person A, HEADLEY was provided with approximately $2,000 worth of Indian currency for expenses in connection with HEADLEY's activities in India.

In March 2008, HEADLEY met with Sajjid Mir and Abu Qahafa and other persons associated with Lashkar, and discussed potential landing sites for a team of attackers who would arrive in Mumbai by sea. In March 2008, Sajjid Mir and other persons associated with the LET instructed HEADLEY to take boat trips in and around the Mumbai harbor and to take surveillance video of various locations. Sajjid Mir also provided HEADLEY with approximately $1000 worth of Indian currency to use for his expenses in Mumbai.

In March or April 2008, Sajjid Mir and Abu Qahafa provided HEADLEY with a global positioning system (GPS) device. They showed HEADLEY how to enter locations into the GPS device and instructed him to use it to record the locations of possible landing sites.

In April 2008, HEADLEY conducted surveillance of the Mumbai harbor and surrounding areas, using the GPS device and making videotapes. HEADLEY also conducted surveillance of, among other locations, the Chhatarapati Shivaji Terminus train station, using the GPS device and making videotapes.

Following these surveillance activities, HEADLEY traveled to Pakistan, where he met separately with Sajjid Mir and Person A, and provided them with accounts of his surveillance, as well as with his recommendations as to which landing sites the attackers should use. HEADLEY provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to these same persons, and the GPS device to Sajjid Mir.

Prior to HEADLEY's surveillance activities in India starting in or about July 2008, Sajjid Mir instructed HEADLEY to conduct further surveillance of various locations in Mumbai using the GPS device, which was returned to HEADLEY. Sajjid Mir and Abu Qahafa discussed with HEADLEY the need to do further surveillance of the Taj Mahal hotel and landing points for the attackers, including videotaping the route from a police station to the Taj Mahal hotel. Both Sajjid Mir and Person A separately instructed HEADLEY to conduct videotape surveillance of the Chabad House, a Jewish community center located in Mumbai.

In June 2008, Person A provided to HEADLEY additional funds of approximately $1,500 worth of Indian currency to keep open the First World office in Mumbai, but approved closing that office in the future and opening a new business in Delhi, to be used as cover for future activities by HEADLEY.

In July 2008, HEADLEY conducted surveillance, including taking pictures and making videotapes, of various targets, including but not limited to, the Taj Mahal hotel, the Chabad House, the Chhatarapati Shivaji Terminus train station, the Leopold Café and various landing sites, and entered various locations into the GPS device.

While HEADLEY was in India for conducting surveillance starting in July 2008, Person A communicated with HEADLEY by passing messages to HEADLEY through Tahawwur Hussain Rana.

Following his July 2008 surveillance activities in India, HEADLEY traveled to Pakistan, met at times with Sajjid Mir, Abu Qahafa and Person A, and provided them with accounts of his surveillance. HEADLEY provided photographs and videos taken during the surveillance to Sajjid Mir and Person A, and the GPS device to Sajjid Mir.

In July and August 2008, Abu Qahafa and others were training a number of young men in Pakistan in various skills and tactics to be used in carrying out terrorist attacks in Mumbai, including combat tactics, room entry, hostage rescue, nautical training and swimming.

During the course of the attacks in Mumbai, the attackers were in telephonic contact with Sajjid Mir, Abu Qahafa and Mazhar Iqbal , all of whom were then located in Pakistan. More specifically, during the course of the attacks, the attackers were advised to, among other actions, kill hostages and throw grenades. Sajjid Mir also sought to arrange the release of a hostage in exchange for the release of a captured attacker.

Following the November 2008 attacks, Person A advised HEADLEY to avoid contact with him until further notice and to remove any incriminating materials from his home in Pakistan.

In June 2008, Al Qaeda, through As Sahab Media, took credit for an attack on the Danish Embassy in Islamabad and called for further attacks against Danish interests to avenge the publication (and re-publication) of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed.

In August 2008, Al Qaeda released a video (“the al Qaeda video”) through As Sahab Media calling for further attacks in retaliation for the publication of the cartoons. Mustafa Abu al Yazid of Al Qaeda, among others, appeared on the video.

ILYAS KASHMIRI was an influential leader of HUJI. Beginning in 2007, KASHMIRI based his operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. KASHMIRI was in regular contact with Al Qaeda and in particular with Mustafa Abu al Yazid, a/k/a “Sheik Said al Masri.”

ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED was a resident of Pakistan and former member of the Pakistani military who was associated with ILYAS KASHMIRI and Sajjid Mir.

Between October 2008, and October 3, 2009, ILYAS KASHMIRI, ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED, and DAVID COLEMAN HEADLEY, conspired with each other, and others known and unknown to the grand jury, to commit acts outside the United States that would constitute the offenses of murder and maiming if committed in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, namely, murder and maiming in connection with an attack to be carried out against the facilities of Jyllands-Posten, located in Denmark, and at least two of its employees.

In October 2008, Sajjid Mir and HEADLEY met in Pakistan and discussed the prospect of an attack on the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which would be preceded by extensive surveillance work to be performed by HEADLEY. HEADLEY recorded and saved notes reflecting the attack plan he discussed with Sajjid Mir.

In October 2008, Sajjid Mir provided defendant HEADLEY with a thumb drive containing information about Denmark, the city of Copenhagen and the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

In late December 2008 and early January 2009, after reviewing with Tahawwur Hussain Rana how HEADLEY had performed the surveillance of the targets attacked in Mumbai in November 2008, HEADLEY advised Rana of the planned attack on the Jyllands-Posten and his intended travel to Denmark for the purpose of performing surveillance of the Jyllands-Posten facilities. HEADLEY obtained Rana’s approval and assistance to identify HEADLEY as a representative of First World, to falsely represent that First World was planning to open an office in Copenhagen, and to gain entry to the Jyllands-Posten's offices by falsely expressing interest in placing an advertisement for First World in the newspaper. Before leaving Chicago, HEADLEY and Rana caused to be made business cards that identified HEADLEY as a representative of the Immigrant Law Center.

In late December 2008 and early January 2009, HEADLEY, while in Chicago, sent emails to, and received emails from ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED in order to continue planning for the attack and coordinate HEADLEY’s travel to Denmark to conduct surveillance.

In January 2009, HEADLEY traveled from Chicago to Copenhagen to conduct surveillance of the Jyllands Posten newspaper offices in the cities of Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark.

On January 20, 2009, HEADLEY obtained entry to the Jyllands Posten newspaper office in Copenhagen on the pretext that he was seeking to place an ad on behalf of First World in the newspaper. HEADLEY also scouted and videotaped the surrounding areas.

On January 23, 2009, HEADLEY obtained entry to the Jyllands Posten newspaper office in Aarhus, on the pretext that he was seeking to place an ad on behalf of First World in the newspaper. HEADLEY also scouted the surrounding areas.

On January 29, 2009, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, posing as HEADLEY, sent an email to the Jyllands Posten newspaper pretending to be interested in placing an advertisement in the newspaper on behalf of First World.

In late January 2009, HEADLEY traveled to Pakistan and met separately with Sajjid Mir and defendant ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED concerning the planned attack on the newspaper and provided each with videotapes of his Copenhagen surveillances. Subsequently, in March 2009, Sajjid Mir advised HEADLEY that Lashkar put the attack on the newspaper on hold due to pressure on Lashkar resulting from the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

In January 2009, ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED provided the Al Qaeda video to HEADLEY in Pakistan.

In February 2009, ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED took HEADLEY to meet ILYAS KASHMIRI in the Waziristan region of Pakistan. During the meeting, KASHMIRI indicated that he had already reviewed the Copenhagen videotapes made by HEADLEY and suggested that they consider using a truck bomb in the operation. KASHMIRI also indicated that he could provide manpower for the operation and that the participation of LET was not necessary.

In or about May 2009, ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED and HEADLEY went again to meet KASHMIRI in Waziristan. During this meeting, KASHMIRI advised that he had met with a European contact who could provide HEADLEY with money, weapons and manpower for the attack on the newspaper. KASHMIRI directed HEADLEY to meet with KASHMIRI’s European contacts.

In July 2009, ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED was arrested by Pakistani authorities. HEADLEY contacted associates in Pakistan in an effort to learn whether he would be able to continue working with ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED.

In July 2009, HEADLEY, from Chicago, sent a messenger to meet with KASHMIRI in Waziristan to advise KASHMIRI of the arrest of ABDUR REHMAN SAYED and his unsuccessful efforts to contact KASHMIRI’s European contacts. KASHMIRI sent back word that the planned operation in Denmark should continue and that HEADLEY should continue to attempt to contact KASHMIRI’s European contacts at the telephone numbers already provided.

