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'Malaysian authorities are hiding more than what we see'

March 19, 2014 14:29 IST

'Malaysian authorities are hiding more than what we see'

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Vicky Nanjappa

'This does not appear to be a crash. Had it been one, then the debris would have been found...'

'Al Qaeda today has greater presence around the world...'

'If the West withdraws completely, Afghanistan will rely on Pakistan which in turn will use the situation to pursue its own agenda...'


Ajit Doval, former director, Intelligence Bureau and a likely National Security Adviser if a non-Congress government comes to power, speaks to Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa about the return of terrorism, national security and other worrying issues.

There is a lot of speculation around the missing Malaysian aircraft. What do you think happened?

From what I can gather through media reports is that the authorities are hiding more than what we can see.

I find it hard to believe that the radar could have missed the flight unless it was in a dead zone (200 kilometres between two radars is known as a dead zone).

This does not appear to be a crash. Had it been one, then the debris would have been found.

Something has gone wrong. But in the absence of data, I cannot say much.

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Image: A Malaysian Airlines aircraft
Photographs: Reuters

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'Some terror outfit would have claimed responsibility by now'

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Vicky Nanjappa

Had it been a terror attack, would not have some organisation claimed responsibility?

With regard to such a big incident -- keeping the publicity in mind -- some organisation, whether involved or not, would have claimed responsibility by now.

Take the Ishrat Jahan case for instance, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba was quick to claim credit, stating that she was their operative.

For terror groups, publicity matters and hence someone would have claimed credit for the missing aircraft, whether they were part of the operation or not.

If one has to look at the target analysis, then China was the target as most of the passengers on the flight were its citizens.

Now who targets China is an important question.

Was it Tibetans? It is unlikely since they (Tibetans) do not indulge in such acts.

Was it the group that hit China's Kunming province recently?

These are possibilities, but in the absence of data and nobody claiming responsibility one cannot come to any conclusion.

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Image: Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER flight MH318 to Beijing on the tarmac at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Photographs: Edgar Su/Reuters

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'I don't see any political party speak much on security issues, especially maritime security'

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Vicky Nanjappa

Speaking of India's internal security and the rise of regional parties, do you think these parties have a national vision?

In the management of national security, there is a need to have a national perspective.

Regional parties must have a global agenda and a national vision.

There is a need to take deliberate action and also have clarity on what needs to be achieved on this front.

Regional parties neither have that mindset nor the maturity of a national vision.

Even if we were to have a prime minister from a regional party, they must have intellectuals and analysts to study the issue of national security and address it as it is very important.

I do not see any political party speak much on security issues, especially maritime security which according to me needs to be addressed at a fundamental level.

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Image: Marine Commandos during Navy Day celebrations in Visakhapatnam.
Photographs: Krishnendu Haldar/Reuters
Tags: India

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'Today, Al Qaeda has greater presence around the world'

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Vicky Nanjappa

Has Osama bin Laden's death weakened Al Qaeda?

Today, Al Qaeda has greater presence around the world.

Just because Osama has gone that does not mean the organisation is dead.

There are many concise organisations and if one were to look at it, there have been more incidents of radical jihad in 2013 compared to 2001.

Al Qaeda today has surpassed more than what Osama would have thought of. It is supporting groups in North Africa and the Middle East.

Incidents around the world are being viewed as individual problems by the West. However, the ideology behind the attacks is similar to that of Al Qaeda.

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Image: Fighters from the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group in the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey.
Photographs: Yaser Al-Khodor/Reuters

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'The situation in Afghanistan has the potential of high instability'

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Vicky Nanjappa

Will the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan this year make the world a more dangerous place?

There are conditions that apply here. First, we must understand that Afghanistan is not in a state to take care of an army, which has its resistance from the Taliban.

The situation in Afghanistan has the potential of high instability and there is a need to force Pakistan to stop supporting all forms of terror.

Pakistan supports terrorist groups as it feels it may lose leverage over Afghanistan.

If the West withdraws completely, Afghanistan will rely on Pakistan which in turn will use the situation to pursue its own agenda.


Image: A US soldier speaks to an Afghan boy in Shah Joy, Afghanistan.
Photographs: Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras/US Air Force

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