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Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

NRao
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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 12 Jul 2008 19:20

NRao, that is a surprisingly naive thing to say. After all this time on the forum you surely understand that succesful counter-insurgencies, like any total war effort depend heavily on the integration of non-military elements - building infrastructure in the countryside, economic development, putting out a message, extending govt. services, etc.

Any state that aids the Afghan government in these things is going to be treated as an enemy of the Taliban. In particular the GoI may not have combat forces engaged in Afghanistan, but it long ago established itself as an enemy of the Taliban by aiding the Northern Alliance even before it came to power on the backs of American bombs.


Sorry to say this, but your arguments are very, very stunted. But then I cannot expect much more because your knowledge is limited.

IF you cannot understand that there was/is a Indo-Pakistan dynamics in the region, that predates both the arrival of US/NATO in Afghanistan AND also predates the creation of Taliban, I do not think we can have a meaningful discussion. You have to first realise that this Indo-Pakistan dynamics really has no connection/s to the dynamics of the reason/s why the US/NATO decided to come to Afghanistan. (The attacks on Indian embassy will continue as long as India has an Embassy there, even if ALL Indian aid workers leave the country. That is not necessarily true of US/NATO Embassies.)

In short, attacks on Indian assets has nothing to do with the Taliban. In fact it has only to do with Pakistan.

It is not what you are saying that is wrong, it is what your are not saying or understanding that is not right.

Why not look at Gates comments on the 28th of June? Or Gates and CENTCOM commanders public testimonies to Congress. There is never any acknowledgement of the role that the PA and ISI play in actively supporting the Taliban insurgency that are responsible for NATO and other deaths in Afghanistan. Any public suggestion of collusion betwen the two is always dismissed.


WSJ (as in The Wall Street Journal), July 11, 2008:

U.S. Blames Pakistan as Afghanistan Incursions Rise
By Yochi J. Dreazen
Word Count: 621
KABUL, Afghanistan -- U.S. officials have begun blaming Pakistan for Afghanistan's increasing violence, an escalation in rhetoric that suggests American patience with Pakistan's new government is rapidly running out.

Senior American military officials say that the number of militants crossing into Afghanistan from Pakistan has increased sharply in recent weeks because of Pakistan's failure to crack down on the Islamic militants operating freely in its lawless tribal areas.

"I link the increased incidents of violence in Afghanistan in part to those sanctuaries across the border and the ability to send militant groups and fighters into Afghanistan," said Gen. David McKiernan, ...


WARNING: This is NOT a testimony in front of the US Congress!!!!

(However, as usual, it complains of attacks ONLY against US/NATO forces. And, why not?)

India is a secondary factor.


Oh yeah? Since when? Considering the fact that India was there since the 90s, AND the US/NATO arrived there in the early 2000, who is late and secondary?

J, this statement is laughable.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 12 Jul 2008 20:03

You cant be serious in suggesting that Pakistan's support of jihadi forces in Afghanistan is all about India. India is a secondary factor.

Afghanistan has threatened Pakistan's "raisin dieter" at least as much as India has in ideological and popular terms. I'm sure you remember that Afghanistan was the only country to vote against Pakistan's entry in to the UN in 1947.

Afghanistan's territorial claim on Pakistan's territorial holdings dwarfs India's. Pakistan has fought a nearly continuous series of shadow wars with all of Afghan governments, royalist, republican, communist and now democratic.

ZA Bhutto's time in office saw very little Pakistani support for insurgent activities in India, but the story was different between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nor was it always a question of the Pakistanis pushing and the Afghans reacting. Daud in particular, first as Premier in the 1950s, and particularly as president after the 1973 coup was very aggressive while the Pakistanis were the ones forced to look for a negotiated return to normality.

Jihadi Islamism has been Pakistan's main tool in attempting to defuse the highly threatening combination of Afghan territorial claims and Pashtun sub-nationalism.

Anybody who thinks the Taliban is just about strategic depth has not plumbed how fundamental the Afghan-Pathan question is to Pakistan's basic shape. The Pakistani security establishment knows it.


There are four dynamics in this particular region:

1) As you rightly point out the Afghan-Pakistan dynamics,
2) The Indo-Pakistan dynamics,
3) The US-Taliban dynamics, and
4) The US-Pakistan dynamics

#4 has really nothing to do with A'stan for the most part, if at all it is rather recent.

#3 exists only because of 911 and a few other incidents (Nairobi, attacks on USN, etc). If there are no more attacks, that should die down.

#2, in A'stan rears its head when #1 dies down. When there is a pro-India govt in A'stan, Pakistan (NOT Jihadis) will take the lead in ensuring Indian presence is brought down. Do Jihadis have an interest in this - YES, they. But the Pakistanis have a GREATER interest.

Now to your point of "Pakistan's support of jihadi forces in Afghanistan is all about India": Depends. If and when US/NATO leave A'stan it WILL Revert to "all about India". You can make that statement you made ONLY because of 911 and associated attacks and the resulting invasion of A'stan by the US and then the deployment of NATO.

BU, Jihadis were fighting India there even prior to that .......and to clarify, jihadis, with the help of Pakistan.

The West has conviniently burried its head pre-911 when it comes to the Taliban in A'stan.

BTW, the US would not have invaded A'stan IF the Taliban had handed over Bin Laden to them.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Johann » 12 Jul 2008 20:09

there was/is a Indo-Pakistan dynamics in the region, that predates both the arrival of US/NATO in Afghanistan AND also predates the creation of Taliban, I do not think we can have a meaningful discussion. You have to first realise that this Indo-Pakistan dynamics really has no connection/s to the dynamics of the reason/s why the US/NATO decided to come to Afghanistan. (The attacks on Indian embassy will continue as long as India has an Embassy there, even if ALL Indian aid workers leave the country. That is not necessarily true of US/NATO Embassies.)

In short, attacks on Indian assets has nothing to do with the Taliban. In fact it has only to do with Pakistan.


N Rao,

If Indo-Pakistani relations are bound to produce attacks on any Indian presence, why is Afghanistan the most dangerous external posting for GoI personnel and contractors?

The ISI has a formidable presence in Bangladesh with a great deal of local jihadi. support. It has a strong presence in Nepal. Even Sri Lanka would offer significant opportunities. Yet Indians are not routinely targeted in terrorist attacks.