In late July and early August 2009, HEADLEY traveled from Chicago to various places in Europe, including Copenhagen to conduct additional surveillance of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper office and the surrounding area. HEADLEY made approximately 13 additional surveillance videos. During the trip, HEADLEY also attempted to obtain assistance from Kashmiri’s European contacts.

In July 2009, HEADLEY provided the al Qaeda video to Rana in Chicago.

On August 5, 2009, HEADLEY returned to the United States, falsely advising a Customs and Border Patrol inspector at the airport in Atlanta that he had visited Europe for business reasons related to First World.

On August 22, 2009, HEADLEY, from Chicago spoke with ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED (who had been released from custody) in Pakistan concerning, among other things, the efforts by ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED to contact KASHMIRI, and the plans for the operation in Denmark.

In September 2009, HEADLEY sought to pass a message through ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED to KASHMIRI concerning suggestions from HEADLEY about changes to the plan for the attack on the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen.

In September 2009, ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED, from Pakistan, communicated with HEADLEY, in Chicago by telephone and email concerning reports that KASHMIRI had been killed in a drone attack and the implications of KASHMIRI’s possible death for the plan for the attack on the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen.

In September 2009, HEADLEY and Rana spoke concerning reports that KASHMIRI had been killed in a drone attack and the implications of KASHMIRI’s possible death for the plan for the attack on the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen.

In late September 2009, ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED, from Pakistan, communicated with HEADLEY in Chicago by telephone and email to report that KASHMIRI had not been killed and that KASHMIRI was anxious to move forward with the plan for the attack on the Jyllands-Posten in Copenhagen.

In the late summer of 2009, Rana and HEADLEY agreed that funds that had been provided to Rana could be used to fund the plot to attack the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in Copenhagen.

On October 3, 2009, HEADLEY traveled to O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois, intending to ultimately travel to Pakistan in order to meet with ABDUR REHMAN HASHIM SYED and KASHMIRI, and to deliver to them approximately 13 surveillance videos. He was arrested before he could leave.

4. From the above reconstruction, it is apparent that the real masterminds of the 26/11 terrorist strikes were Sajjid Mir, an individual identified in the FBI documents merely as Person A, whose real identity is not yet clear and one Major (retd) Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha. According to the second report against Rana filed by the FBI in the court last year, he was in India in the third week of November, 2008. He flew from Mumbai to Dubai on a flight of the Emirates Airlines on November 21, 2008. He flew from Dubai to China by the same Airlines on November, 24, 2008, and from there returned to Chicago via Seoul on November 26, 2008, by the Asiana Airlines.

5. There is no reason to believe that Headley was in India during this period. The last of his five pre-26/11 visits to India was in July, 2008. It is not clear when did Rana arrive in India in November, 2008, which places he visited and whom he met. It is also not clear which city he visited in China, what was the purpose of his visit to China and why his visit to China was so short.

6. Rana admitted to the FBI that during his visit to Dubai from November 21 to 24, 2008, he met Maj. (retd) Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha who was in touch with Ilyas Kashmiri on behalf of Headley and that he came to know from Pasha about the impending terrorist attacks by the LET in Mumbai. Rana sought to convey an impression that his visit (or visits?) to India had nothing to do with the 26/11 attacks and that he came to know of the planned attacks only from Pasha in Dubai a few days before the attacks.

7. At the same time, it is clear from the papers filed by the FBI in the court that Rana personally knew both the handling officers of Headley in Pakistan---- Maj (retd) Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha of the 313 Brigade and an unidentified office-bearer of the LET (now identified as Sajjid Mir).The Pakistani media had reported in 2009 that Sajjid Mir was briefly detained in connection with the investigation of the 26/11 terrorist strikes and that he was released due to lack of evidence. The FBI documents filed in a Chicago court last year spoke of the arrest of Pasha for a brief while. Are Sajjid Mir and Major Pasha one and the same person? But Rana speaks of them as different persons.

8. Who is Person A not identified by the FBI documents so far? Was it Pasha?

9. The details of the reconstruction available so far would indicate that the Pakistani authorities have not made efforts to identify and arrest the real masterminds and that there has been no pressure on them from the US to do so. The four persons indicted on April 25 have not been arrested in Pakistan so far and would most probably be tried in absentia along with Rana. Their names figure in a supplementary charge sheet to the main charge sheet against Rana. Neither Rana nor any of these four persons, absconding in Pakistan, have been given the benefit of a plea bargain by the FBI, whereas Headley has received the benefit. Why so?

