It is in such a context?of a just and necessary war should US efforts at de-jehadising the Pakistan military fail within a reasonable timeframe?that the renewal of the India-Russia alliance sealed on December 5 by President Dmitry Medvedev is welcome. Moscow too faces a potent jehadist threat, and both it and Delhi need to work together to ensure a suitable armed response in 2011, should US efforts fail. As for Communist China, that country can be expected to give assistance to the Pakistan army to the last, despite the fact that the jehadists would turn on the PRC should the generals in Islamabad succeed in breaking India'swill, the way they did on the US after Washington showered so much largesse on them during the 1980s. However, it is unlikely that Beijing will involve itself militarily in an India-Pakistan war. China did not in 1965 and 1971,when it had much greater leverage. As for the US, by 2011, the folly of relying on jehadis to defeat jehad would presumably have dawned on even the most credulous of US policymakers. Ideally, they would then join hands with India in taking out terror infrastructure in Pakistan, unless it has already done so on its own. Should Washington either act on its own (by 2011) or thereafter join hands with India in taking out the jehadist army of Pakistan, that would be best for both the US as well as for the rest of the international community.
However, should Washington fail to neutralise the monster that the jehadi military of Pakistan has become, India must act alone, hopefully with technical and logistical assistance from Russia, a friend that has been trusted by the Indian people over five decades of engagement, until a mafia under Boris Yeltsin took power in 2001. However, since the Putin era began in 1999, India-Russia relations are returning to their original state of health, despite the many within the PRC-riddled confines of the Kremlin who seek to torpedo it by?for example?making extortionate demands over the Admiral Gorshkov.
Just as Indira Gandhi did in 1970-71, Manmohan Singh needs to send Indian envoys across the world to convey information about the Pakistan-backed terror machine. Our friends in North and South America, Europe, Australasia and Africa need to be aware of the monster in khakhi that is slowly setting itself and the region alight by its reckless experiments with terror. By 2011, the international community needs to be aware of why India may need to act on its own, if its friends fail the country.
Mumbai 27/11 (to fix the midpoint of the siege) could have been prevented, had Maharashtra not been turned into a jehad-friendly state by Maino. Former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh (who reported to a confidant of Sonia Maino) and R R Patil ensured that the police in the state ignored the jehadi pools congregated in cities such as Mumbai, Nasik, Pune and Aurangabad. Even four days after the Mumbai attacks?which were carried out with the help of the domestic networks established since the UPA took office?the police commissioner of the stricken city continued to deny that there was ?any local involvement?, or that his men were guilty of negligence or treason. In Chagan Bhujbal, Maharashtra now has a replacement for R R Patil whose track record is one of ensuring that the police remain diffident and emasculated.
The selection of Bhujbal as Maharashtra'sDeputy CM will bring cheer to the ISI, already heartened by the shift of Palaniappan Maino from Finance to Home. This worthy had failed?comprehensively?in preventing huge amounts of domestic and international funding from reaching jehadi networks in India through the regular banking system. This despite the fact that the newly-minted Home Minister had put in place a kafkaesque maze of regulations, even on cash withdrawals of as little as Rs 10,0000, for the stated purpose of ?identifying terror-related funds?. While honest taxpayers have been hounded and harassed under P Maino, terrorists have suffered zero inconvenience, much less detection, from all such measures, as the slew of terror attacks the country has been witnessing demonstrate. All that this follower of Madam has done is to ensure that the Income-tax department get powers sufficient to permit them to harass and intimidate any political or personal target of the Mainos, powers that are being used repeatedly to intimidate and persecute. He can be expected to do the same in the Home Ministry, by creating a web of restrictions and restraints on ordinary citizens and by persecuting those in the bad books of his Madam, even while making his department ineffective against terrorists and others such as narcotics traders. In the coming Maino-directed orgy of political vendetta, actual terrorists will continue to run free, even while those earning the ire of India'sruling family get hunted down.
It is symptomatic of Maino raj that during the immediate post-Mumbai attack days, when Union Defense Minister Arecaparambil Kurian Antony and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee ought to have been ensuring protection for citizens and securing international help and attention in this regard, they were spending their time in lengthy meetings in Mumbai with sundry politicians. Such meetings are a waste of time for both, as neither Mukherjee or Antony have any actual say in matters as important as the selection of a Chief Minister in a state as abundant in political slush funds as Maharashtra. Such decisions are left to the Mainos and to their intimates, even while lower orders such as Mukherjee and Antony scurry around giving sound bites to television anchors in an effort to demonstrate their own relevance. At a time when leadership was needed, the UPA showed indecision and drift.
