Tuesday, May 3, 2011



At the worst, there was collusion between Pakistan's military-intelligence complex and Osama bin Laden which enabled him to live safely till May 1,2011, at Abbotabad, the cradle of the Pakistan Army.

2. At the best, the military-intelligence complex was aware of his presence in Abbotabad ---possibly as a privileged and protected guest of Pakistani jihadi organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ)--- and chose to close its eyes to it in order not to provoke OBL's jihadi allies in Pakistan.

3. No third explanation is available or possible for the fact of OBL having lived for many months or years in the cradle of the Army without any harm coming to him.

4. The US is disturbed. Even angry and has been posing tough questions to Pakistan as one could see from the media briefings of John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, on May 2 .

5. Does it mean enduing US disillusionment with Pakistan? Une fois pour toutes (Once and for all)? Does it mean a tougher US policy towards Pakistan? Does it presage a greater US understanding of the Indian assessments since 1981, when Pakistan started using terrorism against India, that jihadi terrorism survives and flourishes because of the State sustenance from Pakistan.

6.No. And No. And No.

7. There is already an exercise on in the US State Department to respect the sensitivities of Pakistan, to spare it of any undue embarrassment and to avoid any punitive action against it.

8. Yes, tough questions are being asked. They will continue to be asked. Pakistan is embarrassed, but not unduly worried over these tough questions because it knows from the long history of its relationship with the US that tough questions are rarely followed by tough action against the State of Pakistan.

9. Yes. Some actions were taken in the past against some individual officers on the insistence of the US. As against Lt.Gen. Javed Nasir, the Director-General of the ISI, in 1993, who was sacked because of his alleged collusion with the Afghan Mujahideen. As against Lt. Gen.Mahmood Ahmed, another DG of the ISI, in 2001 because of his suspected collusion with the Afghan Taliban. Nasir was sacked by Nawaz Sharif, the then Prime Minister. Ahmed was shifted out of the ISI by Gen.Pervez Musharraf.

10. That is all. Once action was taken against senior officers of the ISI, US-Pakistan relations were back to their normal state of pampering.

11.History is going to repeat itself now after the death of OBL at Abbotabad. One or two senior officers of the Army and the ISI will be identified by the US as responsible for the collusion. The US will ask for their heads. Pakistan will happily offer their heads.

12. The State-to-State relations will be back to their sickening normalcy. The pamperiong of Pakistan will resume. The exercise to feed and fatten the Pakistani Army and intelligence will resume.

13. India and Indians, who are now gloating over the discomfiture of Pakistan, will find that they have become a sucker once again. As we became in 1993 when Nasir's collusion with the Mujahideen was discovered. As we became in 2001 when Ahmed's collusion with the Afghan Taliban was discovered.

14, Let us guard ourselves against unwarranted euphoria over Pakistan's discomfiture. Let us think hard what we should do and how to do it.Let us not indulge in pathetic talk of what the US should do for us.

15.The dramatic US success was made possible by a dramatic improvement in the US HUMINT capability and by its spectacular covert action capability.

16. We have neither. Our HUMINT capability is average, but not extraordinary. Our covert action capability has been non-existent since 1997.Let us revamp both---urgently and visibly. Let a message radiate from Delhi that we want peace with Pakistan, but we are prepared to act on our own in our own way and through our own capabilities should covert action on the ground become necessary.

17. Pakistan has been waging its terrorist campaign against India relentlessly because it knows we have neither the political will nor the covert action capability to retaliate. Let the political will be born again which will make Indira Gandhi proud of us in high heaven. Let our covert action capability be re-created. To hell with what the world thinks of our actions.

18. I proudly contributed to the building up of India's covert action capability. I proudly headed it for some years till my retirement in August 1994. I cry every day when I see the way it has been wound up for 14 years now and our citizens continue to be slaughtered here, there and everywhere by the jihadi terrorists. (4-5-2011)

( 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: seventyone2@gmail.com )


ipour said...

Thank you sir fo saying it like it is

Dan said...

Look who's talking now about "covert action capability". Sensing the public mood, eh? Why can't you tell us who that moron of a PM was that wound up the "covert action capability" and recalled all spy sleeper cells based in Pakistan - a capability painfully built over decades of work was undone with a single, heady Prime Ministerial order.

Now that you have yourself turned in a Wagah candle holder proponent, it is understandable that you will find it difficult to name your new found friends.

ambi said...

dear just another guy that moron of a PM was our Inder Kumar Gujral. My blood boils even when his name is taken.:-(

Gopi said...

IK Gujaral did that. hence, he is such a darling of bhappi-jappi, wagha candle Jamat of likes of K Nayar, M Butt, etc.

Paresh said...