10. Rana has been cited as a co-accused in respect of two charges "Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorism in India" and the planned attack in Denmark. In respect of the planned Denmark attack, Ilyas Kashmiri and Major Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha are also co-accused (in absentia). The four indicted on April 25 will be co-accused along with Rana in respect of the 26/11 strikes.. (26-4-11)

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

Monday, April 25, 2011



( Written at the request of the Editor of “RISK”, an Italian
Journal )

India has been confronted with periodic eruptions of insurgencies and terrorism in different parts of the country since it became independent. These have had different causes---- feelings of ethnic separatism as in the tribal areas of North-East India, feelings of religious separatism as in Punjab before 1995 and in Jammu & Kashmir since 1989, feelings of economic deprivation and exploitation as in the tribal areas of Central India, feelings of injustice to the Muslim minority as in different parts of India which had seen sporadic acts of terrorism by a group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen and feelings of anger in sections of the majority Hindu community over the perceived inaction or ineffective action of the State against acts of terrorism by elements in the Muslim community with or without the support of Pakistan.

2. These insurgencies and terrorism outbreaks have had different ideological underpinnings such as the following:

• A belief that the tribal and other people of the North-East in states such as Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and Assam are ethnically different from the people in other parts of India.
• A conviction that their different religion ( Sikhism in the case of Punjab and Islam in the case of some sections of the people of J&K) gives them the right to have a separate status as compared to the people in other parts of India, who are largely Hindus.
• A belief that only by following the Marxist/Maoist ideology can one end the economic deprivation and exploitation of the poor tribals in central India by non-tribals.
• A belief that the Indian criminal justice system is unfair to the Muslims in other parts of India.
• A conviction among some elements in the Hindu community that since the State has not been able to deal effectively with acts of terrorism by sections of the Muslim community they have to defend themselves by indulging in acts of retaliation against the Muslims.

3. The problem has been complicated by the past attempts of China to use the Marxist/Maoist oriented insurgents/terrorists to serve its own strategic agenda and by the continuing attempts of Pakistan to use jihadi terrorists of different kinds in J &K and other parts of India to serve its strategic agenda. China and Pakistan have a common agenda of wanting to keep India weak and unstable. Pakistan also has the additional agenda of wanting to create a divide between the Muslims and the Hindus and annexe the State of J&K where the Muslims are in a majority in certain areas like the Valley.

4. While the Chinese support to the Marxist/Maoist insurgents/terrorists has stopped after 1979, the Pakistani support to the jihadi terrorists has continued in different parts of India . The Pakistani support is influenced by different motives such as a desire to force a change in the status quo in J&K, create a polarization between the Hindu and Muslim communities in other parts of India and to slow down the economic development of India.

5. Its desire to change the status quo in J&K has resulted in a continuous insurgency situation in the State since 1989, which is now showing signs of some improvement. Its attempt to create a polarization between the Muslims and the Hindus in other parts of India has been reflected in the sporadic acts of jihadi terrorism in different parts of India. Its desire to use terrorism to slow down the economic development of India has led to three acts of mass casualty terrorism in Mumbai, the economic capital of India----in March 1993, July 2006 and November,2008.These incidents resulted in fatalities of more than a hundred. There have been other acts of jihadi terrorism sponsored by Pakistan in Mumbai, but they resulted in fatalities of less than a hundred.

6. Of all the threats of insurgency/terrorism faced by India, the most persistent and the most difficult to control has been the Maoist insurgency/ terrorism in the tribal areas of Central India, which have not benefited from the rapid economic progress of the rest of India and where the State has not been able to deal effectively with the persisting evils of lack of economic development, exploitation of the poor tribals by non-tribals and social injustice.

7. The result has been a growing support for the terrorists/insurgents from sections of the local tribal population. The justified anger of the tribal population has been sought to be exploited by Marxist/Maoist ideologues in order to create and sustain a Maoist style rural uprising to achieve political power. They have convinced themselves that unless they achieve political power through such an uprising, they will not be able to deal effectively with the problems faced by the poor tribals.

8.The State is finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the Marxist/Maoist insurgency/terrorism due to a lack of a coherent strategy. It has created a large and increasingly well-equipped para-military force to deal with the insurgency/terrorism, but has not been able to reverse the tide of anger of the exploited tribals. A coherent strategy has to address simultaneously the questions of security as well as economic development. There cannot be better security without development and there cannot be better development without security. How to ensure both---better security and better development—is a question to which a satisfactory answer has not been found. In the meanwhile, the insurgency/terrorism continues and has even been expanding.

