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SOUTH ASIA: THREATS, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
INSTRUCTOR: AMBASSADOR TOUQIR HUSSAIN
DECEMBER 15, 2009
particularly the segmented democracy of India. India’s most important Hindu holiday. what role if any. Democracy unleashes assertive groups. killing two persons. The federal and state governments have tried various strategies to address some of these grievances within the context of Indian democracy. New Delhibased think tank. which covers a broad region of eastern. most of whom were Kashmiri Muslims. Babbar Khalsa International which many thought was defunct. destroying buildings. and killing several local policemen in an attack on an Uttar Pradesh village. On October 29 of the same year. there were nearly simultaneous bombings of two movie theaters in New Delhi by a Sikh terrorist organization. and ethno-linguistic nationalists in India’s northeastern states. Some terrorist groups operating in India sought to raise their profile. More than 2. but the government is firm: groups must cease violence before negotiations can begin. Lashkar e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for many of these attacks. and attacked security forces. As in previous years. capturing weapons. India has experienced violence related to separatist and insurgent movements. freeing more than 300 inmates. terrorists staged hundreds of attacks on people and property in India. and the government will not entertain territorial concessions. with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi assassinated in 1984 by Sikh body guards. an independent. The Indian Government blamed the Pakistani jihadist organization Lashkar eTayyiba for the attack. movements turn to extremism.War on terrorism. India has a large number of ethnic and religious minorities that face economic subordination and often seek territorial concessions. Hundreds of non-combatants were killed. Interethnic conflict has hit India at the highest levels. central. They also attacked the Jehanabad Prison in Bihar. Some of these groups are believed to maintain ties to alQaida. and abducting about 30 inmates who were members of an anti-Naxalite group. On May 22nd 2005. and southern India. The Naxalites launched two mass attacks in the second half of 2005. Kashmiri terrorist groups made numerous attacks on elected Indian and Kashmiri politicians. The precise number of groups orchestrating attacks in India is hard to ascertain because of splintering movements. does India have? Terrorism in India – brief overview Since early in its post-colonial history. according to analysis by the South Asia Terrorism Portal. Different ethnic and religious groups as well as social classes often act like individual nationalities that mobilize support for a cause.750 people across India died in terrorism-related violence in 2006. If demands are not met. from the territorial dispute over Kashmir to a Sikh separatist movement in Punjab to a secessionist movement in the northeastern state of Assam. Indian experts asserted that the April 2005 attack on the bus depot for Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus was designed to inhibit growing Kashmiri enthusiasm for normalization of ties between Indian and Pakistani controlled Kashmir. a project of the Institute for Conflict Management. The most prominent terrorist groups are violent extremist separatists operating in Jammu and Kashmir. Maoists in the “Naxalite belt” in eastern India. a series of explosions in crowded marketplaces and on a public bus in New Delhi killed approximately 60 and injured more than 150 on the eve of Diwali. Naxalite (Maoist agrarian peasant movement) terrorism. . The attacks left one person dead and more than 60 injured. targeted civilians in public areas. is growing in sophistication and lethality and may pose a significant long-term challenge. but the country faces possible violence perpetrated by dozens of extremist groups.
assesses that the estimated 12. Inter-agency teams from the two countries agreed to share experience. April). The U. Retrieved December 8 from http://www. Its first meeting was held on February 7-8. Both countries also called upon all states to abide by their commitments under the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2006. delivery systems. India also participates in CTJWGs with 15 other countries. terrorism trials can take years to complete.2 India and the United States have institutionalized their co-operation to combat international terrorism through the Joint Working Group on counter-terrorism. 1 State Department (2005. and is taking steps to improve further the security of its strategic systems. 2009. Myanmar. and prone to corruption. State Department.S. At the same time. and equipped to combat terrorism effectively. trained.gov/s/ct/rls/other/des/123085. An independent Indian think tank.S.: Counterterrorism Joint Efforts Among the 45 Foreign Terrorist Organizations listed by the U. designed to prevent the transfer of WMD.000 civilians killed by terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir from 1988 to 2002 generated only 13 convictions through December 2002. most of the convictions were for illegal border crossing or possession of weapons or explosives.htm . exchange information and coordinate approaches and action. India’s counterterrorism efforts are hampered by its outdated and overburdened law enforcement and legal systems. recognizing it as a major threat to democracy. – India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group (CTJWG) has met eleven times since its creation in 2000. and Nepal).In order to improve Indian forces capacity to answer to these threats.state. July). for example. international peace. Retrieve December 7 from http://www. India scored major successes. the Indian Parliament passed the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Bill.