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War is not a solution

December 10, 2008 19:14 IST

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What are India's options after the terror attacks?

What must India do, strategically and procedurally, to ensure that the nation does not ever again endure a brutality like the terrorism Mumbai encountered last fortnight?

Please contribute your views (in 400 words or less) to optionsforindia@rediffmail.com We suggest you list your recommendations; you can expand briefly on each item.

We look forward to a discussion so educative and illuminating that the guardians of our national security can learn from what you readers suggest.


K Lal says:

Pressurise the international community to declare Pakistan a terrorist State and to initiate economic and military sanctions against it.

Adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards Pakistani border posts firing on our posts in order to facilitate infiltration by terrorists. Such posts must be totally destroyed by our forces. Authority for such retaliation must be publicly given to our battalion commanders so that action is initiated without loss of time.

Intensify aerial and satellite reconnaissance on our borders to enable advanced acquisition of troop and terrorist movements across the borders and to aid planning for retaliatory action.

To participate militarily in a big way alongside the international forces in fighting the extremists in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is an important support base for the terrorists and it is in our interest to help sanitise this region and we should therefore be active participants, militarily too, out there. We already have many Afghan refugees and many of them could be inducted into the Afghan war alongside our own forces. Our participation in Afghanistan is entirely legal and would be welcomed too by the international community.

Most importantly, our active participation in the Afghan war would reduce the West's dependence on Pakistan as an ally against terror and allow it then to act more strongly against Pakistan's involvement with terrorists. Furthermore, our participation in the Afghan war would be extremely unpalatable to the Pakistan army [Images] and government and they would not then be able to blackmail the West by threatening to relocate their forces from the Afghan border to the the Indian border.

Nilesh Khanolkar says:

I think terrorism is one of the important things but root cause is somewhere else... We need to get disciplined by following these steps:

ALL citizen must say "No" to corruption, ie, no one will offer and no one will accept bribe.

Make all borders (countrywide-statewide) secure. Put automatic control mechanism wherever we can not deploy force. Entry and Exit should be well monitored.

Clean-up internal mess.

Make every movement controlled -- every person/car/shop/office/building should have legal status. Unauthorised person (Bangladeshi, etc), unauthorised car, unlicensed hawker, unauthorised shop, office should be identified and deported/demolished. This would help to have legal status for everyone, so that there can be proper tracking mechanism incase of any unauthorised activity happens. Government will have extra TAX money too if everything is legal. We will have true democracy.

Municipal corporation/panchayat/etc along with police should visit all places and clean up illegal things (people, shops, etc). In fact, they have allowed lot of illegal things by taking bribes or under politicians pressure. They should take extra initiatives rather than waiting for people's complaints.

Every citizen should carry an identity card authorised by nonprofit organisation. They should have permanent or temporary residence proof.

Readers options, 1: Set up a federal investigation agency

Make all public places secure by keeping extra armed security/policemen. There should be guideline for citizens to act in terror situations. People will pay extra tax if required.

Every city/taluka should declare their action plan for next six months and status should be displayed on big banners at common places or in newspapers.

Every citizen should support policemen to do their job and respect them.

Finally, politicians should behave like regular citizen, ie, they should not take any special privileges like security or traffic clearance. They will understand pains of citizen. Even industrialist who are victims of terrorism and traffic problems gets regular treatment in public. Politicians should not be treated like Very Important Person.

Above steps will improve security and quality of living. People will respect for government and administrators. They will feel good while submitting tax.

Naya Savera says:

Post terror attack India has got very few options left which are:

1. Inform international community that Pakistan is a terrorist State and the government is a toy in the hands of terrorists.

2. Make a video recording of all the confessions of the terrorist caught alive through a hidden camera and put all those recordings in public forum and show the same to UN countries. Build a pressure on US for putting sanctions on all kind of military aid to Pakistan as the same is used by the Pakistani government. for helping terrorists and not for the benefit of their own common man. So giving any kind of aid to Pakistan is like feeding terrorism.

3. A nation has to protect its own interest. Bring anti terrorism law and federal agency with immediate effect and those who caught for helping the terrorists should be booked under that law and should be given capital punishment. Till we clean our own periphery, we will not succeed in war against terrorism.

