Friday, October 14, 2011




When Abu Zubaidah, who was reportedly No.3 of Al Qaeda at the time of 9/11, was ultimately traced to his rabbit-hole and arrested, it was not in the tribal belt. It was in the house of a local office-bearer of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) in Faislabad, a city of Pakistani Punjab.

2. When Ramzi Binalshib, another top gun of Al Qaeda, was ultimately traced to his rabbit-hole and arrested, it was found to be in Karachi.

3. When Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, who co-ordinated the 9/11 strikes in the US on behalf of Osama bin Laden and who slit the throat of Daniel Pearl, the US journalist, was ultimately traced to his rabbit-hole and arrested, it was found to be in the house of a women’s wing leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) in Rawalpindi right under the nose of the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army.

4. When Osama bin Laden himself was ultimately traced to his rabbit-hole and killed, it was found to be in Abbottabad near the training academy of the Pakistan Army.

5. The US is now looking for the rabbit-holes of Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has taken over the leadership of Al Qaeda, Jallaludin and Serajuddin Haqqani of the so-called Haqqani network, Mulla Mohammad Omar of the Afghan Taliban, and Hakimullah Mehsud of the Pakistani Taliban.

6.Their rabbit-holes are likely to be in areas outside the reach of the Drones. While continuing the Drone strikes to keep the jihadi top guns running for cover, the US should also look for other Abbottabads strewn across Pakistan.

7. It was good human intelligence that led the CIA to the rabbit-hole of OBL. The Navy SEALS followed later. It is good human intelligence which will again lead the CIA to the rabbit-holes of others badly wanted.

8. The US should seek allies in this hunt. Those allies could come from the Mohajirs of Karachi, the Balochs of Karachi and Balochistan and the Shias of the Kurram Agency and Gilgit-Baltistan. They are as fed up with the jihadis and their ISI master as the US.

9. The US should constitute them into a Southern Alliance against terrorism and give them the capability and the resources to hunt effectively. They will expect a quid pro quo in the form political support for their grievances. The US should not hesitate to give them the support they want.

10. It is time to think strategically of a future dispensation in Pakistan that would help in achieving final and durable victory against jihadi terrorism with ISI’s characteristics. A Southern Alliance of non-radical elements of the present Pakistan, which are as unhappy about jihadi terrorism and the ISI as the US, has to be the linchpin of such a strategy.

11. Start thinking, start acting. ( 15-10-11 )

( 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: .Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )





Acting on an alert from the Delhi Police, the Haryana Police are reported to have seized a car containing concealed explosives ( about 5 KGs), five detonators and two timers which had been parked in a parking lot of the Ambala Railway Station on October 13,2011.

2. The owners of the car and those responsible for keeping the explosive, detonators and timers in the car have not yet been found. The source information of the Delhi Police is that the car had probably come to Ambala from the Jammu area and that the improvised explosive device materials found in the car were meant to be used for causing an explosion in Delhi around Diwali (October 25-26). The Delhi Police’s source information is that the explosive materials were intended to be used in a joint operation of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).

3. Of the various Khalistani terrorist organisations, the BKI, after the Dal Khalsa, has had the longest history of contacts with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).Talwinder Singh Parmar of the BKI, Vancouver, who had masterminded the blowing-up of the Kanishka aircraft of Air India in June,1985, had been given shelter in Palistan by the ISI after the terrorist attack on the plane.

4. In 1992, one of the Western intelligence agencies established his presence in Pakistan. The ISI asked him to leave Pakistan. He crossed over into Indian Punjab where he was killed in an encounter by the Punjab Police. Since then other BKI leaders such as Wadhwa Singh had been living in Pakistan.

5.The ISI started helping the various Khalistani organisations such as the Dal Khalsa, the BKI and the International Sikh Youth Federation in the 1970s with a view to using them to destabilise Punjab. They were given training assistance and supplied with arms and ammunition and explosives.

6. The ISI believed that the destabilisation of Punjab would weaken the ability of the Indian security forces to deal with terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir and thereby facilitate a change of the status quo in J&K.

7. The ISI was helping the Khalistani terrorists directly as well as through the Jamaat-e-Islami. In addition, when Nawaz Sharif was the Chief Minister of Punjab after the death of Zia-ul-Haq in 1988, the Khalistani terrorists were also in receipt of assistance from the Special Branch of the Punjab Police.

8. The ISI had code-named the operation for using the Khalistani terrorists to destabilise Punjab and weaken the capability of the Indian security forces in J&K as the K-2 project---meaning the Kashmir-Khalistan project. The JEI and jihadi terrorist organisations under the control of the ISI such as the LET were also sought to be used for the execution of the K-2 project.

9. The recovery of the explosive-laden car and the source information of the Delhi Police indicate an attempt by the ISI to revive the K-2 project . ( 14-10-11)

( 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: Twitter @SORBONNE75 )