Monday, May 2, 2011

The end of a terrorist and what we must do with it

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the US on eliminating Osama Bin Laden. Unless you have completely missed the day, you must be aware that Bin Laden met his end early this morning in a surgical strike by US special- forces. For a man who preached violence and hatred, it was a fitting end.

And with the lack of imagination that is peculiar to our Government, especially when it comes to seizing moments, our PM and Home Minister chose to attack Pakistan ‘in the wrong way’.

“The 26/11 terrorists are still in Pakistan”- Mr Chidambaram was quoted to have said. “Pakistan must do more to rein in terrorism”- was Mr Singh’s quip.

Diplomacy is often putting your enemy in a tight spot. Anyone can see that the covert operation conducted by the US in Pakistani territory was without the knowledge of the Pakistani authorities. Even if there was some kind of cooperation, both the US and Pakistan seem to want to down-play that. The Pakistani authorities have so far been silent or reserved in their statements. Only ex- President Musharraf has come out openly and criticized the operation as “an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty”.

The truth is in Musharraf’s quip. Any self-respecting Pakistani should be enraged that the US has continuously treated Pakistan without any respect. The blame for this sorry state of affairs has to fall on Pakistan. But that is a long story… that which every person on the planet knows(including the Pakistani’s!). Pakistan’s rulers are sure to find it difficult to maneuver the public outrage that this event will bring about. India should have seized this chance.

A simple statement from India would have done the trick. Imagine a statement thus- “We congratulate both the people of the US and the people of Pakistan on the elimination of this most dangerous of terrorists. It’s an important day in the fight against terrorism. This could have only come about with the active cooperation between the ‘Pakistani and US authorities’. While admiring the feat, it is important to not forget that larger issues pertaining to terrorism still remain. Islamabad must repeat the cooperation that it showed with the US and extend the same to countries such as India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, UK, Israel, Spain, Australia and Indonesia, which have been victims of terrorism emanating from Pakistan."

Both the US and Pakistan will find it difficult to outwardly find fault with that statement, although internally they will be seething. Pakistan will have to come out with a diplomatic retort (they always have to whenever India says something). They can say something to the extent that there is no terrorism happening India or some bull like that. No one will take it seriously… but what will really set the cat amongst the pigeons is the focus on the ‘cooperation’ between the US and Pakistan. This cooperation is a political hot-potato for both countries. By tactfully making both parties uncomfortable India would have done exceedingly well.

Some of you maybe fazed as to why we need to make the US uncomfortable. Simple… even in Mrs Clinton’s address this evening she mentioned the bombings in Kenya, Africa, Yemen, UK and Spain as proof that terrorism and in particular Al Qaeda needed to be dealt with firmly. But when it comes to the most outrageous of terrorist attacks- the 26/11 attacks, it preaches that India must practice ‘restraint’.

It is also high-time that India covertly plans to get rid of the notorious terrorists that are harming her. I admire what the US and the Israeli’s do. In fact, most nation-states do the same. They make it extremely difficult and dangerous for their enemies to function. It shouldn’t be that bastards like Dawood Ibrahim are allowed to have a high-profile wedding for their children, or jokers like Syed Sallaudhin should be allowed to address rallies in public. The enemies of India should live in a constant state of fear. India’s hands-off strategy in trying to do justice is at odds with what is required of a strong and resilient nation-state.

A hard-line and hawkish approach is what is required. I hope the PM and Home Minister will get the message.