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India's war against terror - what next?

Now that Mumbai is limping back to normalcy, discussions are raging on the Internet and in the mainstream media about the appropriate response by India to these attacks.

Option 1: Pre-emptive strikes against terror camps in Pakistan
Option 2: Covert war against Jihadi elements in Pakistan and elsewhere (Bangladesh, Nepal, within India etc.)
Option 3: Speak tough with Pakistan's helpless civilian govt, but basically do nothing and may be prepare a bit for more terror attacks.

While there are lot of voices asking for Option 1, and a fair number rooting for Option 2, evidence so far shows that the UPA govt is most likely going to go with Option 3. Congress may get tempted to go for Option 1 in January/February depending on the results of current assembly elections to MP, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Chattisgarh.However, I don't think Manmohan Singh or Sonia have the guts to go ahead with such an option. Among all Indian PMs so far, only Indira Gandhi has shown such guts.

Also, going for an overt war will be counter productive.Pakistan is basically an army controlling a nuclear power country, and the Army is likely to use any war as a justification for overthrowing the civilian govt and revert the country to a military dictatorship.

So, let us look at what needs to be done in terms of Option 2.
1.Those who are advocating covert actions on Pakistani soil against the jihadi camps, please note that successive union govts (NDA and UPA) have defanged the RAW to the extent that we don’t have a covert ops group any longer. B.Raman has been asking for reviving the RAW covert ops group for the past 2 years.
2.But we can take Mossad’s help to execute a quick covert ops in Muridke for starters.
3.And we can crack down heavily on D-Company in Mumbai as part of internal security measures.Sadly, no analyst is asking for this crackdown.And the Maharashtra govt seems unwilling to eliminate the D-Company elements in Mumbai.
4.I think we need to use Chanakya Neeti here.No overt direct military action against Pakistan.Keep talking to the civilian govt there (at under-secretary level), and get into Afghanistan in a big way.Encourage the Greater Afghanistan or Pakhtoonistan elements to break Pakistan.
5.Revive the RAW's covert ops group, use the connections in PoK to plan and execute covert ops on the camps near Mujaffarabad.
6.Repeal Art 370, and start a demographic resettlement of the valley.Seed a real estate boom in J&K and let the DLFs/Rahejas make money (along with the locals!)

For some of the actions above, especially 6, we may need a change of govt.


Ray Lightning said…
The options before India are (1) exact revenge for what we have suffered (2) ensure that this type of terrorism never happens.

(1) and (2) are not totally identical.

Whether we like it or not, we are sandwiched to live with a Muslim population of 150 millions on either side of the country. Within India, there are another 150 millions. A strong feeling of brotherhood and pan-Islamic identity will develop, and this is a given, nothing we do can prevent it.

The question to ask is whether this sentiment can be contained in a harmonic relationship with India, or whether this would necessitate continuous warfare.

Lashkar-e-toiba didn't need a total state-built apparatus, neither nuclear weaponry to carry out these terrorist attacks. Even if Pakistan is hypothetically broken up (into Pashtunistan, Balochistan etc), these type of attacks will not cease to happen on Indian soil.

In this scenario, the best bet for the Indian strategy is to actually "strengthen" the Pakistani federal government and make it accountable to every action that happens from within its borders. Not the opposite way round.
Kumar Narasimha said…

I agree with you when you say that LeT or any other terror group does not total state-built apparatus to carry out terror attacks.

But the fact is, they did get the support of rogue elements in Pakistan Army.So, any addressal of the problem will involve dismantling these terror networks completely.And that seems to be beyond the capacity of any civilian govt in Pakistan.