Maniappan: Security and Intelligence veterans blame Ahmed

via HK Correspondent published on November 25, 2005

NEW DELHI: No amount of perfume from the Arab countries will be sufficient to remove the stink emanating from the hands of E Ahmed, the union minister of state for foreign affairs in connection with the gruesome murder of Maniappan, the BRO driver, by the Taliban terrorists, according to veteran Intelligence experts in the country.


Mr B Raman, former Additional Secretary in the cabinet secretariat and an internationally respected intelligence expert says Ahmed goofed up the whole issue by dragging the name of Indo-Tibetan Border Police in a Television interview on Wednesday night.  Writing his assessment about the scenario for those interested in intelligence related issues, Mr Raman, who is the Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai, pointed out that Ahmed in his interview in NDTV provided ammunition to the anti-India elements by saying that the Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel are protecting BRO staff in Afghanistan.


The attitude of ministers like Ahmed show that they are out of touch with ground realities. International diplomacy is a complex issue which should not be handled by wheeler-dealers like Ahmed.  “Insinuations have been repeatedly made that many of Indian personnel working in Afghanistan are actually Indian intelligence and security agency officers sent to train alleged Balochistan ‘terrorists’,” Mr Raman writes.


It may be worthwhile to remember that E Ahmed always used to be a security risk to the country. It was during his tenure as Industries Minister of Kerala in the early eighties that some Kuwaitis blacklisted by the Indian security agencies managed to enter Kerala. Ahmed, using his ministerial powers bulldozed through the security rings at Thiruvananthappuram and accompanied the Kuwaits all over the state.     


“Ahmed’s statement that some ITBP personnel have been deployed in southern Afghanistan to protect BRO personnel is likely to act as a red rag to the bull, increasing the chances of more attacks on Indian personnel,” according to Mr Raman,


According to the minister, the Indian government, on coming to know of Kutty’s kidnapping, had immediately sought the intervention of the Karzai government, foreign embassies in Kabul and Afghan tribal leaders. “The government’s action gives a disturbing indication of the extent to which it is out of touch with the ground realities relating to terrorism in general, and Afghanistan in particular,” adds Mr Raman.


Mr Raman points out that the Karzai government has very little control over southern and eastern Afghanistan. “The Taliban, al Qaeda and Hizbe Islami remnants — operating from sanctuaries in and around Quetta, Pakistan — have stepped up their activities in this region since March. They have killed a large number of Afghan government troops, policemen and an increasing number of American soldiers,” Mr Raman continues in his article. 


According to Mr Raman, only two persons could have effectively intervened with the Taliban and saved Kutty’s life.  “Musharraf and Maulana Fazlur Rahman, the Amir of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema Islam Pakistan, who is very close to the Taliban Amir.” 


He also observed that some of the Indian Deobandi leaders might have been able to seek the intervention of the Maulana. If it had not occurred to the Indian government to try these approaches, it shows how out of touch with the ground realities our policy makers have been.

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