Afghanistan is vital to Pakistan in a way that those other countries are not - It is Pakistan's key battleground outside Pakistan itself. Until 2001 India's assistance to the Northern Alliance largely ocurred through third countries, particularly Tajikistan. Until the US intervention in 2001, India had next to no direct presence in Afghanistan.

Johann wrote:India is a secondary factor.


Oh yeah? Since when? Considering the fact that India was there since the 90s, AND the US/NATO arrived there in the early 2000, who is late and secondary?

J, this statement is laughable.


Are you sure you read the post carefully?

Pakistan's support for the Taliban is primarily about Pakistan's life-long insecurity regarding Afghan territorial claims and the loyalty of its Pashtun population. India (strategic depth/deniable jihadi refuge) is and was a secondary factor in the Taliban's value to Pakistan.

*Any state* that supports Afghanistan and threatens the Taliban threatens Pakistan's definition of vital security and long-term national survival.

WARNING: This is NOT a testimony in front of the US Congress!!!!


CRS's point was that the US in public dismisses the Pakistani government's direct involvement in the embassy attack.

At *no* point has the US Government ever publicy indicated or accepted direct involvement in the Taliban's resurgence, or any of the attacks on American troops and diplomats, ie that the Pakistani government supports and sanctions the Taliban's war on US forces, despite substantial evidence to the contrary.

The very most its willing to do so far is question its willingness to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby SSridhar » 12 Jul 2008 20:23

Johann wrote:You cant be serious in suggesting that Pakistan's support of jihadi forces in Afghanistan is all about India. India is a secondary factor.


Johann, no, I am quite serious in stating that. India is *not* a secondary factor, not at all.

Afghanistan has threatened Pakistan's "raisin dieter" at least as much as India has in ideological and popular terms. I'm sure you remember that Afghanistan was the only country to vote against Pakistan's entry in to the UN in 1947.

Afghanistan's territorial claim on Pakistan's territorial holdings dwarfs India's. Pakistan has fought a nearly continuous series of shadow wars with all of Afghan governments, royalist, republican, communist and now democratic.


Yes, that's correct that Afghanistan refused to recognize Pakistan when it was formed. But, let me correct you here on two counts. India never 'threatened' Pakistan either in ideology or popularity though India was the only raison d'etre for the very creation of Pakistan. Afghanistan was not the raison d'etre for the creation of Pakistan. Again, India has no territorial claims on Pakistan except for the Indian territory grabbed by Pakistan. It is Pakistan that wrongfully claims Indian territory. The claim by Afghanistan over Pakistani territory is entirely different.

It is true that Pakistan has had a troubled existence with Afghanistan, especially during the early part and then in the 70s. While Pakistan was involved in shadow engagements with Afghanistan, it was India even then that Pakistan wanted to destroy. All the arms that Pakistan acquired as part of its various treaties to stop communism in its tracks were never used for that purpose and OTOH were used only against India (and to some extent against Afghanistan). The breadth and intensity of the Pakistani military engagements with India pales in front of similar engagements with Afghanistan. Same is the case with its diplomatic onslaught to put India in the dock, or paint it as a villain or just embarrass it in the world community. All its opportunistic alliances with the Western countries, China, North Korea etc were driven by its obsession with India. The nuclear & missile proliferation, with the benign/active connivance of the USofA & China, were solely to use a nuclear weapon against India. The huge budget of the sinister ISI is directed against India. The magnitude of terror attacks against India, directly traceable to Pakistani Government and the ISI, has simply not been experienced by any other country as far as cross-border terrorism goes.

No doubt Afghanistan has suffered also from Pakistan. The difference, however, between Pakistan's India-focus and its Afghanistan-focus, is enormous. Even in its Afghan-focus, Pakistan has the India-focus as its underlying reason. Pakistan believes that it was under India's influence that Afghanistan had a hostile and stormy relationship with a fellow ummah country, Pakistan. To add to Pakistan's insecurity, Badshah Khan, a vocal votary of Pakhtoonistan was a Congressite. It was the Congress Government that was ruling NWFP in the last days of the British Empire. With great difficulty, Jinnah and his Muslim League Black Shirts could induce violence there in the name of the peaceful religion of Islam and create mayhem. Just like the Hindus in Pakistan are looked at with suspicion of loyalty, so also the Pashtuns have never been quite trusted.

Jihadi Islamism has been Pakistan's main tool in attempting to defuse the highly threatening combination of Afghan territorial claims and Pashtun sub-nationalism.


Pakistan saw a particular advantage in using Talibanism to contain Pashtun nationalism and Afghan territorial claims. They initially placed their trust in Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, but, when the more potent Taliban arrived on the scene, Pakistan saw the potential in them quickly.

Anybody who thinks the Taliban is just about strategic depth has not plumbed how fundamental the Afghan-Pathan question is to Pakistan's basic shape. The Pakistani security establishment knows it.


I am not disputing the fact that there has been a serious Afghan-Pakistan issue as well as sub-nationalism of the Pashtuns ( and other PONAM members). However, Pakistan decided to take on a preponderant state like India and decided to engage her in an enduring conflict that has spanned sixty years. From the early days, India enjoyed a significant military and economic advantage and yet Pakistan did not flinch from its asymmetrical conflictual attitude. Such was not the case with Afghanistan. Pakistan was a revisionist state vis-a-vis India whereas it was a status-quo state in the Afghan theatre. Afghanistan never posed a serious security challenge as to distract Pakistan from its objective of India.

The rise of Taliban presented Pakistan with an opportunity to achieve two goals at the same time; that of settling the Afghan issue, at least temporarily, that would then free it to pursue its goals wrt India. As it so happened, the capture of Afghanistan by the Taliban led Pakistan to implement its second phase, that of 'strategic depth' against its only vicious enemy, India. While the Taliban phenomenon happened fortuitously and then it was grown enormously by the Pakistani elements, I believe that Pakistan's sights ever since the USSR crossed into Afghanistan, were to exploit the developing situation in its implacable hostility with India.
Last edited by SSridhar on 12 Jul 2008 20:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Rangudu » 12 Jul 2008 20:27

Guys

Based on the Praveen Swami article and some other information I have received from a journalist friend, I believe that this attack was done by Lashkar-e-Taiba, which essentially means ISI. This is a new phenomenon and needs to be analyzed for its implications. Several US and NATO commanders have also publicly talked about LeT activity along the Durand line.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 12 Jul 2008 20:40

If Indo-Pakistani relations are bound to produce attacks on any Indian presence, why is Afghanistan the most dangerous external posting for GoI personnel and contractors?

