14 years since 26/11: Needed, a National Security Policy
Over the years, the non-conventional threat perception has increased exponentially while in proportion to such integrated threats, our internal security apparatus requires much greater preparedness, says Dr Seshadri Chari.
The dastardly terror attack on the nation's commercial capital, Mumbai, this day fourteen years ago was nothing short of a war on India by Pakistan. The attack continued for four days at different spots, killing over 300 people and wounding many more.
One year after the Mumbai attack, in 2009, the United SytaS Committee on Homeland Security of the US Senate held a detailed hearing and commented extensively on the immensity, severity and seriousness of the meticulously planned attack.
The attackers were more than terrorists; they were a well-trained commando unit of the Pakistan army specifically meant to carry out a non-conventional war against India.
Over the years, the non-conventional threat perception has increased exponentially, while in proportion to such integrated threats, our internal security apparatus requires much greater preparedness.
"Pakistan continues to play a prominent and problematic role in the overlapping armed conflicts and terrorist campaigns in India, Afghanistan...," the US 2009 committee proceedings noted with concern.
Yet it is ironic that the State Department continues to arm the weak political establishments in Islamabad, which have least or no insulation from the country's powerful army, non-state actors and the ISI.
It is not surprising that Congress has chosen not to comment so far on the 14th anniversary of the 26/11 terror attacks. As the ruling party in the state and at the Centre at the time of the terror attack, the party had failed to grasp the seriousness of the intelligence inputs, take preventive steps and save the city from such a catastrophe.
Even as the enormity of the attack and its fallout were being probed, some Congress worthies propagated highly misleading and despicable canards blaming the BJP/RSS for the attacks and, by implication, totally absolved the Pakistani terror establishment of the attacks.
The least the Congress party could do now is to get rid of these elements from the party and apologise to the nation for the irresponsible and insensitive comments.
Belatedly though, one more thing that the Gandhi scion who is on a yatra can do even now is to recall the horror, condemn Pakistan for continuing its terror shenanigans and show solidarity with the government in its national security programmes.
One of the biggest lessons of the 26/11 attack is not just being prepared to ward off such attacks in future but also putting in place a strategy to completely destroy the terror mechanism nestled in our neighbourhood.
The Union government should initiate efforts to frame a National Security Policy so as to tackle integrated threats to national security through integrated security architecture.
The author is Secretary General of the Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) and former editor of the English weekly Organiser