Sundeep Bhutoria

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

India's credibility goes for a toss

The media has gone gaga over Mamata's victory - the change of a Communist regime after 34 years, her ardous journey to the Writers' Buildings, the preparations for the oath ceremony tomorrow and so on. Another news that has stood out in the media like a sore thumb is the government's faux pas on the list of 50 most wanted terrorists in Pakistan prepared by our Home Ministry.
More than two years after 26/11 terror strike in Mumbai and after the setting up of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Government of India continues to have a shoddy counter-terrorism data base. The embarrassing diplomatic faux pas of including Wazhul Kamar Khan, a terrorism suspect living on bail in Thane, in the list of 50 most wanted terrorists enjoying sanctuary in Pakistan
has put a big question mark on India's credibility post Osama incident. It has also revealed to the world the manner in which the concerned government departments at the highest level function.
Just as attempts were made to rationalise and trivialise the issue came the second blooper that Feroz Abdul Khan, another name on the 50 most wanted list given to the Pakistan Interior Ministry by the Indian Government, was actually in a Mumbai jail.
As if this wasn't enough, the media reports pointed out that the CBI team from India in Copenhagen was left red faced after the defence counsel of Kim Davy (of Purulia Arms drop case) pointed out in the court that the arrest warrant issued by the special CBI court had expired in January 2011.
In America, I watched a number of international news channels and found that they were veering around to support India's stand regarding Dawood and other wanted terrorists sheltered by Pakistan. I also saw the interview of former general Parvez Musharraf from Dubai where he said that a terrorist from one country cannot be a terrorist of another country. He strongly put forth his view claiming that Pakistan had proof of some of the people on Pakistan's most wanted list being extended five star facilities by the Indian intelligence outfits.
I don't know how much importance was given to his claims internationally, but India's faux pas with the list has put its credibility at stake before the international polity. The advantage that India had gained due to mounting international pressure on Pakistan in the aftermath of Osama killing is likely to fritter away.
Today's statement by Mr Chidambaram that is was a human error reminds me of my personal lawyer friend who always argues about the typological errors in the court. I have lot of respect for Mr Chidambaram, his sincerity and the way he functions as an individual and politician. But I strongly feel that this mistake which he described as a human error can no way be compared to the typological errors in courts. It points towards the serious deficiencies of our system. India has no one but itself to blame for giving Pakistan a handle to hit at us.
It seems India first has to grapple with the errors before taking on the terror.
ess bee

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