The ISI has a formidable presence in Bangladesh with a great deal of local jihadi. support. It has a strong presence in Nepal. Even Sri Lanka would offer significant opportunities. Yet Indians are not routinely targeted in terrorist attacks.

Afghanistan is vital to Pakistan in a way that those other countries are not - It is Pakistan's key battleground outside Pakistan itself. Until 2001 India's assistance to the Northern Alliance largely ocurred through third countries, particularly Tajikistan. Until the US intervention in 2001, India had next to no direct presence in Afghanistan.


Since you have disassociated India from US/NATO, I have no problem with that statement. But, ONLY because of that. Glad to see that disassociation.

On "third countries", not true. India had field hospitals there. Both sides had their army personel on the ground ... Paksitan literally, India is some support capacity.

Bet India has better humint than others in the region. Even the US. But, that is for a reason.

*Any state* that supports Afghanistan and threatens the Taliban threatens Pakistan's definition of vital security and long-term national survival.


India is a very, very special case is my point. They will pack and extra few pounds of dynamite when it comes to India!!!! And, that dynamic has been more ancient than others.

(They may pack a few extra pound because US troops are Christians .... that may be true too.)

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 12 Jul 2008 21:06

At *no* point has the US Government ever publicy indicated or accepted direct involvement in the Taliban's resurgence, or any of the attacks on American troops and diplomats, ie that the Pakistani government supports and sanctions the Taliban's war on US forces, despite substantial evidence to the contrary.


That falls under #3 and #4 (above). #4 trumps #3 every time as you put it "despite substantial evidence to the contrary."

Somehow the US is scared of talking the truth, which is actually the best path to take.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Tamang » 12 Jul 2008 21:35

http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/jul/12kabul.htm

The NSA said there was a need to retaliate to such acts of terror. "I think we need to pay back in the same coin. We are quite clear in our mind," he said.

When asked who should be paid back, he replied, "Those who are responsible."


"Talk-talk is better than fight-fight. But it hasn't worked so far. In some way, we haven't arrived at the decision that we should go for fight-fight so let talk-talk continue for the moment," Narayanan said.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby pushkar.bhat » 13 Jul 2008 02:31

ISI involved in Kabul bombing on Indian embassy: NSA

New Delhi, July 12 India has a "fair amount" of intelligence inputs about Pakistan's involvement in the Monday's suicide attack on its embassy in Kabul, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan said today.
"We not only suspect but we have a fair amount of intelligence (on the involvement of Pakistan)," Narayanan told television channels when asked whether India suspects Pakistan's involvement in the attack.

"The ISI needs to be destroyed. We made this point, whenever we have had a chance, to interlocutors across the world... There might have been some tactical restraint for some time, obviously that restraint is no longer present," he said. (Agencies)


Is that the final and official line that Delhi is taking from now on..?? Destroy the ISI.. Woh Great lets get the job done but make it systematic and don't take any prisoner..

Frankly, Its a very serious line especially coming from a person of the seniority of Mr M K Narayanan and needs to be read not as rhetoric but as Communication of Intent.

Could mean fireworks some were but don't know where??

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Sumeet » 13 Jul 2008 02:51

Pushkar always provide a link, anyways I think you are quoting from this article:

India says loud and clear: time to destroy ISI


New Delhi: India has “no doubt” that Pakistan's spy agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was involved in the bomb attack on its embassy in Kabul, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan said on Saturday.

"We not only suspect but we have a fair amount of intelligence (on Pakistan’s involvement). We have no doubt that the ISI is behind this," Narayanan told TV channels.


"The ISI needs to be destroyed. We made this point, whenever we have had a chance, to interlocutors across the world. There might have been some tactical restraint for some time (but) obviously that restraint is no longer present," said Narayanan.


"The people of this country deserve to know the facts rather than being carried away by people who make statements that these are insinuations. There are no insinuations.

"I think we need to pay back in the same coin. We are quite clear in our mind," he said. Asked who should be paid back, he replied: "Those who are responsible."

"I don't think the ISI has ever been a part of the peace process. I think we need to make a distinction between the two.”

Narayanan admitted that the dialogue between the two countries had slowed down but believed talking is better than fighting. “…in some way we haven't arrived at the decision that we should go for fight-fight so let talk-talk continue for the moment," he said.

Afghanistan has blamed a “foreign intelligence agency” for the bombing of the embassy—a veiled accusation against the ISI.

Pakistan has firmly rejected the allegations with its Foreign Minister saying he was ''baffled'' to hear people alleging that it was responsible for violence in Afghanistan.

As many as 58 people, including four Indians, were killed in the suicide bomber attack on the embassy on Monday.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby CRamS » 13 Jul 2008 03:06

Lets not get carried away by this dichotomy if any that exists between ISI and the rest of TSP. Fact is ISI is a creation of TSP. And many TSPians do see ISI as working in their interests. One should look at ISI as the extreme manifestation of TSP ideology visa vi India. Its not easy to just 'destroy' it. People make the same mistake with CIA as if it were some alien omni potent entity. Just as CIA is a branch of US govt, ISI is a branch of TSP govt. Both CIA and ISI are mirror images of each other.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby CRamS » 13 Jul 2008 03:09

Rangudu wrote:Guys

Based on the Praveen Swami article and some other information I have received from a journalist friend, I believe that this attack was done by Lashkar-e-Taiba, which essentially means ISI. This is a new phenomenon and needs to be analyzed for its implications. Several US and NATO commanders have also publicly talked about LeT activity along the Durand line.


Rman, what do your souces say regarding Let attacks on India? Are they OK if TSP controls them along the Durrand line to the extent they don't attack NATO but restrict their attacks on Indians? Just as NATO has given a free reign to TSP to conduct their attacks unrestricted in J&K and the rest of India even as they hail and abet it as a 'front-line ally' in so called GOAT?

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Sumeet » 13 Jul 2008 03:31

CRS,

ISI is a filter applied to TSP junta through which only those TSPians who are capable of thinking smartly and implementing their heinous plans successfully pass.

It is very common in pukistan to hate india. but ISI guys are notches above the regular folks. They create all other 4 levels that Sridhar once refered to on BRF. They manage them. they set the direction and intensity of future hatred. They control all rogue elements. Consequently they are the pivot of all the hatred, actions following that hatred [terrorism] etc.. if they are taken out there will be chaos in TSP's thinking and ability to act in nefarious directions from Indian point of view.

