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  • Pakistan: Beginning of the Endgame?

    If the Army withers away then a fragmentation of Pakistan into a ‘Lebanonized’ state would become inevitable.

    June 17, 2011

    Emerging Dynamics of Pakistan’s Internal Situation and the Security Challenge for India

    As of now, institutions within Pakistan are strong enough to prevent both the balkanisation of Pakistan as well as the possibility of the state falling into theocratic hands. Pakistan is also unlikely to wind up terror operations against India as it considers the terrorist organisations to be its strategic assets. Internal disturbances within Pakistan allow it to maintain plausible deniability and the shifting of blame on to non-state actors over whom Pakistan claims it has no control. This paper argues that India’s response to terror will have to be well thought out.

    April 2011

    Pakistan’s 26/11

    Both India and Pakistan must immediately review their security practices for the protection of vital and vulnerable national assets, which in Pakistan’s case must also include nuclear weapons.

    May 24, 2011

    The Post Osama Possibilities

    The elimination of OBL might not accelerate US withdrawal from Afghanistan, but in all probability this marks the beginning of the end of active US military presence in Afghanistan.

    May 06, 2011

    al Qaeda: Beyond Osama-bin Laden

    The death of Osama bin laden, is not the end of al Qaeda. It may disable it, but will not kill ‘al Qaeda the idea or movement’. We need to remember that bin Laden and al Qaeda articulated a political grievance which will not disappear with his elimination. The 'war of ideas' is still on.

    May 03, 2011

    Osama’s Killing: Regional Implications

    The elimination of Osama, though a great feat by the US special forces, will largely be a symbolic event – terrorism is unlikely to end and the situation in Af-Pak is not likely to improve.

    May 03, 2011

    Nexus of Drug Trafficking and Militancy Exposed at New Delhi

    Drug trafficking has become a major source of funding for armed groups in the north east and contributes to the continuance of militancy in the region.

    April 13, 2011

    J. Singh asked: Who is more dangerous for India Islamic Terrorism, Hindu Terrorism or Naxal?

    S. Kalyanraman replies: Naxals pose the more serious challenge to India today because they seem to enjoy a measure of popular support particuarly among the tribal people. Naxals have gained popular support among the tribals because they have taken up the tribal cause and tribal discontent -- tribal peoples in India's heartland feel that they have not adequately benefited from the mineral wealth being extracted from their "land"; and that they have been generally neglected by the government which has not been providing them with governanance and civic amenities; etc. Popular support has enabled Naxals to expand their armed cadre, given them the advantage of operating more freely in tribal-dominated areas and to gather adequate intelligence about the movements of the security forces. If the Naxals manage to consolidate their presence and entrench themselves in these areas, then it will be natural for them to seek to expand the areas under their influence. While it may be too early to say whether the Naxals will be able to expand thus, what can be said with greater assurance is that a Naxal consolidation in tribal areas will prolong the insurgency, militarise the people of the area, and generally hold back the region's and the country's progress.

    In contrast, neither militant Islamists nor Hindu radicals enjoy any degree of popular support within India, which makes them that much less dangerous. But this is not to discount that they pose a serious security challenge given that they mainly target innocenet civilians in places of worship, markets, suburban trains, hotels, etc. Here, the threat from militant Islamists is more dangerous than that posed by Hindu radicals because militant Islamists are much better organised and trained and linked, going back to the Afghan jihad of the 1980s. India faces a terrorist threat not only from Indian militant Islamists but also from Pakistani militant Islamists. In addition, linkages exist between Indian and Pakistani militant Islamists on one hand and criminal networks like the D-Company on the other. And all these actors have links with the Pakistani Establishment -- Dawood and his lieutenants are based in Karachi and are under Pakistan's protection, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and other anti-India groups continue to enjoy protection in Pakistan, and Indian Islamists receive training in Pakistan and their travel is facilitated by Indian criminal networks.

    In contrast, Hindu radicals are new to this game, and, under the present circumstances, it appears unlikely that there will be state support or international support for the organisation of a group or groups committed to waging a holy war of any sort. Nor do these groups appear to enjoy any popular support.

    Vikas Kalyani asked: What can be India's contribution towards fighting the global terrorism based on the experience gained so far?

    Rumel Dahiya replies: The most important contribution that India can make in fighting terrorism globally is propagating the right conceptual framework. Delinking terrorism from religion, terrorism being bad and unacceptable under any pretext like 'root cause', defeating terrorism without putting people to hardship are the ideas that would resonate across the globe. Defeating terrorism at home through synergised efforts of all agencies of the government and cooperation of the people will send the right message to all the countries affected by terrorism. Besides setting an example of how to eliminate terrorism, India could and should cooperate with other countries through information sharing about terror networks, their financing, arms trafficking and cross-border linkages etc. However, it is not advisable to get directly involved in fighting terrorism on foreign soil.

    Maoists’ Abduction Tactic

    Abduction is a Maoist tactic to arm-twist the government and secure the release of imprisoned comrades as well as make some tactical gains by placing demands that could be projected as pro-people.

    February 23, 2011