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/06a/125098. at least four are active in India: Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B). and associated technologies to state and non-state actors. including terrorists. Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM). Foreign Terrorist Organizations. June). However. laborious. India.S. State Department’s Antiterrorism Assistance Program has trained hundreds of Indian police and security officers. including numerous arrests and the seizure of hundreds of kilos of explosives and firearms during operations against the briefly resurgent Sikh terrorist group Babbar Khalsa International. the U.state. The Indian Government supports ongoing U. Prime Minister and President Clinton decided to expand the mandate of the Joint Working Group to include discussion on such issues as narcoterrorism and Afghanistan. Bhutan.gov/documents/organization/65475. the Indian Government has an excellent record of protecting its nuclear assets from terrorists.state. and security.3 The most recent meeting of the Joint Working Group was held on June 17. Many of India’s local police forces are poorly staffed.pdf. The United States and India strongly condemned terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations. 2 Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (2009.1 India – U. Retrieved December 9 from http://www. investigations in cases involving victims of terrorism related to the United States. During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee to the United States. Jaish-eMohammed (JEM) (Army of Mohammed) and Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT) (Army of the Righteous).-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group.S. South Asia Overview 2005. U. Despite these challenges.htm 3 Bureau of Public Affairs. Office of the Spokesman (2009. The Indian court system is slow.S. and in multilateral CTJWGs with the EU and BIMSTEC (an organization promoting economic cooperation among Bangladesh.S. Sri Lanka. In May 2005. Thailand. They reiterated that there can be no justification for any act of terrorism on any grounds. 2000 in Washington DC.
fostering Hindu-Muslim violence within India. one of the groups the Indian government believes was behind the Mumbai attacks. is among several banned Pakistani militant groups that experts say received backing from Pakistan’s intelligence agency to fight in Indianadministered Kashmir. The terror attacks shifted India’s fight against terrorism from regional to international level. Hillary Rodham Clinton. and harming India’s commercial centers to impede the ongoing economic resurgence. a Jewish center. Krishna commented on Indian-Pakistan ties: “We would like to have (inaudible) relationship with Pakistan. and additional locations. India ranked among the world’s most terrorism-afflicted countries according to U. We would like to be good neighbors. But unfortunately. Several attacks inflicted large numbers of casualties. in New Delhi. And India is willing to do everything possible to make that happen. Over 300 more were injured. Local and state police proved to be poorly trained and equipped. on July 20.S. the attacks unleashed on Mumbai caused a great setback to the composite dialogue which was going on between India and Pakistan. 4 Bureau of Public Affairs. U. Hyderabad House. For many years India has fought terrorist-style violence in the disputed territory of Kashmir. and counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the United States.S. During his remarks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The assaults in Mumbai targeted places frequented by foreigners and wealthy Indians.M. June). Retrieved December 8 from http://www.-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group. Analysts say the group continues to operate freely inside Pakistan under a different name and has now become a global terrorist organization.Sessions during this year’s meeting focused on assessing the global terrorist threat. Country Reports on Terrorism 2008.4 Mumbai attacks: the turning point In 2008. such as Global Positioning System trackers. capacity building. They also planted bombs in two taxis that later exploded in different locations in the city.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2008/122434. India. its decision to win Afghanistan’s support and furthermore. and expanded information sharing.state. the main train station. Indian Minister of External Affairs S.htm . its role in the war on terror. Retrieved December 8 from http://www. Other issues discussed included terrorist finance and money laundering.”6 The statement reflects India’s position towards Pakistan. and lacked central control to coordinate an effective response. 2009 from http://www.5 The country was the focus of numerous attacks from both externally-based terrorist organizations and internally-based separatist or terrorist entities. Retrieved December 8. The terrorists appeared to have been well-trained and took advantage of technology. July 20.htm 6 Remarks with Indian Minister of External Affairs S. New Delhi.state.state. fighting terrorism through technological advancements. At least 183 people got killed. Office of the Spokesman (2009. Krishna. State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism. The perpetrators entered the city from the sea and attacked people in two hotels. including 22 foreigners. but Mumbai globalized this fight and drawn the country into the center of the war on terror. 2009. Secretary of State. including the most devastating attack of the year on November 26 in Mumbai. April).gov/secretary/rm/2009a/july/126259.M.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/06a/125098. six of whom were Americans and 14 members of the police and security forces. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba. 2009.htm 5 Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (2009. To India’s government Mumbai attacks were aimed at creating a break-down in India-Pakistan relations.