Abdul on street is not at as potent as ISI guy. At the best he will donate money, chant down with the infidel on streets, damage public & private property in puki towns and things at that level.

Some of them will be picked up and made to go to level 5 the lowermost tier on Sridhar's 5 tier model on which TSP amry/ISI are on top.


As far as this news is concerned I will be looking forward to next couple of days to see if MMS & Co. distances themselves from this comment or no.

also, one shouldn't forget that elections are near and UPA could just be doing this to appear strong in the public eyes so that BJP is not able to butcher them during campaign on national security issue.

As far as politicians are concerned actions matter more, words don't; at least in case of those politicians who have no significant history of acting out on their words said in context of national security and foreign nation sponsored terrorism.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Sumeet » 13 Jul 2008 03:45

Indian mission attack shows security deterioration: Obama

Saturday, July 12, 2008 (Washington)

Describing the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul as another sign of a ''severe deterioration'' of security in Afghanistan, Democratic Presidential nominee has vowed to go on the offensive against Al-Qaida.

In some blunt talking, the 47-year-old US Senator who is planning to travel to Afghanistan told a news channel in an interview that the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai had not ''gotten out of the bunker'' and accused the Bush administration of allowing the Taliban to ''regenerate'' by diverting forces to Iraq.

''A big chunk of the issue is that we allowed the Taliban and Al-Qaida to regenerate itself when we had them on the ropes,'' said Obama, who is attempting to script history by becoming the first black president of the United States.


''That was a big mistake and it's one I'm going to correct when I'm the president.''

Obama said Monday's bombing of the Indian embassy, in in which the India defence attache and a senior IFS officer were killed, was another sign of a ''severe deterioration'' of security in Afghanistan.

''I think the Karzai government has not gotten out of the bunker and helped to organise Afghanistan and government, the judiciary, police forces, in ways that would give people confidence,'' Obama said.

''So there are a lot of problems there,'' he added.

Obama's remarks drew immediate fire from republicans who said he accused him of being ''naively out-of-touch with reality and offensive to America's allies.''

Obama was expected to make a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan later in July, reports said.



Funny to note republican comment about being naively out of touch of reality given the fact who has been naive since 9/11. Or else they have some interest in mind because of which they are being deliberately naive.

At time of nixon they wanted to rish a 3rd world was over pakistan totally overlooking atrocities committed by them on Bangladeshis. Wonder to what extent will they protect ISI/Puke Army now.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 13 Jul 2008 05:27

NSA said:

The ISI needs to be destroyed. We made this point, whenever we have had a chance, to interlocutors across the world.


He did NOT say India should destroy ISI.

As a devout nephew he is just being respectful, asking permission. Seeking consensus. God willing it will happen.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby CRamS » 13 Jul 2008 07:51

NSA further said:


Earlier on Saturday, the NSA told TV channels, “We have no doubt that the ISI is behind this….people of the country deserve to know the facts.” Echoing the NSA’s views, a senior government official said India would take up the matter soon with Pakistan. “There has been evidence regarding the involvement of ISI in acts of terror in India. Now it chose to attack our mission abroad. We would be taking up the matter with Pakistan soon,” the official said.



And when India takes up the matter, TSP is going shiver in its boots and say never again? I mean, whoever thought of this hare-brained joint-terror mechanism? What were they thinking?

Raju

Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Raju » 13 Jul 2008 10:51

NRao wrote:NSA said:

The ISI needs to be destroyed. We made this point, whenever we have had a chance, to interlocutors across the world.


He did NOT say India should destroy ISI.

As a devout nephew he is just being respectful, asking permission. Seeking consensus. God willing it will happen.


there is a lot of difference between saying and doing.
After every odd bomb blast inflicted on this country, some people stand up and say the right things.
But very little changes on the ground.

When the odd bureaucrat from India stands up to say such things viz let's destroy ISI.
what he actually means is 'let US destroy ISI', we will stand & watch/clap/cheerlead.
Which is somewhat rich to think of in the first place.
Since the ISI is a western creation, they will not be destroyed unless western intelligence
finds no further use for them.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby pushkar.bhat » 13 Jul 2008 13:43

I think the entire idea of destroying the ISI is going to be a big big challange. Yes, what the governments across the world can do is to limit its operations in their respective local areas thus restricting it and reducing its effectiveness. Remember that any country the size and location of Pakistan will always need a external intelligence agency. You could change the name of the ISI to PIS (Pak Intel Services) but it would be impossible to change the core of the agency.

India specifically needs to work with western and eastern (China, Japan and South Korean) countries to ensure that the TSP's give up once and for all their operational doctrine of using militancy and terrorism to achieve its strategic goals and objectives.

Remember that the ISI is only a means and not the goal onto itself. the RAW can and would definitely at a opportune moment to avenge the ISI attack on the India Embassy. This attack could be in form of a road accident, a bombing, a case of sudden and mysterious illness that may afflict the people who tactically executed this operation.

Or it could be a Mossad type operation where we go behind and snatch all the guys who we want from any where in the world with the help of the individual countries intell agencies.

I think option 2 will be more effective in the long run. Imagine a situation where getting posted to a foreign country by the ISI is a invitation to bodily harm. This kind of a strategy will impact the morale and force the ISI to cut or scale down its operations across the world. The action will also reduce the capability of the ISI to act as the nodal agency for handling the global narco-terrorism trade thereby reducing its financial strength. Low morale/ High Stress levels due to ever present physical danger and the disappearance of the narco-terrorism money will effectively break the ISI's capability to keep the agency together.

My guess is that if this scenario was ever to occur the ISI will be deserted by its ranks and files, who will now move to criminal agencies where they can be legitimately eliminated because they will not more carry any diplomatic cover. The ISI that will be left will not be in a position to deliver to its political masters and once it is a liability rather then a asset the effective bureaucracy of pakistan will take steps to eliminate the carcass of the agency.

Comment's are welcome.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2008 15:26

Foreign Secretary rushes to Kabul
With fresh intelligence inputs suggesting heightened threat to Indian assets in Afghanistan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon reached Kabul on Sunday to discuss the issue and work out security measures with senior Afghan officials.

Menon, visiting Kabul six days after the terror attack at the Indian Embassy there, will discuss with Afghan authorities ways in which threats from Taliban and its mentor ISI could be thwarted and neutralised, official sources said.

After Monday's attack, in which India lost a Brigadier-rank defence attache and a senior IFS officer, New Delhi is worried about the security of the its assets in Afghanistan, including other installations and workers.

