Sunday, June 14, 2015

After Operations In Burma Can India Strike and Capture Dawood?

Dawood Ibrahim is India's most wanted terrorist and is holed up in Pakistan. Can India do something like what the US carried out?
The United States Armed forces in conjunction with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mounted a daring operation that involved entering Pakistan Air space and shooting dead the worlds most wanted terrorist,Osama Bin Laden. The operation was marked by two major elements, the resolve of the political leadership led by President Obama and the single-minded devotion to the task at hand, the capture or execution of Osama.

Pakistan and Complicity

One thing that has emerged is the complicity of the ruling establishment in Pakistan, led by the Pakistan army in sustaining the terrorist in a safe haven. It required political will to execute this task as the operation was a violation of Pakistan air space and sovereignty. But the political will shown by President Obama is to be appreciated and we in India must learn from this operation.
India is not lacking in will power as was demonstrated by Rajiv Gandhi the erstwhile Indian Prime Minister in the eighties of the last century, who had authorized an armed intervention against the liberation Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka as well as the operation in the Maldives. But that is old hat now and the leadership that has followed Rajiv, has displayed a remarkable inaptitude of political will in coming to terms with terror and all its manifestations. Though a operation in Burma is now undertaken, yet undertaking one against Pakistan requires sperior military parity, which India does not have.

Indian Political Will

I will like to make a small point here.  The Director General of Police, Maharashtra (Now Retired) Mr. Virk had once privately mentioned that catching Dawood Ibrahim was not a problem at all as all his relatives were in India, like his sister and brother who were carrying out clandestine operations like smuggling and extortion. All that was required was to arrest these people and follow-up further on Dawood. But he confessed the political will was lacking and hence nothing was being done.
What Virk has opinion-ed is perhaps true, but the fact is the political leadership has treated Dawood and his family with soft gloves. No plan has ever been formulated to capture Dawood who was the main planner of the   Mumbai blasts in 1992 and countless other activities of extortion and murder. It is a known fact that Dawood is holed up in Pakistan under the aegis of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and continues his nefarious activities with full support from the Pakistan Government. All the Indian political leadership is doing is to appeal to the USA for help. This is a naive approach and one cannot expect the USA to pull the Indian chestnuts from the fire.

Last Word

The Indian Intelligence agencies know the location of Dawood, though he changes his residence every few months  as part of his ploy to confuse the Indian intelligence. But despite this  Dawood can still be captured. But a  lack of Political will has translated to the Indian Armed forces, the 4th largest in the world being hemmed in by political constraints. If India had carried out a surgical operation to nab Dawood, there is a good chance it would have succeeded. But the absence of a political will has played  on the Indian psyche with the result that Dawood rules the roost. In addition  as Alistair Maclean wrote “Fear is the Key” and that is something the Indian political leadership has to face. Doing a Burma in Pakistan does not appear likely at all.