Significantly these eight self-confessed red alerts and clues, forecasting the impending catastrophe, were totally ignored by the government as well as the Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra which remained obsessively unifocussed on propagating, with the help of our partisan media, that the so-called ?Hindu terror? was a far bigger menace to the Indian nation than the jehad being waged by our hostile neighbour with the help of hundreds of terrorist cells planted inside our country. In their overdrive to vilify and paint Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Col. Purohit as the worst specimens of terrorists, the Maharashtra government, ATS, and the myopic leadership at the centre completely ignored the multiple warnings conveyed to them about the coming attack on Mumbai by sea-borne fidayeens. Now all three of them are in the dock. They surely owe an explanation to the Indian citizens for their unforgivable mistakes, not one but eight in all, and crass pusillanimity, in meeting the challenge of jehadi terrorism.
Only after that grisly carnage by Pakistani fidayeens, which made Mumbaikars weep in anguish for several weeks, did the truth dawn on the UPA government that the Islamic jehad, raw and gory, now re-visiting India in its macabre medieval format, was the biggest threat to the security of Indian nation! That simple truth, well known to millions of Indians all along, was wantonly ignored for full five years by the UPA.
Let there be no mistake, Mumbai 26/11 was not, repeat not, the last jehadi attack on India. There will be many more similar attacks unless the government wakes up and acts decisively in a proactive manner to destroy the festering founts of jehad located in our neighbouring countries situated on our either flank. Unfortunately India has a surfeit of columnists and politicos who constantly try to minimise the threat of Islamic terror. Most of them are farthest removed from the ground reality. Nearly seven years ago, Prof Satish Kumar, a well known strategic analyst and expert in international affairs, had highlighted in a well researched article (published in India'sNational Security Review 2002, p. 494) that the jehadi infrastructure in Pakistan had nearly 200,000 (two lakhs) armed militants across the country, backed by over one million jehad-oriented youth?though the latter were not yet armed.
Surprisingly Prof. Kumar'sestimate about the strength of jehadis in Pakistan was fairly close to the figures of jihadi warriors given by Mohammed Amir Rana in his tome, Jihad-e-Kashmir and Afghanistan. Since then so much of water has flowed down Indus. Lately the LeT and Jaish-e Mohammed have further strengthened the jehadi infrastructure with the active support and blessings of the ISI and Pakistan'sarmy.
Even after the so-called return to democracy, Pakistan continues to harbour vitriolic hatred against India (read Hindus) and poses a strategic threat to peace in the sub-continent. In essence our hostile neighbour, dominated by a roguish military establishment and the ISI, will not desist from targeting India by waging its notoriously famous ?war of a thousand cuts?. There is a complete unity of purpose between the Pakistani army, the ISI, LeT, Al Qaeda and Taliban about their ultimate goal of establishing a ?seamless caliphate? from Indonesia to the Balkans. And India, the only bulwark of democracy and secularism in South Asia, happens to be the sole obstacle in their cherished global design.
An inkling of the further jehadi trouble in store for us was given by the former dictator of Pakistan, General Musharraf, when he recently came to attend the ?India Today Conclave? at Delhi, and boastfully proclaimed that there will be many more Kargils, unless India submits to Pakistan'sdiktats. After all ?Kargil? too was part of the ongoing Islamic jihad against India, as surely as Mumbai 26/11 was!
(The author is a retired DGP and has written a number of books on national security.)