4. Start hitting PoK so that terrorist camps which America is ignoring can be cleaned. It is a fact that 1/3 of the Pakistan is not under the control of democratically elected government but under control of Al Qaeda [Images] and the Taliban [Images]. These attacks will make them understand that even they can be eliminated and will force them to surrender. Mere diplomatic pressure will not help.

Manu Tandon says:

As of now EU and US are supporting India. Russia [Images] would anyway support us. War would be a costly preposition for India and in a way it would be dangerous since both are nuclear-armed countries. However, the following options are there for India till all 20 persons are handed over to India wherein whole world would unanimously support us.

Throw out all Pakistani nationals from India immediately including diplomatic staff. Give them 12 hours notice.

Stop all business interactions with all Pakistani companies and government on an immediate basis. Without notice. If any Indian company is affected the government should help.

Make it loud and clear to all airlines and shipping companies that any ship or flight that goes to Pakistan would not be allowed Indian air space and waters. Simultaneously stop the buss and train services immediately.

Mobilise full military might at the border. Pakistan would have to follow suit and the US would not allow this to happen and exert enormous pressure. Moreover, even if they do mobilise, there would be a HUGE financial burden on them.

Take the help of the Indian Diaspora to alienate Pakistani businesses all over the world wherever they have influence.

Lastly, there are some rivers that flow into Pakistan. If it is technically possible, STOP the waters or at least delay it. If they cry foul and talk about international laws, then remind them of the red corner notice against the wanted accused.

Dinesh Mishray says:

Have very close military ties with Israel and Russia.

Local police, intelligence, armed forces to be taken out from the purview of politics.

Two party (political) system similar to Western countries.

No political appointment after 7 years of holding any public post.

Minimum qualification for candidates to contest polls.

Retirement age to be set for politicians.

Immediately strike Pak terror camps joining hands with Israel and Russia.

C V Narayanan says:

To be alert is one of the best options we Indians have as of now. No suspicious movement should be overlooked. Strict vigil to be maintained over road, rail, air and sea unlike the first time.

Brijesh Sharma says:

Improve sources from the intelligence agencies, give them more freedom and support.

Motivate the police and armed forces, give them a salary hike so they don't try to take bribes, improve their living standards.

Equip our commandos and local police with sophisticated weapons and complete support.

Make our boundaries more secure, then only we can prevent infiltration.

I love my country, like my parents and my brother, I felt sorry for those who died in Mumbai. As an Indian I feel only our politicians are responsible, they are like our parents, their duty is to handle the home without any problems but I think our parents are not bothered to keep our home safe.

I request our leaders please look inside your heart and love this home.

Sujan Kumar Saraswati says:

The security environment in our country is a part of the overall national environment. In most of the earlier terrorist attacks, we have seen that these elements have been able to reach their targets almost unhindered. In most of the cases, they could get past all the security arrangements.

If we analyse it further, we will probably find that the security screenings are mostly compromised and the reason is our ego. We expect to be recognised, particularly if we are politicians or are civil servants. The poor security personnel can ask us for our identity. We do not expect our luggage to be frisked and take it as a personal offence.

The second issue is gratification. Our security personnel are motivated more if their job entails them some thing more than what is due to them. A normal man would not probably think of obliging the police or any other government servant. Only those who cannot support the legitimacy of their claim would like to oblige the public servant and that is a big compromise.

Delwyn D'Souza says:

We cannot dream of being a respected nation (forget about any superpower status) if we cannot act assertively and comprehensively in our own interests by destroying such elements wherever they maybe. First, respect yourself before others do. We cannot allow the US or any country to dictate actions to us about our own national security.

Arrests cannot ensure we will not be attacked again. We have to hunt down these individuals, one by one, no matter where they are. We cannot attack Pakistan for fear of a nuclear response.

If the government does anything less than attacking cross-border camps (Pakistan will not, for fear of backlash from within the country), then India will break down by itself . We will destroy ourselves. The time is . History will record this as the defining moment in our country's current survival and future status.

Govind Das Dujari says:

Pakistan defiantly refused to entertain any Indian demands. Had the Americans been really serious and turned the heat on the Pakistanis they would not have dared to refuse so flatly. It is only the US that can tame Pakistan, but the Americans are doing no more than lip service for their self-interest as Pakistan is more important to them for war on terror in Afghanistan than India.

