The Tribune Spectrum

Sunday, January 5, 2003

Special Issue: countering terrorism
Special Issue
Countering terrorism

Views of eminent experts and thinkers on countering terrorism

Hari Jaisingh

Kanti Bajpai

Asghar Ali Engineer

Owen Bennett Jones

Shelley Walia

G. Parthasarthy

T. V. Rajeswar

Gen V N Sharma

Ashok K. Mehta

Prakash Singh

M. J. Akbar

Dynamic democracy is the answer
Hari Jaisingh
AN democratic regimes withstand the onslaught of deadly terrorist activities that derive sustenance from the well-focussed forces of Islamic fundamentalism? The question is wide open as the world's two major democracies—the USA and India—along with a few European countries are under tremendous threats from the Osama bin Laden brigade operating globally and secretly.

Roots of terrorism
OVER the last few years there has been a polarisation of the debate on terrorism — in the agencies of the government and in public life. Two basic points of view — a liberal and a conservative — have been vying for supremacy, as India has grappled with militancy in Punjab, Kashmir, and the Northeast. Are these two viewpoints the best way to think about the causes of terrorism? Do we as ordinary citizens have any role to play in containing terrorist violence, asks Kanti Bajpai.

Fundamentalism & terrorism
Politics of religion and religion as politics
COMMUNALISM is all about political or economic interests of a particular community, while fundamentalism is enforcement of sectarianism for the political mobilisation of a community with the aim of achieving the power-goals of its elite.
Fundamentalism invariably leads to terrorism, says Asghar Ali Engineer.

Pakistan: Eye of the storm
VER since its creation, Pakistan has grappled with the issue of what role Islam should play in the state. Most Pakistanis do not want to live in a theocracy: they want their country to be moderate, modern, tolerant and stable, writes Owen Bennett Jones.


Face-to-face with uncertain future
Need to recognise hybrid cultures

THE end of terrorism will not resolve the political problems facing the world. Any solution to contemporary crises must take recourse to fighting the feelings of fear and hatred and encouraging the opposing forces to adhere to values of moderation, religious tolerance and sanctity of human rights. Unless dialogue prevails, the current conflagration has every chance of ending in nuclear terrorism, warns Shelley Walia.

“We need to think out retaliatory military measures”
G. Parthasarthy, former Indian envoy to Pakistan, Australia and Myanmar, believes that for dealing with Pakistan India needs policies that can be sustained and are credible. Excerpts from interview with Rajiv Sharma.

Defining ‘action-reaction’ theme
No place for rabblerousers in India
THERE has been a trend of intellectual and highly educated Muslims willingly joining terrorist organisations. We have the example of Omar Sheikh who studied in the London School of Economics and joined an extremist fundamentalist group in Pakistan. Recent reports speak of an engineer and a doctor being part of a conspiracy to plant bombs in several places in Mumbai. Is it possible that apart from the ISI, they have also been motivated by certain events within the country, asks T. V. Rajeswar.


Gen V. N. Sharma“Why should India be afraid of Pak’s nuclear capability?”
GEN V N Sharma, former Chief of Army Staff, is of the view that India has failed to capitalise on the ‘window of opportunity’ that Kargil had offered. "We have not had the courage to take resolute military action," he says in an interview to Rajiv Sharma.

Combating the terrorist
Lessons from Israel and Sri Lanka
EVEN an year after the attack on Parliament terrorists continue to have access to the Capital. In sharp contrast to the Indian policy, Israel has relied upon use of maximum force at source in a policy of instant retribution. Israel’s is a fight for survival. Their soldiers shoot first, most times to kill.
Should India also follow the same policy to end cross-border terrorism or should it evolve its own response, asks Ashok K. Mehta.


Making security forces more effective
Legislative backup need of the hour
TACKLING terrorism requires an integrated strategy. The systemic causes which foster terrorism must be addressed. There may be political grievances, real or imagined, or there may be economic exploitation or social oppression. These should be attended to for a long-term and permanent solution to the problem of terrorism.
After all, why is there such virulent Islamic fundamentalism and raw anti-Americanism, wonders Prakash Singh.

Jinnah redux and the age of Osama
‘WE went to the jihad filled with joy, and I would go again tomorrow,’ he said. ‘If Allah had chosen me to die, I would have been in Paradise, eating honey and watermelons and grapes, and resting with beautiful virgins, just as it is promised in the Quran. Instead, my fate was to remain amid the unhappiness here on
earth.’ Defeat is only a setback in the holy war. The jihad goes on, records M. J. Akbar in his book The Shade of Swords.