9. The next threat in order of seriousness has been that posed by jihadi terrorists---- indigenous elements as well as Pakistanis belonging to different organizations based in Pakistan, which were born during the US-inspired operations of the Afghan Mujahideen --- trained by a triumvirate of the US, Pakistani and Saudi intelligence agencies--- against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

10. After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan post-1988, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which continues to fund, motivate, train, arm and co-ordinate them--- diverted them to India to serve its strategic agenda against India. It initially used them in J&K, where it continues to do so and has been using them in other parts of India since 1993. Indian security agencies have been able to deal with the jihadi terrorists---the indigenous kind as well as those from Pakistan--- more effectively than with the Marxist/Maoists because the jihadi terrorists have not been able to get the kind of local support that the Marxists/Maoists have been able to get.

11. While the violence in J&K did assume the proportions of an insurgency similar to the Marxist/Maoist insurgency in the 1990s, the jihadi terrorism in the rest of India has remained sporadic and not sustained. The failure of the jihadis to win local support was illustrated in J & K by the large voter turn-out in the last elections and in the rest of the country by the failure of the jihadis to drive a wedge between the Hindu and Muslim communities and to disrupt the economic progress of India. India has managed to achieve and maintain a GDP growth rate of 7 per cent plus despite the desperate efforts of Pakistan to disrupt India’s economic development by using the jihadis.

12. The lack of local support for the Pakistan-sponsored jihadis is also dramatically illustrated by the failure of Al Qaeda to develop any following in the Indian Muslim community---either in J&K or in other States. India has the world’s third largest Muslim population after Indonesia and Pakistan. The Indian Muslim community has kept away from Al Qaeda and its ideology.

13. The Indian counter-terrorism strategy has been more coherent when it comes to dealing with jihadi terrorism than it has been in dealing with Marxist/Maoist insurgency/terrorism. The Army has the leadership role in dealing with the threats from jihadi terrorism in J&K, while the police has the leadership role in other States.

14. The active interest taken by the State and civil society in identifying and addressing the problems of the Muslim minority has helped in preventing an aggravation of the sense of alienation among some sections of the Muslims. The easier availability of modern education to the Muslims of India as compared to the inadequate availability to the Muslims of Pakistan has prevented many of the Indian Muslims from gravitating to the madrasas, which are Muslim educational institutions often kept running by the flow of funds from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

15. The 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai by a group of sea-borne terrorists of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) exposed certain weaknesses in the Indian counter-terrorism machinery such as an inadequate capability for the collection of preventive intelligence, poor state of physical security in sensitive infrastructure and an inadequate rapid response mechanism.

16. P.Chidambaram, who took over as the Home Minister of the Government of India after the 26/11 terrorist strikes, has considerably revamped the counter-terrorism machinery and improved co-ordination. Counter-terrorism co-operation between India and the US has improved to the benefit of India. The US pressure on Pakistan to stop using terrorism against India has not yet had the kind of impact that India would have liked to see, but has apparently made the Pakistani agencies more cautious in their operations against India.

17. A beneficial fall-out of this has been seen in the fact that barring two terrorist strikes of medium intensity in Pune and Benares, there has been no major act of jihadi terrorism since 26/11. It was also seen in the success of the security arrangements made by the Indian agencies for two major sports events--- the Commonwealth Games of October 2010 in New Delhi and the World Cup cricket tournament which was spread all over the country in February-March,2011.

18.Any counter-terrorism campaign against jihadi terrorism cannot be fully effective unless the State of Pakistan is made to give up the use of terrorism as a strategic weapon against India. There are no indications of any change of Pakistani thinking and tactics in this regard despite the obvious restraint that it has been observing since 26/11 because of the exposure of the role of the ISI in the 26/11 strikes by the intelligence agencies of both India and the US.

19. A policy-mix of incentives and disincentives designed and executed separately and in tandem by India and the US is required. The initiatives taken by our Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh to improve State-to-State relations with Pakistan despite the persisting public anger in India over the ISI’s role in the 26/11 terrorist strikes are designed to create such an incentive. The continued flow of US economic and military assistance to Pakistan despite mounting evidence of the involvement of the ISI in fomenting terrorism not only in India but also in Afghanistan is also designed to wean Pakistan away from the use of terrorism.