Questioned on the role of regional countries in Afghanistan. Moreover. In response. to give India a high profile with Afghans. “Afghanistan has been a prize that Pakistan and India have fought over directly and indirectly for decades” wrote analyst Robert D Kaplan. and its backers in Pakistan.8 Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf openly accused Afghan President Hamid Karzai of being subservient to India. gave rise to voices calling for India to reconsider its non-aligned mentality and join in the global fight against the jihadist movement. power and telecommunications.expressindia.bbc. There has also been money in the form of food aid and help to strengthen governance. “India’s reconstruction strategy was designed to win over every sector of Afghan society. US appreciates India's role in Afghanistan. The possibility of a future disruptive regime change or collapse occurring in a weak state with nuclear weapons also continues to raise questions regarding the ability of such a state to control and secure its nuclear arsenals from terrorists’ reach. Pakistan. First. health. and both of them are connected to Pakistan.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/7492982.com/latest-news/US-appreciates-Indias-role-in-Afghanistan/416054/# 8 BBC News (2009. gain the maximum political advantage and. India’s investments in Afghanistan are calculated steps.co. In fact. India’s path in the war of terror has basically two tracks. Mullen stressed that India is part of the regional approach in resolving the Afghan problem. It opened two new consulates in Herat and Mazhar-e-Sharif and reopened two others in Kandahar and Jalalabad which had been shut since 1979. “India has taken significantly positive steps to invest in Afghanistan . India was left without any influence in the country.has for some period of time”. India’s higher level of governance and stability gives it the credentials needed to avoid ongoing low-intensity clashes with Pakistan to raise and escalate to a broader conflict between the two nuclear powers.7 India became the sixth largest bilateral donor to Afghanistan. I have been very specific in telling the Indians that they cannot use Afghan soil for acts of aggression against another country”.9 7 The Indian Express (2009. there are concerns over the increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan.India’s role in the war of terror The westernized classes targeted by Mumbai’s attackers and the part played by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba.stm 9 Idem . Retrieved December 8 from http://www. Funds have been committed for education. January). of course. It ended up backing the Northern Alliance. undercut Pakistani influence” says analyst Ahmed Rashid. Admiral Mike Mullen. said he chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff. along Pakistan and Iran. it became clear that West and India were now facing the same enemy: terror organizations operating in Pakistan’s tribal areas and the mountains of Afghanistan. on the other hand. India: Afghanistan's influential ally. what also has an impact in Pakistan stability. October). which controlled territory north of the Shomali plains near Kabul. Retrieved December 9 from http://news. President Karzai made a statement assuring Pakistan shouldn’t be worried about the role of India: “Let me assure [you]. When the Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan. it has pledged to spend $1. after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 India moved quickly to regain its strategic depth in Afghanistan. backed and recognized the Taliban regime and gained further strategic depth in the region. Islamabad has also said the Indian consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad were funneling arms and money to insurgents in Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan region. India’s second track on fighting the war on terror consists in promoting development in Afghanistan.2billion on helping rebuild the country’s shattered infrastructure. On Pakistan’s side. during a press conference in January this year.
Incidents by Region – 81.779 Global Terrorism Database Incidents over time – India Global Terrorism Database .
Attack type – India Global Terrorism Database Weapon type – India Global Terrorism Database .
Fatalities – India Global Terrorism Database .
South Asia Overview 2005.htm Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (2009. 2009 from http://www. Retrieved December 9 from http://news. April). Retrieved December 9 from http://www.bbc. Retrieved December 8 from http://www.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/july/126259.M.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2008/122434.Sources: BBC News (2009.org/indusrel/jwg_terrorism_september_26_2000.state.state. Krishna. New Delhi. Retrieved December 8. January). 2009.htm State Department (2005. Retrieve December 7 from http://www. Secretary of State.com/latest-news/US-appreciates-Indias-role-in-Afghanistan/416054/# . Foreign Terrorist Organizations. November).html Council on Foreign Relations (2008.indianembassy. Terror Groups in India.html Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (2009. September).htm Remarks with Indian Minister of External Affairs S.expressindia.state.cfr.pdf. India: Afghanistan's influential ally. July 20.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/06a/125098.U. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hyderabad House. India .co. India. Retrieved December 8. The Indian Express (2009.org/publication/12773/ Indian Embassy (2000. February). April).gov/documents/organization/65475. Office of the Spokesman (2009. July).stm Bureau of Public Affairs.S.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/7492982. US appreciates India's role in Afghanistan.-India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group. Statement on Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism. Retrieved December 9 from http://www. Retrieved December 8 from http://www. Retrieved December 8 from http://www. 2009 from http://www.ca/world/story/2009/02/12/f-singh-viewpoint. June).htm CBC News (2009. U.state.state. Retrieved December 8 from http://www.S. Country Reports on Terrorism 2008.gov/s/ct/rls/other/des/123085.cbc. Why India must join the Western war on terror. October).
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