The concern is heightened by fresh intelligence inputs that the Taliban were planning more attacks to target Indian consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad. {It will be surprising if they aren't attacked}

Menon will discuss with Afghan authorities as to what can be done to ensure proper security to Indian missions and about 3,000 Indians engaged in reconstruction and development works in the war-torn country.

He is accompanied by some senior officials of the ministries of external affairs and home affairs.

The visit takes place amid the government's keenness to have a major revamp of security of Indian Embassy, consulates, officials and workers there.

"It is not an ordinary review of the security. It is much more than discussing revamp of the security," an official told PTI here while talking about Menon's two-day mission but did not give details.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jul 2008 15:34

pushkar.bhat wrote:I think the entire idea of destroying the ISI is going to be a big big challange. . . . .

Comment's are welcome.


Pushkar Bhat, I have x-posted this on the Pakistan forum for the sake of thread relevance. I find it interesting. Let us discuss it there.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby RajeshA » 13 Jul 2008 16:02

I am a bit flabbergasted by the events in Kabul.

I would like to express my heart-felt sympathy to the wife and children of Mr. Venkateswar Rao and others who died and were injured in the blast.

Mr. Venkateswar Rao started his work at Indian missions abroad, here in Berlin. He married and brought his wife, Malathi to Berlin as well, and they were a delightful newly-married couple here in the Embassy. I have had the pleasure of having fruitful and enjoyable discussions with the gentleman on foreign policy and other topics. That was back in 1993/94. It feels like ages though and I am sad that much of my memory is blurred.

I am honored to have had the pleasure of his and his wife's company, and that our lives crisscrossed each other. I cannot fathom, the anguish through, which his family would be going through.

I salute you, Mr. Venkateswar Rao. Rest in peace.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby vipins » 13 Jul 2008 16:36

Menon in Kabul to review security for Indian missions, workers

Considering the high-level of threat, India has not ruled out deploying Army's Special Forces for security of the embassy in Kabul and consulates elsewhere in Afghanistan.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Kati » 14 Jul 2008 02:40

Sumeet wrote:Pushkar always provide a link, anyways I think you are quoting from this article:

India says loud and clear: time to destroy ISI


New Delhi: India has “no doubt” that Pakistan's spy agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was involved in the bomb attack on its embassy in Kabul, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan said on Saturday.

"We not only suspect but we have a fair amount of intelligence (on Pakistan’s involvement). We have no doubt that the ISI is behind this," Narayanan told TV channels.


"The ISI needs to be destroyed. We made this point, whenever we have had a chance, to interlocutors across the world. There might have been some tactical restraint for some time (but) obviously that restraint is no longer present," said Narayanan.


"The people of this country deserve to know the facts rather than being carried away by people who make statements that these are insinuations. There are no insinuations.

"I think we need to pay back in the same coin. We are quite clear in our mind," he said. Asked who should be paid back, he replied: "Those who are responsible."

"I don't think the ISI has ever been a part of the peace process. I think we need to make a distinction between the two.”

Narayanan admitted that the dialogue between the two countries had slowed down but believed talking is better than fighting. “…in some way we haven't arrived at the decision that we should go for fight-fight so let talk-talk continue for the moment," he said.

Afghanistan has blamed a “foreign intelligence agency” for the bombing of the embassy—a veiled accusation against the ISI.

Pakistan has firmly rejected the allegations with its Foreign Minister saying he was ''baffled'' to hear people alleging that it was responsible for violence in Afghanistan.

As many as 58 people, including four Indians, were killed in the suicide bomber attack on the embassy on Monday.


To achieve the goal of seeing ISI dismantled, there is one and only one precondition.
That is to get get the US/NATO forces more and more hammered by the neo-Taliban.

No matter how much we despise Taliban, to get the ISI cleaned up it is sad truth that
GIs' body count must go up. For example, today's count of 9 US casualties will go a
long way in realizing the cherished dream.

From purely an intel (and for our supreme national interest) point of view our folks should
set-up du-nambari talib cell in Paki-Afghan soil and encourage more such operations
directed against the western forces. ...... It won't be a bad idea to encourage kashmiri
jihadis to direct them to Paki-Afghan land showing the fat plump targets.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby RajeshA » 14 Jul 2008 13:18

There is a way one could destroy the ISI resources in Afghanistan.

India, USA and Afghanistan Government should set up an Afghan Special Forces Unit from amongst the Northern Alliance forces and from amongst those, who have lost their loved ones to the Taliban. They should be picked from those forces, who have significant combat experience, brains, energy, patriotic drive and hunger for learning.

Part of their training can take place in India by American, Indian and Afghan instructors. They should be given sufficient gadgetry for intelligence gathering, communications and offensive operations, and when they are ready, they should be let loose.

Their aim is simply to destroy all those Afghan Taliban and associated infrastructure who have support in Pakistan, especially from the ISI, regular or rebel.

They should work undercover and be paid really well. Their families may be given additional security by allowing them asylum in India or some other country.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby vipins » 14 Jul 2008 21:55

Karzai says Pakistan behind Indian embassy bomb

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Monday Pakistani agents were behind the Indian embassy bombing in Kabul last week, the first time he has directly accused Pakistan of involvement in the suicide attack that killed 58 people.


"Now this has become clear. And we have told the government of Pakistan that the killings of people in Afghanistan, the destruction of bridges in Afghanistan ... are carried out by Pakistan's intelligence and Pakistan's military departments," Karzai told reporters.

"We know who martyred our two sisters and know who martyred our people in Deh Rawood (in Uruzgan) and know who martyred the people a few days back in Kabul," he said.

"We will take revenge for these two sisters of ours very soon ... and we are telling the enemies of Afghanistan that we will protect the honour of this country."

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Johann » 14 Jul 2008 22:18

Remember that this is a fight primarily for the Pashtuns, both in Afghanistan, and in FATA.

Unless Pakhtunwali and the *obligation* of badal is dead, the Taliban's unprecedented tactics of mass-casualty attacks - suicide bombings in places like Oruzgan and Kandahar, the kidnapping and murder of leadership figures who refuse to cooperate, etc will set the stage for the Taliban's failure.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq made exactly the same mistake. Sunni Arabs were OK with such tactics against foreigners and Iraqi Shia, but the Al Qaeda didnt know where to draw the line. They used them on any and every person or community that said 'no' to them.