20. While incentives have been plenty, disincentives ---whether by India or the US—have been very few. The Pakistani Army and the ISI continue to think that they can get away with the use of terrorism---whether in India or in Afghanistan. They have calculated more rightly than wrongly that because of Pakistan’s strategic location and its importance for maintaining homeland security in the US, Washington will not entertain any serious option of disincentives and will not allow India to embark on such a policy either.

21. This leaves India with an unpleasant dilemma. Should it embark on a policy of disincentives on its own in disregard of US concerns and feelings? If it does, will it be effective in view of the growing US military and intelligence presence in Pakistan ? If it embarks on a policy of disincentives, what impact that will have on the peace initiatives of the Prime Minister? Would it be advisable to continue to exercise patience in order to give the incentives a chance to be effective? These are questions which are being continuously debated by Indian analysts and policy-makers without coherent answers being found.

22.In India, we tend to be over-critical and negative. We keep criticising ourselves and our police all the time. We are given to chest-beating about our so-called failures. We tend to forget that our track record against terrorism and insurgencies is not bad at all. We have had success stories in Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Punjab and Tamil Nadu. We are not doing too badly in Jammu & Kashmir and in the fight against jihadi terrorism in other parts of India. Our record against the Maoist insurgency has been above average in Andhra Pradesh and poor in the other States affected by it.

23.The terrorists and insurgents have had some spectacular tactical successes to their credit--- the explosion on board the Kanishka aircraft of Air India in June 1985, the three acts of mass casualty terrorism in Mumbai and the Dantewada massacre of 76 policemen by the Maoists etc. But since India became independent in 1947, the terrorists and insurgents have not scored any notable strategic success. Strategically, the Indian State and its security set-up have ultimately prevailed despite the tactical set-backs. They never allowed fatigue to set in. Fatigue ultimately set in among the ranks of the terrorists and insurgents and not in the ranks of the State. We have never conceded the illegitimate strategic demands of the terrorists and insurgents even though we might have conceded their tactical demands on occasions as happened during the aircraft hijacking at Kandahar in December, 1999. This is a unique record of which India and Indians ought to be proud.

24. Let us by all means criticise our police, our intelligence agencies, other security agencies and the political class. They have much to answer for. But let us take care not to allow over-criticism to create defeatism. That is what Pakistan and its terrorist organisations want. We should not play into their hands.

25.An ideal State would not allow the phenomenon of terrorism or insurgency to appear in its midst. But once it appears it takes a long time for the police and other security agencies to deal with it. A study of terrorism and insurgencies around the world would indicate that it takes around 15 to 20 years to deal with the menace. In India too, we have taken the same time. Once we are faced with terrorism or insurgency, we need a lot of patience to deal with the menace. Impatience will prove counter-productive. It could make the police and other security forces over-react, thereby aggravating the problem.

26.Let us maintain our capabilities and keep improving them. Let us be sensitive to the demands, grievances and anger of our citizens. Let us be firm but not inflexible in dealing with Pakistan. Let us be patient whether while dealing with the terrorists or with Pakistan. We will prevail in the end. Let there be no doubt about it in anybody’s mind---in India or abroad. (26-4-11)

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



Reports received from the Sichuan province of China speak of the arrest of about 300 Buddhist monks belonging to the Kirti monastery in the Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of the province for protesting against forcible re-education classes organized by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, China’s internal intelligence agency, for the monks in the monastery.

2. The re-education classes were organized by the Ministry of Public Security following the self-immolation of a monk on March 17,2001, to protest against the Chinese colonization of the Tibetan areas. Before committing self-immolation, the monk reportedly shouted slogans in praise of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and called for the return of His Holiness to Tibet.

3. Thereafter, Chinese police and para-military forces occupied the monastery, seized and destroyed any literature praising His Holiness and pictures of His Holiness. They also forced the inmates of the monastery to attend re-education classes during which they were asked to shout slogans condemning His Holiness and praising the Communist Party of China.

4. On April 21,2011, the Ministry of Public Security officials arrested about 300 protesting monks and forcibly removed them in police vehicles to camps set up in the nearby counties of Wenchuan,Mao and LI which the Tibetans call Lunggu, Maowun and Tashiling respectively. When the local residents heard of the arrest and removal of the monks to detention camps, some of them protested and tried to prevent their forcible removal. Two elderly local residents were reportedly killed when the police and para-military forces used force to disperse them.

5. The Chinese also arrested 200 local residents for trying to prevent the arrest and removal of the monks and shifted them to a military camp. Many of them have since been released, but the younger elements have been detained. The Chinese seem to be worried about the likely reaction of the Tibetan youth to the developments and they are being kept under close watch.

