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Terrorism Archives - Page 3 of 15 - varnamvarnam | Page 3
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Shekhar Kapur, Karan Thapar & Pakistan

Pakistan is a major ally in the war on terror since most of the terror originates from Pakistan. Billions of dollars are pumped into Pakistan to improve the Army to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Seeing  little ROI on the money, Americans are planning to conduct aggressive covert operations within Pakistan to strike the terrorists and capture or kill Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri. Shekhar Kapur is upset with this news

It will take a lot of will and hard thinking from the Pakistani people to stop this and not allow their nation to become the next battle ground between terrorism and the US. And neither can India now stand by and watch.

…. It is time for India to go out and actively extend our help to the people of Pakistan to move to a more stable democracy. It is time to forget the past and help Pakistan develop economically. [Bush expands his ‘war on terror’ to inlude all of Pakistan]

A similar surge in sympathy towards Pakistan was seen when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. While the news was tragic, some Indians were commenting that Benazir was India’s best hope and Karan Thapar wrote a warm and personal article in which she manifested as Saint Bhutto. According to Mr. Thapar she was a warm, understanding and caring person, which might be true, but  secondary if you care about India’s national interests.

She was also the prime minister who gave the ISI the go-ahead to wage jihad on India. She was the one who exhorted the Pakistan trained and financed terrorists to ‘jag-jag mo-mo han-han’ Jagmohan the then governor of Jammu and Kashmir with an explicit chopping motion of the right hand across the open left palm. She was the one who shrieked ‘Azadi-azadi’ from across the LOC and extended Zia-ul-Haq’s doctrine of death by a thousand cuts to Kashmir[Remembering the truth about Benazir]

Zulfikar Bhutto proudly announced, “Pakistanis would eat grass”, referring to their nuclear program.  Pakistan is facing a shortage of wheat, sugar and cooking oil and the ongoing energy shortages and hoarding of wheat have worsened the wheat flour crisis.  Still the American money contributed for the war on terror has been used for developing weapon systems to counter India. Even if Benazir, who Henry Kissinger thought was more intimidating than Zulfikar is dead, the anti-India stand espoused by her is alive under the baleful influence of  Musharraf, ISI and the Pakistani Army.

Also, we have bitten many times before. On February 20, 1999 around 4:10 PM, Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee crossed to Pakistan in the Delhi-Lahore bus and he was  greeted by the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. They pledged to “open the gates of friendship and demolish the wall of hatred.” Few months later,  in May 1999, the the elite Special Services Group as well as four to seven battalions of Pakistan Army backed by Kashmiri guerrillas and Afghan mercenaries covertly occupied vantage points in Kargil inside India. Finally Indian Army with Israeli and American support regained the territory. Who is going to guarantee that such state sponsored tourism won’t happen again?

Unless there is an attitude change across the border (which will happen when David Dhawan starts making Pather Panchali type movies), any talk about forgetting the pasting is a stultifying discussion.

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The Buddha loses

Nitin, you were right. They came back.

MINGORA: Some unidentified militants blew up the historic statue of Buddha in Jihan Abad area of Swat district on Saturday.

The curator maintained that the statue belonged to 7th century A.D, and it was the most complete and inspiring symbol of Gandahara art. After the historic statues of Bamyan in Afghanistan, which were destroyed by the Taliban, the swat statue was the sole example of Buddhist cultural heritage.

“It was seven meters tall and 20 feet high from the land, showing Buddha in the condition of meditation. I don’t know what they want to achieve by such actions,” he added. Aqleem said he had reported the incident to the local police but he did not think that the police would be able to protect Buddhist cultural sites in swat as they themselves were the victims of terrorist attacks.[Militants blow up Buddha statue in Swat]

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Buddha wins

Islamic terrorists, this time from Pakistan, continue their fight against Buddhist rock carvings.

There was, however, no damage to the image of the sitting Buddha carved into a 40-metre high rock in mountains 20 km north of Mingora, a town in the scenic Swat valley, northwest of the capital, Islamabad.

A group of masked-men tried to destroy the carving on Tuesday, said provincial archaeology department official Aqleem Khan.

“Militants drilled holes in the rock and filled them with dynamite and blew it up,” Khan said on Wednesday.