Small wonder, as Maharashtra is the biggest contributor to the smile on AICC Treasurer Motilal Vora'sface, and it is this consideration?and this consideration alone?that weighs with the ?Congress High Command? aka the Maino family in choosing a candidate for high office. Not coincidentally, the very individual favoured by Vilasrao Patil himself, because of his presumed pliability, was chosen. Will a miracle take place and Ashok Chavan break free of his mentors and instead be a credit to his late father SB Chavan,by ensuring that the Mumbai police get cleansed of the corrupt Bollywood-loving group that has made a once magnificent force supine before the ISI? With Bhujbal as his deputy and Vilasrao and his Delhi backers at his throat, this may be a difficult if not impossible task for the new Chief Minister. The citizens of Mumbai are in for more dangerous days ahead, perhaps until the Pakistan problem gets finally resolved by either the US or by a final India-Pakistan war by 2011.
While External Affairs Minister Mukherjee and Defense Minister Antony were neglecting their life-and-death duties to the nation in the wake of the Pakistan army'sterrorist attack by squandering time in political manoeuvres, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was keeping himself busy as well. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spent a substantial quantum of his post-Mumbai Attack time reflecting on such minutiae as the bank rate with officials in the RBI and the Finance Ministry. Expectedly, the measures that have been announced by his team are much too little and far too late to prevent the recession that the deflationary economic policies pursued since 2005 are leading the Indian economy to. Sonia Maino may soon realise the goal of India getting knocked out as a serious competitor to the PRC and the EU. Certainly her economic team is making an all-out effort to fulfill this subliminal desire of the Madam, with a laughable Rs 20,000 ?stimulus? package when much, much more is needed. Indeed, the Maino package is not even a hundredth of the package announced by China.
India has become an international joke because of the vulnerability of the country to terrorist attacks, as well as to the takeover of entire districts by Maoists. This is because those agencies normally tasked with the job of locating terrorists and subversives have instead been made to concentrater on those individuals seen as inconveniently by any of the Mainos. Indeed, the bulk of the present work of some agencies relates to monitoring, persecuting or at least inconveniencing those who are critics of the ?Madam?. For example, even one so humble as this columnist has had his mobile telephone tapped for years. Often, when he visits a location, stealthy enquiries get made as to his activities, while vehicles ferrying him get tailed, while disinformation gets spread about him to those circles that may hold a favourable opinion. That so much time and resources get expended on this columnist and others like him, whose ?crime? is that they have declined to fall in line with the Madam, indicates the extreme dilution in attention paid to what ought to be the principal task of security agencies, counter-terrorism. In other words, the identification of individuals and organisations that threaten the stability and integrity of the state, and the peace of its citizens, rather than those who are inconvenient to Madam.
Of course, seldom do the agencies tasked with persecuting and harassing those inconvenient to the Mainos directly use their own staff. These days, such dirty work has been subcontracted out to shadowy private operators. Hence, it is easy enough for the official agencies involved in the attempted eradication of dissent against the Mainos to plead innocence, despite being exposed even by allies such as Amar Singh.
Indian official agencies have worked out ingenious ways to protect the criminals at the top who compromise our security. For example, they have pioneered the so-called ?narco-analysis? method of interrrogation. This is an unscientific method that makes it impossible for the human mind to separate illusion from reality, and consequently comes up with garbled and wildly inaccurate ?confessions?. The method began to be popularised in the media in the questioning of Abdul Karim Telgi. In order to ensure that Telgi'sconfessions did not implicate senior politicians who had been the receipient of his favours, the prisoner was given repeated narco-tests, with the result that a garbled flow of grotesque information tumbled out of his confused brain. Narcotics is known to induce hallucinations. That the media in India has thus far not recognised the fraud that narco-analysis represents on the criminal justice system is unfortunate. It is now being used to generate sensational but false confessions, that serve to divert attention away from the actual perpetrators and accomplices involved in a crime. Will the truth about Telgi ever surface? It seems unlikely, as there are too many at the highest echelons of authority who have a vested interest in ensuring that psycho-babble and not hard facts come out of this terminally-ill individual'smind. Should the US prevail over his protectors in the Pakistan army and Dawood Ibrahim ever get returned to India, it is certain that he would be given repeated ?narco-tests?, to ensure that the many VVIPs in India helped by him remain a secret, while he babbles forth a stream of Telgi-style ?testimony?.
What was at stake till the 26-28 November 2008 Mumbai attacks was the future of India as an emerging superpower. What is at stake now is nothing less than this country'ssurvival. Drastic aliments call for equally potent cures, and in case Washington fails to de-jehadise the Pakistan military, by 2011 India will face the option of war by 2011 or dissolution by jehad before 2020. The people of India and especially the military need to be prepared for this coming battle for life, liberty and prosperity against a military that has become the single biggest threat to the security of the international community, a force these days indistinguishable from Al Qaeda, most of whose senior commanders are enjoying its protection and hospitality.
(The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics Manipal University, and can be contacted at U26C/8 DLF QE-III,Gurgaon-122002 Haryana State, India.)