6. Meanwhile, in a letter dated April 14,2001, addressed to the UN Secretary-General, Mr.Ban Ki-Moon,Tibet’s exile parliament has drawn the attention of the UN to “the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet.” The letter said: “The security, dignity and human rights of over 2,500 monks of Kirti monastery, one of Tibet’s most important monasteries, stand critically threatened.” The U.S. State Department has said that it had raised the issue of the Kirti developments with Chinese officials. Mark Toner, a spokesman of the Department, said: “China’s actions are inconsistent with internationally recognized principles of religious freedom and human rights We continue to monitor the situation closely and are obviously concerned by it.”

7.The monastery normally has about 2500 monks. About 300 of them, who are looked upon by the Chinese as the ringleaders of the protest movement, have been forcibly removed by the Chinese to detention camps. About 200 are reported to have escaped from the monastery and taken shelter in the adjoining villages of Tibetan herdsmen. About 2000 monks are reported to be still in the monastery. Reliable source reports say that they are facing acute food shortage since the Chinese have curtailed the supply of food articles to the monastery in an attempt to force the monks still in the monastery to attend re-education classes and condemn His Holiness.

8. Following the attempt of some local residents to prevent the arrest and removal of 300 monks, the Chinese have also started re-education classes for the local residents, most of whom are herdsmen. (25-4-11)

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

Sunday, April 24, 2011



A certain amount of sensation has been caused both in India and Pakistan over a report carried on April 23,2011, by the "Times" of London that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has opened "secret talks" with Pakistan and appointed an unofficial envoy about 10 months ago to contact Gen.Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan's Chief of the Army Staff (COAS). Despite denial of the report by Government sources in Delhi, it is not totally disbelieved by many analysts, including me.

2. The report does not carry conviction in one respect. It says that Gen.Kayani, accompanied by Lt.Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the Ditrector-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had visited Kabul last week for talks with Afghan leaders and that India, which would have normally condemned the visit as Pakistani "meddling", remained silent. The "Times" projects this as the latest evidence of a US-driven rapprochement between India and Pakistan.

3.This was not the first visit of Kayani and Pasha to Kabul. They have been visiting Kabul at least half a dozen times a year---sometimes for bilateral talks, sometimes for trilateral talks involving US military commanders too. The latest visit was somewhat different in nature from the previous visits. Whereas the previous visits were to discuss the ground situation and the exchange of intelligence, the latest visit was reportedly to meet the members of the High Peace Council set up by President Hamid Karzai for persuading the Taliban to come to the negotiating table.

4. Afghanistan is an independent country and Pakistani leaders and officers have every right to visit Afghanistan for whatever purpose provided there was an official invitation. The question of India protesting against such visits does not arise. "The Times" inference is, therefore, far-fetched.

5.India has never hesitated to hold open and secret talks with Pakistani Army chiefs when the army was in power. We had contacts and talks with Gen.Zia Ul-Haq and Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Some of these contacts were initiated through intermediaries. Thus, the secret contacts between Zia and Rajiv Gandhi, which led to two meetings between the then Chiefs of the ISI and the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), were initiated through the then Crown Prince of Jordan. Similarly, it is believed that a brother of Musharraf, who lives in the US, had played a role in paving the way for the official visit of Musharraf to India in 2001 for the Agra talks with Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then Prime Minister.

6. However, it has been India's policy not to have direct talks or contacts ---open or clandestine---with Pakistani Army chiefs when an elected civilian Government is in power in Islamabad. None of the Indian Prime Ministers had encouraged such contacts of a political or quasi-political nature with a Pakistani Army chief when an elected civilian Government is in power lest the authority of the civilian Government---never very strong in Pakistan--be further weakened. Nobody has cited any strong reason as to why Dr.Manmohan Singh should depart from this healthy policy.

7. However, there have been reports of attempts being made by the US to encourage open or clandestine contacts at the professional level between the armies and intelligence agencies of the two countries. One of the Wikileaks cables contains a tell-tale reference to attempts being made by the US to organise a tripartite meeting of the investigating/intelligence officers of the US, India and Pakistan in the US to review the progress in the investigation of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai by the Pakistani authortities. The cables are, however, silent whether this meeting actually took place.

