Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Way forward

As the heroic and not so heroic stories die down after the Mumbai attack, what exactly is India's plan? Are the resignations of the home minister and the chief minister the only thing we are going to see in the aftermath? The murkiness seems to be the defining character of India's investigation into each of these terrorists tragedies. This attack needs to bring about the changes that are needed in overhauling the security infrastructure. 9 hours for the commandos to reach the location is just outrageous. A city like Mumbai should have its own command center and highly trained officers in handling terrorist situations. Having been a witness to a police operation in the U.S, it is just saddening to see the elite commandos are not even as prepared logistically or training wise as the local county police officers in the U.S. I read an article saying that the 100000+ police officers in Mumbai has just 500+ guns, I don't know whether it is true, but it can't be very far from the truth. At the end of the day, a swift action where the militants cannot continue a rampage like they did in Mumbai is what should be the first line of defense - because there is very little a democratic and crowded country like India do to prevent attacks like this, but an attack should be dealt with by an efficient and well-trained police force.

Does any other option truly exist for India? All indications point to the elements within Pakistan, but how complicit is the Pakistani government in this attack? Are we dealing with the same elements that eliminated Benazir days after she returned to Pakistan? Or did Pakistani government do this in an effort to curb the civil war and unite the country against a common enemey? We will probably never know - but a few people are suggesting a joint operation with U.S in the territories of Pakistan? That has disaster written all over it. Whether you like it or not, we are left with no options. We can't afford the luxury of American forces where they are not territorially close to the lands they are fighting. I wouldn't support anything other than precise (this is the key word, if it can't be precise, don't do it) operations within Pakistan by Pakistani forces with the logistical support from India. America is wrong example for dealing with terrorism, India can do better. Work the magics of diplomacy to convince Pakistan to handover the murderers - violence is nothing new to India; the infancy of Indian independence was mired in violence, the violence had reached epic proportions during the separatist movements of Assam, Panjab and Kashmir. At the end of the day, a new chapter has to be created in dealing with terror, that is not the American way, it must be something that takes our shared history with Pakistan and our territorial constraints into consideration.