The result was that they got in to a cycle of honour killings with the Sunni Arab tribes that were their hosts and allies. The Americans were happy to support the tribes against Al Qaeda, and the rest we know.

Algerian jihadis in the 1990s made *exactly* the same mistake.

The Taliban uses much the same kind of Salafi/Takfiri religious ideology as Al Qaeda, and therefore much the same approach in its application of violence. I give it another 18-24 months at most within Afghanistan before they wear out their welcome.

I have to emphasise - the Taliban did *not* take power in Pashtun areas the first time round (1994-96) through these kinds of tactics, which is why they had a reservoir of goodwill among Pashtuns which they are currently exhausting.
Last edited by Johann on 14 Jul 2008 22:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 14 Jul 2008 22:22

There is an old Aesop's fable about asking others to harvest your fields. It wont happen till they are done harvetsing their own fields. So until India decides it has done what it can do then only it should ask for others help. ISI etc are also extended deniable assets of US during the Cold war and after. So its naive to seek their help. Better yet is destroy them and present them a fait accompli like it was done with Milady.
------------
Johann why bring in Taliban when the deed was done by TSP? Pakhtunwa is another self determination movement that has turned Islamist when its rightful fight was suppressed.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Johann » 14 Jul 2008 22:27

Ramana,

It was a typo, I meant pakhtunwali, not paktunwa.

The Taliban is Pakistan's indispensible ally in Afghanistan. Without the Afghan Islamists Pakistan has no power whatsoever in Afghanistan, no means to do damage to Afghanistan or anyone else.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Sumeet » 16 Jul 2008 05:05

US to investigate Karzai's charges on Pakistan: Bush


WASHINGTON: President George Bush on Tuesday said that the United States will "investigate" the allegations made by the President of Afghanistan that Pakistan's intelligence service was behind a "recent" terrorist attack in his country.

Bush said that there is no question that some of the extremists are coming out of parts of Pakistan into Afghanistan.

On being asked at a press conference here whether the statement by Afghanistan Afghan President Hamid Karzai blaming Pakistan's intelligence services for a recent terrorist attack in his country, Bush said the charges would be investigated.

"First of all, we'll investigate his charge and we'll work with his service...to get to the bottom of his allegation," Bush said.

"No question, however, that some extremists are coming out of parts of Pakistan into Afghanistan. And that's troubling to us, it's troubling Afghanistan, and it should be troubling to Pakistan."

"We share a common enemy; that would be extremists who use violence to either disrupt democracy or prevent democracy from taking hold. Al-Qaida is - they're there. We have hurt al-Qaida hard - hit them hard and hurt them around the world, including in Pakistan," he added.


Bush said that the United States would jointly with Pakistan continue to apply pressure on al-Qaida.

"And we will continue to keep the pressure on al-Qaida with our Pakistan friends.I certainly hope that the government understands the dangers of extremists moving in their country. I think they do," Bush said.


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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby Karan Dixit » 16 Jul 2008 06:44

US to investigate Karzai's charges on Pakistan: Bush


Translation:
US to cover up for Pakistan on Karzai's charges: Bush

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby SSridhar » 16 Jul 2008 06:56

India's charge against ISI to figure in secretary level talks
Official sources here said the meeting between Indian foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and his Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir was “the most likely forum” at which India might raise the issue.

India has meanwhile cancelled a meeting between the heads of the Central Bureau of Investigation and Pakistan’s Federal Investigations Authority.


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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 16 Jul 2008 07:34

There is a nice article in WSJ titled "Attack Spotlights Taliban Strength". Nothing new in the article, but it is clearer than most others about increase in insurgency. What is not surprising is that - as we had stated earlier - they talk of only attacks against Western forces. The attack on Indian Embassy is already lost. Clearly there are two terrorist schemes in the region and probably in the world.

Better news: Obama, as always, saying he would send three Brigades and now McCain says he will send 10,000 more troops to A'stan!! CNN also reports that the US has been bombing across the border (we know that) - belatedly we should add.

The Bush comment is very irresponsible.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby NRao » 16 Jul 2008 17:28

Candidates Find Some Accord on Afghanistan

More one sided thinking:

By Jonathan Weisman and Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, July 16, 2008; A01

Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain shifted their foreign policy focus yesterday from the future of U.S. military involvement in Iraq to the deteriorating war in Afghanistan, with both White House hopefuls pledging thousands of additional troops and a large-scale infusion of aid for the Afghan conflict.

In doing so, the two men offered sharply different assessments of the Iraq war and its impact on Afghanistan, with Obama saying Iraq is a distraction from the fight against terrorism and McCain calling it a proving ground for tactics needed to beat back a resurgent Taliban.

After weeks of verbal combat over Iraq, the candidates offered prescriptions for Afghanistan with striking similarities -- though the sniping went on unabated. Both men spoke passionately, not only about military assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan but also of nonmilitary aid to foster democracy and goodwill in the region. Both spoke broadly of building alliances to combat terrorism, transforming South Asia "from a theater for regional rivalries into a commons for regional cooperation," as McCain put it.

That dovetailed with legislation introduced yesterday by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), an Obama supporter, and Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), who backs McCain, to triple humanitarian spending in Pakistan, contingent on a stronger effort to fight terrorism.

Yesterday was the first time McCain suggested moving troops from Iraq to what has been called the forgotten war, and his shift brought him in line with the direction long advocated by Obama, who has called for paying more military and diplomatic attention to Afghanistan for years.

For both men, the new focus is likely to resonate with voters. A narrow majority of Americans say that the war in Afghanistan has been worth the costs and that the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the region must be won to triumph in the broader battle against terrorism, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week. Most Americans do not say the same about Iraq.

And the forgotten war is not quite so forgotten anymore. Last month, more U.S. service members died in Afghanistan than in Iraq. On Sunday, nine soldiers were killed and more than a dozen were wounded when hundreds of Taliban fighters stormed the perimeter of a U.S. forward operating base. Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly called for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan this month, even as he conceded that they are not available because they are committed to Iraq.

Although both presidential candidates acknowledged those dire circumstances, they used the war in Iraq as a very different springboard for their policy recommendations.

"It is unacceptable that almost seven years after nearly 3,000 Americans were killed on our soil, the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are still at large," Obama said during a sober 30-minute speech at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington. "Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahari are recording messages to their followers and plotting more terror. The Taliban controls parts of Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda has an expanding base in Pakistan that is probably no farther from their old Afghan sanctuary than a train ride from Washington to Philadelphia."

