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Time to move beyond

New Delhi, Fri, 28 Nov 2008 Deepak Kumar Mohanty

Mumbai is bleeding and the nation is at war. The terror attack on Mumbai, which include five-star hotels, airport, railway station, and hospitals, has stunned the whole nation and the world. Since Wednesday night, over 130 people have so far died including foreigners, common Indians and our brave heart officers. Mumbai and India have had their fair share of experience with terrorism, but unfortunately we are yet to show courage and willingness to go beyond for the sake of nation in confronting terror.

These kinds of attacks that are very sprucely planned and executed by a handful of terrorists under the nose of our intelligence agency and in a city like Mumbai, certainly put question mark on the whole functioning of our intelligence and security system. Moreover, the government, be it any state or central, need to think out of the box and develop a cohesive counter-terrorism mechanism. One can’t just wait another assault on Indian democracy to wake up against such audacious act.

Intelligence sources have shown evidence of cross-border link and the prime minister of India has had a tough address to the nation promising all out effort to come down hard on such attacks. It is well known to the international community that Pakistan is a safe heaven for those extremist organisations, which are operating uninterrupted with all support of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI).

Though a little known group-Deccan Mujaheedin has claimed responsibility of this attack, Indian intelligence believes that it is not just another terror-outfit based in India, or a “home grown” militancy as projected by the neighbour, but has a more practical link with Pakistan based jehadi elements, the foremost one is Laskar-e Taiba, who are ever since in their mission to create communal tension in different parts of India, thereby disturbing the growth path of country to become a world power.

India has three disquieting borders with decades-long proxy war with neighbours, however, the nation is yet to develop a unified intelligence agency in an effort for a better coordination between the Centre and states. This time, there are reports that highly trained militants came in trawlers from Pakistan soil to Mumbai to launch the attack. Nevertheless, neither the Maharashtra state nor the Central government had any prior report of any possible terror strike. This was well evident from the unpreparedness of the Mumbai police while launching counter operation.

It is high time now for our political parties: be it the party in power or opposition, to put down their dilatory approach and seedy blame game, and unite together in such a time when the nation is facing a grave crisis. The nation can’t afford the loss of our valiant officers, like the anti -terrorist squad chief Hemant Karkare time and again. It’s an appeal to the political set up to identify the pressing need beyond their personal political interests and work for the national cause to protect the constitutional rights of all.

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