“The explosion damaged the upper part of the rock but there was no damage to the image itself,” he told Reuters.[Pakistani militants try to blow up Buddha carving]

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Sacrificed for "Secularism"

Lumbini was the place where Buddha was born, but Lumbini Park in Hyderabad is the place where 10 people were killed along with 32 others who died in another explosion near a popular eatery. Many others were saved, not because of any great work by Indian police, but due to the ineptness of the terrorists.

After the Mumbai terrorist attacks on the trains, Home Minister, Shivraj Patil told the media that he knew such an attack was going to happen, but since no one told him the time or place and so he could not prevent it. This time the intelligence agencies knew that explosives were delivered to terrorists in Hyderabad in March 2007.

The first page in an Indian passport has a request from the President of India to let the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford him or her every assistance and protection of which he or she may stand in need. The Congress party seems to have requested such privileges for Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami terrorists carrying eight kilograms of military-grade explosives within the country as well.

We say this because some aggressive policing would have protected the city, but the Congress Governments, both at the center and the state, chose not do so so because it would not have gone well with people who worship Gen. Musharraf and Osama bin Laden. Thus when the Government possibly could have prevented this incident, it did not, for fear of upsetting the vote bank.

Then the Congress party big wigs have to ask themselves, what good is a dead vote bank?

(Cross posted at INI Signal)

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Ominous Patterns

This week the British Police foiled a plot to kidnap, torture and murder a British Soldier by nine British citizens, all of Pakistani descent. Earlier the Police had foiled another plot which involved bombing several airlines flying from London to United States, again planned by British citizens of Pakistani descent. Intolerance has been spreading in Britain and the ingredients required for creating terrorists are all present in sufficient quantities, like availability of weapons and indoctrinated civilians. The British Govt. also had no problems in letting in Mullahs preaching jihad and now all that is coming to bite them.

Though no such plots have originated or have been busted in Kerala, the stage is slowly being set for it to be a base for future activities. Recently the Customs officials in Kochi seized a huge quantity of rifles and air guns, concealed among more innocent looking cargo in a ship which arrived from Dubai. Also found in the boxes were copies of Qur’an and police has been searching for an importer named Koya Haji. In 2003 when a group of Hindu fishermen were murdered in Marad, a large quantity of arms were discovered in the local mosque. According to the reports in a local newspaper, the collection of arms started four months before the incident.

Terrorism needs foot soldiers and that too is being setup. Though Frederick Forsyth’s new novel, The Afghan, had two terrorists who were Muslims from Kerala, that doesn’t seem like fiction now. Migrants are returning back from the Persian Gulf with stricter views of Islam and there has been rise in fundamentalist tendencies. There is stress on abiding by the strict Islamic dress codes for women and recently one organization even demanded that Muslim youth stop watching soccer. Muslim groups are also asking their followers to keep their children away from Hindu ceremonies. This was never the case in Kerala and such situation of intolerance for other religions can easily exploited for mischievous purposes.

When you spot such tendencies, you would think that politicians would rush to defuse the situation. Not in Kerala. Both the ruling Communists and opposition Congress have found it convenient to close their eyes. After the Marad incident, when the police wanted to search the local mosque for arms, they were stopped by the leaders of the Muslim League (partners of the Congress) and later when the police entered, they found a large amount of weapons. A judicial commission which probed this incident reported that at least one senior politician of Muslim League had advance knowledge of the conspiracy. For the recent state elections, the Communist Party openly courted Abdul Nasser Madani, who is in jail for the 1998 blasts in Coimbatore.

In Bob Woodward’s book, The State of Denial, there is an incident, a few months before Sept 11, 2002 when George Tenet tells the National Security Advisor Condi Rice that he is able to see a pattern in intelligence which suggests that al-Qaeda is planning something big.  He says he cannot find the smoking gun, but on connecting the dots, he seems something ominous.  Condi Rice did not do anything with this information. The pattern in the information from Kerala suggests that something is afoot. In fact Defense Minister, A. K. Antony, a former Chief Minister has said that the Kerala’s coastal region is unsafe.

In the late 70s in Punjab, the Congress followed a policy of communal appeasement which bough the Sikh right into politics and we got Bhindranwale. The state later exploded with violence as a result of the violence used for suppression. After 30 years we are now starting along the same path in Kerala showing us that we have learned enough from history to repeat it again.

(Cross posted on INI Signal)

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