Obama also said that the Iraq war has made America no safer and that "the central front in the war on terror is not Iraq and it never was," drawing a response from President Bush.

At a White House news conference, Bush said the United States is waging a "two-front war" in Iraq and Afghanistan and is busy on other fronts less visible to Americans. He acknowledged worsening security conditions in Afghanistan and said he is analyzing whether more troops need to be sent there. "One front right now is going better than the other, and that's Iraq, where we're succeeding, and our troops are coming home based upon success," Bush said. "Afghanistan is a tough fight. . . . And it's really important we succeed there as well as in Iraq."

McCain said U.S. forces must apply the lessons they learned in their fight against insurgents in Iraq to the fighting in Afghanistan.

"We must strengthen local tribes in the border areas who are willing to fight the foreign terrorists there -- the strategy used successfully in Anbar and elsewhere in Iraq," he said, speaking at a town hall meeting in Albuquerque. "We must convince Pakistanis that this is their war as much as it is ours. And we must empower the new civilian government of Pakistan to defeat radicalism with greater support for development, health and education."

Significant differences exist between the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the current ratio of troops to the population is vastly smaller. Afghanistan is a far more impoverished country with an opium-dominated economy, high illiteracy, extremely rugged terrain and a long, porous border with major insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan. Such factors make it more difficult to protect the population against insurgent influence, develop effective Afghan forces and spread the government's authority.

McCain also pressed his attack on Obama's foreign policy experience and judgment yesterday, mocking him for laying out plans ahead of an upcoming fact-finding trip to Europe, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

"I note that he is speaking today about his plans for Iraq and Afghanistan before he has even left, before he has talked to General Petraeus, before he has seen the progress in Iraq and before he has set foot in Afghanistan for the first time," McCain said, adding that "fact-finding missions usually work best the other way around: First you assess the facts on the ground, then you present a new strategy."

Still, Obama aides said they believe the foreign policy debate has moved to Obama's turf. Anthony Lake, a White House national security adviser under President Bill Clinton, noted that in denouncing in 2002 the upcoming invasion of Iraq, Obama said that war would take the nation's attention away from the terrorists who plotted the Sept. 11 attacks. A year ago, in a speech on terrorism, Obama called for shifting at least two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan.

"John McCain discovered Afghanistan seemingly for the first time today," said Susan Rice, a senior Obama foreign policy adviser.

The candidates now have a similar vision for both conflicts -- drawing down troop levels in Iraq and building up strength in Afghanistan by 12,000 to 15,000 troops. But Obama sees that shift as the first step in a larger goal of withdrawing most combat forces from Iraq in 16 months. McCain said the shift of military personnel would be a sign of success in Iraq.

"Thanks to the success of the surge, these forces are becoming available, and our commanders in Afghanistan must get them," McCain said.

McCain softened that line as the day went on. Aboard his campaign bus, McCain suggested that some of those additional troops might have to come from NATO allies, and his aides said the U.S. troops could come from brigades that had either left Iraq or would do so by early next year.

On July 2, Mullen, the Joint Chiefs chairman, said he would like three additional combat brigades in Afghanistan, suggesting that those forces could be available in early 2009 if conditions in Iraq continue to improve. But a spate of suicide bombings in Iraq yesterday pointed up how fragile that idea may be.

McCain "needs to explain how he's going to stay at high levels in Iraq, surge in Afghanistan, and as he said last week bring down the deficit with savings from troop withdrawals," said Rice, the Obama aide. "His position is entirely riddled with internal contradictions that are embarrassing."

Staff writer Ann Scott Tyson contributed to this report.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 16 Jul 2008 20:03

X-posted...
From sunilUpa

India accomplishes Afghan road mission

New Delhi, July 15: India has braved the 7/7 Kabul embassy blast and held on to complete the strategic Afghanistan road linking Zaranj on the Iran border to Delaram in its north-east.

The 218-km road, which will loosen Pakistan’s stranglehold on its land-locked neighbour by allowing Afghanistan access to the sea from the Iran side, is likely to be declared completed on Thursday, sources said.

Security agencies see the success of this project, funded and executed by Delhi, as a reason for the car-bomb attack on the Kabul embassy that killed four Indians. They allege Pakistan set off the blast as it is uneasy about the edge India will now have in the central Asian power game.

The blast victims were today nominated for the Kirti Chakra, India’s second-highest peacetime military award, according to a PTI report. The names of the four — IFS officer V.V. Rao, defence attache R.D. Mehta and ITBP jawans Roop Singh and Ajai Pathania — have been forwarded by the defence ministry to the department concerned. If approved, it will be the first time an IFS officer will be given the military award for bravery.

The completion of the road by the Border Roads Organisation will also be an enduring tribute to the four, described as “martyrs” by Indian officials.


Sources said the road, which required the services of four companies of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police to guard the construction workers, will be dedicated to the Afghan people. The 400-odd ITBP officers are likely to return home.

The road is a godsend for Afghanistan as it will now be able to access the Iranian port of Chabahar. The time taken to reach the sea will be much less than that taken via the Pakistan route as Delaram is on the Kandahar-Herat road.

This will not only increase the volume of Afghan trade, it will facilitate the transit of Indian goods to that country. Pakistan can no longer play difficult and refuse permission to ferry goods through their territory.

In 2003, India, Iran and Afghanistan had signed an MoU to improve Kabul’s access to the coast. While Iran was to build a transit route to link Milak in its south-east to Zaranj in Afghanistan, India was to construct the Zaranj-Delaram road.

Proposals are being worked out on additional manpower requirements at consulates in Jalalabad and Kandahar where security will be beefed up. India also has consulates in Mazar-e-sharif and Herat.


Fitting tribute...

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby SSridhar » 16 Jul 2008 21:06

Breaking News

200 Hardcore Taliban terrorists who escaped from the Sarposa jail of Kandahar a couple of weeks back are now in India. This is an alert from Interpol.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby CRamS » 16 Jul 2008 21:32

SSridhar wrote:India's charge against ISI to figure in secretary level talks
Official sources here said the meeting between Indian foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and his Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir was “the most likely forum” at which India might raise the issue.

India has meanwhile cancelled a meeting between the heads of the Central Bureau of Investigation and Pakistan’s Federal Investigations Authority.