Sir, in this age of nuclear weapons, missiles and more importantly, interconnected diplomatic and economic relations between countries, an all out war is impossible even between the archest enemies. The world can no longer be divided into 'allies' and 'axis' powers (as in WWII). The only mode of offense and defense now is to use covert intelligence and death squads and cyber warfare. All major countries have these capabilities. Israel is a fine example.

India lacks in this respect. That is why we can neither stop terror attacks nor can we respond to them. We are sitting ducks! We should one by one eliminate Dawood, Hafeez Saeed, Lakhwi, Azar Mehmood, Ilyas Kashmiri etc. FEAR should grip them, so that they are afraid of even their own shadows. They should be terrified to leave their homes lest it be their last outing! Such should be the terror that India invoke in their hearts!

Sadly, the political will for such strong action is lacking. Sometimes India is just too naive!

sanjeev said...

look who is talking.

Esoteric said...

Agree with your thoughts and feel the same pain as you do.

I must add however that the Western reluctance to act per the India script is not just an indication of their capability but also of what they consider to be in their national interest.

Its difficult to shake off the feeling that a quid pro quo has been reached or will be reached between wrt Afghanistan and/or Kashmir.

If US gets its way in Afghanistan,I would expect Kashmir to get centrestage in the coming days,weeks and months.If Pakistan gets its way in Afghanistan,I would expect a re-approachment of India with Pakistan.

In any scenario you create,India cannot get its way in both Kashmir and Afghanistan.It will have to part with something. Pakistan parted with OBL and short term self respect and leverage.

India needs to introspect its strategy vis-a-vis the region,as Indian interests always end up as collateral damage in events directly unrelated to India.

With MMS at the helm..its a fat chance that this would happen.

ashwithsky said...

It could be the way you narrated the things in your article.
Let me think of single and simple possibility against US pampering Pakistan any further.
As Pakistan Taliban has already called a war against USA and state of Pakistan, the smallest terror attack on US soil with Pakistani involvement will change the whole scenario of Pakistan.
Given the present scenario of Out of control Radical groups in Pakistan it is not impossible that US cant be terrorized one more time. Give that assumption US will have will be left with NO OPTION

Carlos said...

Well said, Mr.Raman, very well said, indeed.

OK, so Gujral was a gullible fool.

What stopped Vajpayee from building up our covert action capacity once again in 1998-2004 ???

What stops MMS from building up our CAC once again ???

Surely, Mr.Raman there are people like Mr.Kao and yourself still available in India ???

Vaibhav said...

Indeed a great article, something I have always admired Mr. Raman for. Perhaps it would be nice if you (Mr. Raman) can comment on Carlos's queries ? What is the problem in activating our co-ops in PAK ?

harihar said...

Amidst all this hullaballoo about the killing of bin Laden, there is one single statement of President Obama that stands out. He said that one of the first things that he did upon assuming office was to direct the CIA Chief to step up the hunt for bin Laden.

What instructions did the highest authorites of the land in India give to their intelligence chiefs after 26/11? To step up the hunt for Hafiz Mohammed Saeed or to improve relations with Pakistan?

What prevents us from taking the Saeeds and the Dawoods out in their ratholes in Pakistan? Exactly what prevented us from clearing the entire PoK of the invaders in 1948-49, exactly what prevented us from further dismembering what was left in Pakistan in 1971-72. Excessive deference to the views of the so-called international community and to the views of the West in particular.

Let us learn from the words of Secretary Clinton when she said that America will 'do whatever it takes to get the job done.'

The average Indian understands that sentiment well. Now, if only our political masters would too.

Paresh said...

A point of interest is that the US administration knew of Bin Laden's hideout for almost a year and they were continuously keeping track of him. But in this entire time, not a single media outlet got any wind of it!! Imagine the professionalism of the set of people who knew of this secret. None of them sold out to any newspaper for money! This is true patriotism... something our leaders need to learn!

Apart from this business of Bin Laden and Pak-USA tango, the news of Dorjee Khandu's helicopter crash is being forgotten. I have said before that somehow nowadays mysteriously helicopters are crashing all over Arunachal Pradesh. Can there be a Chinese hand in this? Remember, Khandu was a staunchly patriotic CM and quite anti-China.

Anonymous said...

India is weak. Its perceived weak in west. As long as we have Nehru Gandhi clan ruling India, we have no god damned chance of finishing Pakistan.

Shiva said...

we will spend crores to find and train US Navy Seal types, and they will end up being used by these useless politicians for security bandobast.

No Mist said...

it is becoming more and more confusing. what looked like a straight cut and slice surgery looks nothing like it.

plz see this too http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=8112975 it says that helicopters were very silent ... contrary to what is evident from clipstory.