Does the UPA possess the political will and firm determination to fight terror?

via Press statement issued by BJP National General Secretary, & Chief Spokesperson, MP, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad published on July 18, 2011

Terrorist have struck again killing and injuring so many people in Mumbai. The nation is shocked and distressed with the overpowering fear when the next attack will happen. Now, even common man is asking with pain, how long will this continue and why the Government does not take strong pre-emptive and preventive steps. Obviously, the cancer of terrorism will have to be fought with determination and effective action. The BJP will support the Government in the event it takes strong action along with all the instruments necessary to secure national security under attack from terrorist and their patrons from across the border. However, the most important question is does the present UPA Government possess the necessary political will. All the available indications including the lack of consensus within the Government and the ruling party do raise disturbing question in this regard. Even the series of measures announced after the 26/11 attack in Mumbai in 2008 to strengthen the fight against terror remains illusive and on paper only.

The BJP would like to raise the following questions whose answer is very important if we want to ensure a secure India:

1. The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said yesterday in Mumbai that the Government will do everything in its power to prevent such attacks in future. On what basis the Prime Minister is making such claim when on the same day his Home Minister Mr. P Chidambaram in Mumbai frankly conceded “All cities in India are vulnerable to attack”. Are they not on the same page?

2.  How should the nation take this assurance when the Government has not been able to unearth the conspiracy, apprehend terrorist and resolve all the dimensions behind the very recent German Bakery Blast in Pune dated February 13, 2010 (17 killed), Twin blast near Bangalore Cricket Stadium just before the IPL match (April 17, 2010), shootout near Jama Masjid, Delhi (Sept. 19, 2010) blast at Dashashwamedh Ghat, Varanasi date December 7, 2010 ( 2 killed) and the May 25 2010 blast outside Delhi High Court. If such recent terrorists’ attacks remain unsolved then on what basis the Prime Minister is claiming that any terrorist attack in future will be prevented. How many modules of the Indian Mujahidin and SIMI along with their patrons have been destroyed in the last four years? Mr. Prime Minister, is terrorism a simple law and order problem or, an attack on India itself?

3. The Prime Minister as also the Home Minister stated in Mumbai yesterday that there was no prior intelligence alert. It needs to be recalled no preventive action was taken in spite of a very definite intelligence input about the likely movement of a suspicious ship in the sea from Pakistan side prior to the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack. Yet, the country is certainly entitled to know why there was no intelligence alert?

4. Indian intelligence agencies dealing with internal security have a very fine professional track record. It has been manned by police and Security officers of great professional competence. If in spite of this there is no intelligence alert then is it on account of the fact that IB and other agencies off late are being used more under political pressure in non security related political objectives like targeting non-UPA State Governments and surveillance of even Senior Ministers.

5. Is it not a fact that under fear of political campaign for pure vote bank as also attempts for motivated prosecution with the UPA Government not standing by them, officers of the intelligence agencies and the security forces are reluctant to take pro-active and effective action against terrorist and their patrons? Let us acknowledge one hard fact. In the Batala House encounter some terrorist of the Indian Mujahidin were killed. A huge campaign against it was undertaken including by UPA Ministers and Senior Congress leaders. Mr. Digvijay Singh visited the families of the terrorists in Azamgarh and condemned the security forces. But for a brave police officer Mohan Sharma who was killed by terrorists and awarded Ashok Chakra, all the security forces would have been facing prosecution today who participated in that encounter. 

6.  How is it that in case of very minor incidents in non-UPA State Governments the Home Ministry very quickly claims that prior intelligence information was given but in a terrorist attack concerning the financial capital of India, Mumbai it is being stated that there was no intelligence alert. Should we suspect that there is an attempt to save Congress led Government of Maharashtra?

7. The BJP would like the Government to explain as to what happened to the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) announced to be constituted in the wake of November 26, 2008, Mumbai terrorist attack. Is the idea as good as abandoned? What happened to the proposal of National Intelligence Grid to collect and co-relate intelligence from diverse agencies? All available indications suggest that they are just limping and there are a lot of turf wars.

8. Why is it that in spite of a relative communal amity in the country for the last many years some eminent advisors of Smt. Sonia Gandhi, duly supported by the Congress party and the UPA Government, are pushing for a highly dangerous and discriminatory Prevention of Communal Violence Bill and yet in spite of repeated demands of security agencies and experts a comprehensive law against terror is not being brought about.

9. Relationship with Pakistan – What exactly is the UPA policy towards Pakistan, the epicentre of world terror from where most of the terrorist attacks against India are encouraged, planned and executed with the active patronage of the ISI and elements of the Army establishments? Pakistan is yet to deliver in spite of repeated evidence about complicity of terrorist from Pakistan and yet Dr. Manmohan Singh is determined for a dialogue.

10. Dr. Manmohan Singh is making a very fundamental mistake for which the country is paying and will continue to pay a very heavy price – to separate its policy towards Pakistan and its counter terrorism strategy. These two are inseparable. The hard fact is that terrorists and their patrons see India as a soft target because it imposes no cost on them. They know that they will not be seriously hunted down and even if they are vote bank politics would bail them out.

11. If the Home Minister says that all Indian cities are vulnerable than the BJP would like to ask as to why should the Home Minister remain secure in his chair.


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