Is Shiv Shankar Menon high on Afghan Pot so something? And what is this raising the issue BS? TSP is going to accept what India says? They will ask for 'proof' which DDM will report dutifully saying India didn't 'present any' and the cycle continues.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby anupmisra » 16 Jul 2008 21:52

SSridhar wrote:Breaking News

200 Hardcore Taliban terrorists who escaped from the Sarposa jail of Kandahar a couple of weeks back are now in India. This is an alert from Interpol.


So they got safe passage through pukistan with the help of their birathers in ISI and the pakjab army, and have now probably infiltrated through the IB or the LOC. Time to hunt them down.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby John Snow » 16 Jul 2008 22:02

menon sabb is the best way to authenticate ISI that their mission has been accomplished.

Some jokers we have

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby CRamS » 16 Jul 2008 22:22

Its the job of the DDM to pursue aggressively and demand answers as what results have been achieved to date through this JTM with the terrorists?

NRao,

On the Indian embassy attack all but lost in the minds of dork media here in US, this is where I wish both hyperactive NRIs and SAJA pipsqueaks had some brains, courage, and genuine love for their motherland. I am of course refering to the sundry NRI orgs burning the mid-night oil and getting cheap thrills in blocking Narendra Modi's visit. How about a fraction of that energy spent in highligting the TSP terror problem to get US attention? How about the SAJA dorks using their access to the media to make corrections: glaring omissions of terror attacks against India becauise it suits US govt are not just journalistic snafoos, they are a disgrace to the notion of free press.

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Re: Suicide Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Postby ramana » 17 Jul 2008 00:35

Op-ed i Pioneer, 16 July 2008

Disconnect with reality

Hiranmay Karlekar

The blast in front of the Indian Embassy in Kabul on July 7, an attempt to compel this country to contract its growing presence in Afghanistan, certainly underlines the need to further strengthen security around New Delhi's diplomatic and other premises in that country. It also underlines the need to reinforce protection of Indians working in Afghanistan and further sharpen and refine the means of achieving our strategic goals in Afghanistan. But it must also prompt us to do more.

For one thing, it calls for a serious re-examination of our attitude toward the present regime in Islamabad. Contrary to what most of our Track Two eminences would have us believe, a democratic Government in Pakistan is not automatically the best bet for India. The two pillars of the present Government in Islamabad, the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League, do not have shining records in combating fundamentalist Islamist terrorism. After all, it was during the prime ministership of Benazir Bhutto that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate set up the Taliban in 1995 with the active connivance of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Nor are Mr Asif Ali Zardari and Mr Nawaz Sharif, leaders of the PPP and PML, epitomes of rectitude, political sagacity and principled politics. Nor has either displayed a marked averseness to sup with the devil. Neither of them has shown the dignity, the moral steadfastness and fortitude that Ms Aung San Suu Kyi has shown in the face of relentless persecution by the uniformed thugs who rule Myanmar.

Not surprisingly, Pakistan, particularly the ISI, a sovereign state within the Pakistani state, has been widely accused of having been responsible for the Kabul outrage. This, again, underlines the fact that India cannot have a policy that distinguishes between a democratic and dictatorial Pakistan. It must, until a democratic Government signals an iron resolve to end cross-border terrorism and combat Islamist fundamentalism, regard all Governments of Pakistan as threats to India's security.

Needless to say, one must not rest there. New Delhi must frame a more comprehensive security doctrine that takes into cognisance the external and internal threats the country faces. The threat of cross-border terrorism by fundamentalist Islamist terrorist groups that Pakistan poses is well-known. And things may get a hundred times worse if that country implodes, as many fear it will, under the weight of its growing political and social contradictions and the jihadis take over. The same applies to Bangladesh -- though the threat of an implosion is much less and some of the recent steps taken by its caretaker Government seem to indicate, however faintly at the moment, the possibility of a change towards Islamist terrorist groups and their political patrons in the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh.

Nepal stands perilously poised on the brink of a civil war. India's equation with the increasingly powerful Maoists there is at best uncertain, with many grey areas spawning disquieting questions. One of these is the relationship between them and Indian Maoists and its internal security implications for us. Our cozying up with the red-in-tooth-and claw Myanmarese junta, has not bought us peace in the North-East, the quest for which is cited as the rationale for our utterly unprincipled policy of supporting it.

While India's ties with China have improved enormously, neither the areas of tension between the two nor the potential for future conflict and rivalry be wished away. The only two immediate neighbours with whom we have friendly relations are Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam remains a force in the former and its links with some of the insurgent and terrorist groups in this country have frequently caused concern. While Bhutan's transition to democracy has been an admirable exercise, forces trying to undermine the country's security and stability need to be watched.

Do we have a national security doctrine which weaves these diverse challenges into a comprehensive approach that also takes into account the threat of conventional and nuclear attacks by our neighbours? What we have requires a drastic second look and a more nuanced reformulation in the light of the changing threats. Can we do this?

Not many have questioned our ability, intellectual and linguistic, to weave complex streams of analyses into a policy document that unfolds consistently and sequentially. We, however, have often been burdened with an ideological perspective which often yields an understanding of reality which is different from what actually exists and which must provide us with the premises for our policies. Nor have we always called a spade a spade despite recognising it as such.

Two examples will suffice. The first is the threat posed by the continued mass influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. We have neither recognised it as a serious threat, particularly in the context of the rise of Islamist fundamentalism in that country, nor taken effective steps to counter it. The second has been our chronic failure to recognise the serious threat posed by internal insurgency -- a fact highlighted by the thoroughly unimaginative, routine, law-and-order approach that we have hitherto adopted towards it.

Besides, there is the question of political will which has been frequently undermined by ideological differences, genuine differences in perception and opportunistic considerations of winning segmental votes. An old example of this is the United Progressive Alliance Government's repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. A recent one is Ms Mayawati's dubbing of the India-US nuclear deal as 'anti-Muslim'. Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of the deal, it can certainly not be shelved if a minority in the country does not like it. The prime consideration has to be the country's interests and nothing else.

Given the increasingly fragmented nature of India's polity and the rank opportunism of some of its prime actors, politics is unlikely to yield a firm will in the matter of the country's internal and external security. It has to be created outside politics. This, in turn, will require a national consensus on security matters. Unfortunately, a large section of India's civil society does not seem concerned; nor does the country's growing middle class, which seems to be hypnotised by rising levels of compulsive consumption and perennial entertainment epitomised by the Twenty20 fever. This is similar to what happened with the US, Britain and France which, in the 1930s, failed to foresee what the emergence of Hitler and Mussolini meant.



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