Indian troops may be moved towards the Pakistani border in the same way the Vajpayee government deployed 300,000 to 400,000 troops on the Indo-Pak border in the aftermath of the Parliament attack. There will be no intention of war, but only eyeball-to-eyeball contact. Our troops will be just picnicking. Pakistan will have to match our number of troops on their borders. They will have no option but to redeploy troops from the Afghan border and other disturbed areas within Pakistan.

Pakistan is already under serious attack from various terrorist groups based in the NWFP and Baluchistan. The vacuum formed by the withdrawal of the army from the disturbed regions would help terrorists launch more attacks within Pakistan with greater ease. This will shake the Pakistanis very badly and make them feel the pain of the pinch.

The option that Pakistan has given to Americans to choose between the war on terror and supporting an aggressive India has no base. They will face more terrorist attacks in the absence of adequate army presence in disturbed regions. In fact, Pakistanis have no choice at all. In the same way, the vacuum of Pakistani army along the Afghan border will make American job of fighting Al Qaeda and Taliban too difficult. Both these countries will never like this situation to arise. They will immediately bow to Indian demands as soon as deployment order is issued and leaves of army officers and soldiers are cancelled, leave alone actual deployment taking place.

Raj Kumar says, India has very few practically possible options left out. All these options depend on how Washington will react.

Provide more evidence to Pakistan directly after thorough interrogation of Qasab rather bits and pieces through the media.

Save the Pak government and their media from the Pak army which is very essential for any concrete action from the Pak side.

Keep the US and their allies happy till extraditing/eliminating all terrorists.

Shourjo Ghose says:

What should the Indian government do? NOTHING!!! The PMO cannot do anything. The Manmohan Singh [Images] government is under tremendous pressure to look tough on terror. This is especially relevant considering that we are a few months shy of elections. Inaction now will make the government look impotent and ensure a landslide victory for the NDA.

However, should the Indian government respond with military force even in a limited fashion, like an airstrike or a missile strike on PoK training camps, it will open a Pandora's box. A limited strike by India will put the newly elected government of President Asif Ali Zardari [Images] under tremendous pressure to respond. If he fails to do so, he will look weak to the Pakistani people, who will turn to the military establishment and the Zardari government will fall in the next year.

If he responds to an Indian strike, it will trigger a war which Pakistan cannot hope to win, at least conventionally. A war will also benefit the military establishment as they will be the de facto rulers of the country.

Also, in case of a war with India. Pakistan has to move 100,000 troops currently fighting the mujahideen to the eastern theatre. The relieved mujahideen will bury the hatchet with the Pakistan army and in turn augment the Pakistani forces facing India.

Therefore, in no time India will be faced with three million heavily armed Afghans along with the Pakistani army, not to mention the wrath of the USA for disrupting their war on terror.

As the situation stands the government cannot do anything but strengthen the current infrastructure to fight terror and wait for their inevitable defeat in the upcoming elections.

B H Lokesh says:

Never go to war. War is not the solution.

Use powers available with the UN Security Council and impose sanctions. Pakistanis have to pay for their misdeeds.

Dry up financial resources to the Pak government and terror organisations. Let the Pakis starve.

Infiltrate Pakistan terror organisations and the ISI to collect information. There are many India-sympathetic Mohajirs in Pakistan who can do this job for India.

Bleed Pakistan by creating similar terror attacks. In this way we can keep Pakistan busy.

Tapan Arora says:

. Close all bilateral talks with Pakistan.

Stop PIA from using our air space.

Stop all trade activities with Pakistan.

No vessel bound to Pakistan and from Pakistan should be allowed to use our water space.

Revoke the Most Favoured Nation status assigned to Pakistan.

In the current scenario, both countries are nuclear armed and going in for a war means mass destruction of our country. Pakistan is on the verge of bankruptcy. If we really want to destroy them, we have to do it economically and politically without causing major harm to ourselves.

Dharmadas Pan says:

Unity of all Indians. No politics of religion and caste. All will remember that we are Indian first, then region, then religion (no caste).

Internal security to be tightened, better coordination between army, intellegance agency and state police. Independent state police department.

All parties will unite when any such action taken by the government which is better for India.

Need an independent body like the Election Commission who will judge that all parties are fulfilling their commitment made before elections. If not, a report will published and the party banned for the next election.






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