8. One should not be surprised if the US has not relented in its efforts to promote a clandestine relationship between the intelligence and investigating agencies of the two countries. I have been of the view for some years that we should not fight shy of such liaison contacts on a regular basis and that we should take the initiative in this direction instead of depending on the US.

9. Suggestions have also come from time to time from experts in India and the US, including me, for paving the way for a strong military-military relationsship between the military officers of the two countries in order to encourage military confidence building. This would entail steps like regular exchanges of visits by the Army chiefs and other senior military officers of the two countries, establishment of a hot line between the army chiefs of the two countries to supplement the present line between the Directors-General of Military Operations of the two countries and the association of the army officers of the two countries with some of the training courses in the two countries.

10. Such diversified professional contacts, if well nurtured, could ultimately have a political dividend by reducing the post-1971 feeling of insecurity of the Pakistani Army and making it amenable to supporting the moves for a political rapprochement between the two countries. One should not be surprised if our Prime Minister---whether independently on his own or under US nudging---has authorised our Army chief to enter into clandestine contact with his Pakistani counterpart through suitable intermediaries to work out the details. If this is correct, this initiative should be welcomed and supported. ( 24-4-11)

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

Saturday, April 23, 2011



There has been an unwarranted satisfaction and even glee among sections of our analysts over recent indications of difficulties in the relations between the US and Pakistani Armed Forces and between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

2.The articulation of US dissatisfaction and concern over Pakistan's half-hearted action against terrorists operating from North Waziristan, over its continued support to the Jallaudin Haqqani faction of the Afghan Taliban, which was previously operating from North Waziristan, but now operates from Kurram, over the collusion of Pakistani military and intelligence officers with the Afghan Taliban and over the difficulties created by it in allowing Raymong Davis, a member of the technical and administrative staff of the US Consulate-General in Lahore, allegedly involved in the murder of two Pakistanis, to go back to the US have created perceptions of serious difficulties in the US relations with Pakistan.

3. Speculative stories and negative public comments about Pakistan emanating from US officials and sources during the recent visits of Lt.Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the Director-General of the ISI, and Salman Bashir, the Pakistani Foreign Secretary, to the US and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman, US Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Pakistan have strengthened these perceptions.

4. Periodic emergence of difficulties in the relations between the two countries has been there ever since the Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1988. One saw such spells of difficulties after then President George Bush Sr invoked the Pressler Amendment against Pakistan post-1988 and imposed economic sanctions because of Pakistan's clandestine acquisition of a military nuclear capability, when then President Bill Clinton placed Pakistan on a list of suspected State-sponsors of international terrorism for six months in 1993 and forced Nawaz Sharif, the then Prime Minister, to sack Lt-Gen.Javed Nasir, the then DG of the ISI, and some of his senior colleagues for allegedly not co-operating in the re-purchase of the unused Stinger missiles from the Afghan Mujahideen, when Clinton imposed additional economic sanctions after Gen.Pervez Musharraf seized power in 1999 and publicly snubbed him during a visit to Pakistan next year, and when then President George Bush forced Musharraf to remove Lt.Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, then DG of the ISI, from his post and transfer Lt.Gen.Mohammad Aziz, the then Chief of the General Staff, from the GHQ to Lahore because of their suspected links with the Afghan Taliban before the US started its military operations against the Taliban in October,2001, and when Bush repeatedly turned down a Pakistani request for signing a civil nuclear co-operation agreement with it similar to the agreement signed with India.

5. The US did not allow such difficulties to affect a certain strategic permanence in its relations with Pakistan arising from its strategic location, the long years of military-military and intelligence-intelligence relations between the countries which have served to some extent the national interests of the two countries and the important role which Pakistan could play in maintaining stability in Afghanistan. This permanence has been further strengthened by the US realisation that co-operation from Pakistan is essential for maintaining homeland security.

6. The enhanced Drone (pilotless plane) strikes against terrorist hide-outs in the two Waziristans since Barack Obama came to office in January 2009, have highlighted two ground realities. Firstly, the US has the capability to achieve significant success in its counter-terrorism operations on its own even without the co-operation of the Pakistani Army and the ISI. Secondly, despite this, it cannot achieve complete success without the effective co-operation of Pakistan.

7. The US has always followed a policy of carrot and stick for making Pakistan co-operate. While it does not hesitate to use the stick when it considers it necessary in its interests, it takes care to ensure that the use of the stick does not seriously damage the strategic permanence in its relations with Pakistan. The US will maintain this strategic permanence whatever be the temporary tactical difficulties in the relationship. ( 24-4-11)

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