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Pakistan alleges RAW involvement in domestic terrorism

It has now been revealed that the Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani handed the Indian Prime Minister documents supporting terrorist activities aided by India’s Research Analysis Wing (R&AW) during their meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh last week. This comes close to the heels of a joint statement by both nations on terrorism, Pakistan’s admission that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was indeed the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and more importantly at a time when the lone surviving terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab confessed his involvement in the 26/11 episode.

The dossier handed to the Indian Prime Minister is said to contain details pertaining to the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore and that on a police academy on the outskirts of the city earlier this year. Pakistani authorities have, furthermore, indicated that they are fully aware of the identities and location of Indian handlers and their operatives in the region and claim to be actively monitoring their activities. Elaborate photographic evidence of Indian handlers meeting with their operatives are also part of the report. That apart, the document is also believed to have listed out the many safe houses used by Indian operatives along with their locations, an extensively detailed trail of financial transactions which Pakistan believes has been done at India’s behest to fund operations in the region and locations of ‘India-funded training camps in Kandahar where Baloch insurgents are trained to mount insurgency operations against Pakistan!

It looks like a very well structured report at the outset, except that it is too good to be true! Pakistan, has certainly engaged, once again, in convoluted fabrication in order to draw away world attention from its failing state! Kasab’s confession was only a matter of time, after which India and the international community would exert pressure on it to clamp down on perpetrating terrorism. Adding to this, the recently concluded visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also saw, although in milder terms, a categorical appeal to Pakistan to refrain from activities that could embroil the region in a serious security flux. Having foreseen Kasab’s confession, Pakistan had little option but to fabricate a dossier outlining Indian complicity in terrorist activities within its boundaries considering the impending heat it was bound to face!

On another angle, this report prepared by Pakistani authorities raises more questions than answers which they desperately seek. Assuming that the contents of the report are correct, which is certainly unlikely, one would understand that Pakistan has indeed spent some time compiling it. One then questions why Pakistan has refrained from acting upon the information that it has so diligently put together! Why have the agents and operatives in question not yet been rounded up, despite their identities indisputably confirmed by way of photographic evidence? They certainly do not possess diplomatic immunity, I suppose! Why have Pakistani security services not raided the safe houses that they so emphatically claim to be used by Indian agents and operatives? Are they waiting for an opportunity to present itself? Why hasn’t action been taken despite the knowledge and evidence of what has been termed as an extensive labyrinth of financial transactions made by India in support of subversive activities in Pakistan? They certainly would not need Indian consent! Most importantly why the timing of this disclosure? Why has Pakistan not raised this before? Why has not the international community been notified of this earlier? Why has not the United States, which is a committed partner on the war on terror been told about this at a much opportune moment, earlier?

Answers to all the aforesaid questions can be deduced with ease and little thought, I’m sure. Moreover, one can easily see through the ploy here, it being an act of countering India at a time when all evidence of terror operations point towards Pakistan, them being the confession of Kasab, Pakistan’s admission of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) complicity in the 26/11 episode and most importantly the irrefutable evidence presented by Indian agencies. Pakistan has once again acted out of sheer desperation rather than basing its actions on conclusive evidence.

Pakistan should aim at prosecuting elements behind terrorist attacks in India and not lead the world into a wild goose chase with concocted documents and reports. The onus lies on Pakistan to come clean and act mature and responsible in combating terror and display credentials that can be taken as positive emanations paving way for significant strategic partnerships and not engage in activities that could contribute to distrust and acrimony, least of all making false dossiers and handing it to an executive head of state!

Decoding L'Aquila

It seems Obama’s misreported bottomgate affair hogged the limelight more than the proceedings of the G8, which this time too failed to arrive at a much needed consensus on important issues such as climate change. As before, leaders of the group of eight, along with invitees, once again came together to put their thoughts on issues such as nuclear energy, dialogue with emerging countries, achievement of millennium development goals, negotiations on climate change, development of Africa in the areas of education, water, food and agriculture, health and peace support, intellectual property, outreach and expansion.

Not surprisingly the debate on climate change has brought forward no significant or tangible solution, with member nations not focusing on emission cuts and most importantly the Kyoto Protocol. While some question the relevance of the G8 in the face of a modernized global scenario, some others argue that it serves as an important platform for world leaders to wrangle on important issues that concern one another and the world at large. However, that ‘world at large’ is yet to see some tangible results as a measure of outcome from this gathering! Take for instance the posture on climate change which has hardly changed from before. While industrialized nations continue to play footsie with the issue, they have long been pressurizing some invitee nations to adopt a more stringent set of protocols that call for reduced emissions, something that seems more of hypocrisy! One may also ask about the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol, which is refused to be addressed.

Although Africa has been on the agenda for a long time now, there is no reflection of any constructive activity in the ground level. Take for instance the scale of poverty, issues pertaining to health, clean water, basic sanitation requirements and education programs that exist only as plans on paper and remain a distant dream. Mere agreements to sort out these issues by addressing them at forums is not enough. Implementation at various levels is the requirement.

Nations such as Sudan continue to be plagued in civil war with little or no assistance from the outside world. People continue to die at alarming rates and turn into fast statistics that are forgotten in a matter of days. Mere echoes of UN Security council resolutions will not address the problem. Why are nations not looking at establishing a military task force such as the KFor or the ISAF within Sudan, Darfur in particular? Is it the cost factor that is a deterrent or the knowledge of the non-existence of any rich pickings from these poor nations that is putting off the G8 from arriving at a policy of cooperation within themselves to assist impoverished countries, such as mentioned in their agenda?

For once, the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi spoke intellectual when he remarked that the framework of the G8 needs to be modified to include the larger G14! His statement that “we saw that G8 is no longer a suitable format to show a global economic way of doing. Instead, a consolidated G14 representing 80% of the world economy could help create a real dialogue. We want to see if the G14 is the best solution for debates which will bring to us unique results,” echoed the G8’s attitude in taking cognizance of emerging nations such as India and China in the global forum, something that cannot be ignored as was in the past! I would certainly accord a great deal of credit to the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for having paved the way to such a landmark consensus as is witnessed today, when two years ago in a predecessor G8 summit at Heiligendamm in Germany, he stated the need for India to participate in the get-togethers of the rich as a partner rather than a petitioner.

It does not take a lot of brain racking to understand and conclude rightly that evolved partnerships are the key to success especially on a regional front which seems expanding and holding significance more than ever! Bilateral trade, cultural ties, combating terrorism, educational and outreach programs, disease control and a lot more can be significantly and systematically addressed in a much efficient manner with an expanded framework as in the case of the G14, which has rightly been envisioned and supported.

Fresh perspectives from developing nations with regards to plaguing problems can bring to the table a great deal of change, inclusive at that. However, one needs to wait and watch how the proceedings of this meeting of the G8 are to be implemented to attain measurable outcomes rather than being fizzled out as existent only on paper!

And maybe the press too can be a lot more mature to highlight issues and call for increased cooperation rather than misreport the roving eyes of a head of state!