|Wednesday, January 19, 2000,
a proactive package
MESSAGE FROM ISLAMABAD
on Kargil must be made public
January 19, 1925
Now, a proactive package
THE Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, presented to the nation on Monday the government's "proactive approach" in a new package to counter Pakistan-sponsored militant activity in Jammu and Kashmir. His latest package is surely an improvement on his earlier rhetoric on pursuing a proactive policy to frustrate the "nefarious designs of the terrorist groups being aided and abetted from across the border for escalating the level of proxy war" in the trouble-torn border state. However, neither rhetoric nor half-hearted measures can help in achieving the desired goals, howsoever well-intentioned. Most of the announcements made after a high-level meeting presided over by the Prime Minister and attended by key officials at the Centre and in the states are routine operational matters. Whether there is a need for an additional unified headquarters (UHQ) the north of Zoji La or whether the counter-insurgency grid should be divided into 49 sectors or more are operational matters which ought to have been left to the armed forces to decide. Similarly, beefing up the security in Srinagar and round-the-clock operations by the security forces need not have been part of a high-sounding announcement by the Home Minister. Such matters, again, are better left to the discretion of the security forces. Unfortunately, even routine issues of security attract undue political attention or interference. All that the armed forces want is political backup for their efforts to meet the challenge from Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the valley and beyond. Monday's declaration creates new expectations for results. If the authorities are unable to show positive results in due course, the people's frustration will grow. More than anything else, the people want action to upset Pakistan's game of destabilising the country.
What the country is faced with is a total war. In recent months, it has acquired even dangerous economic overtones, as is evident from the free circulation of fake Indian currency notes printed at Rawalpindi. Has the government evolved the right answer to the Pakistani attempt to sabotage the nation from within? We are not sure whether South Block has really come to grips with the problems thrown up by the hostile neighbour under General Pervez Musharraf.
The nation is in peril. The challenges ahead call for political unity and concerted and coordinated action. The establishment still seems to lack the basic clarity in policies and postures. The ruling elite seems to lack guts and unity of purpose. There are too many "cooks" hovering around the corridors of power who thrive and survive in the name of security. Apart from a united political approach, what is required is a unified command of the central paramilitary forces. Different units often work at cross purposes, which goes to the advantage of terrorist outfits. Equally vital is the question of intelligence gathering. Counter-terrorist operations cannot produce the desired results if the intelligence network continues to show serious gaps as during the Kargil intrusion. To say this is not to question the newly-found seriousness to tackle the alarming situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The idea here is to hammer at certain hometruths with a view to evolving a corrective process.
Nothing is lost yet in
Jammu and Kashmir. We are in a position to frustrate
Pakistan's proxy war provided we show the requisite
political will. In this context, the decision to organise
special operations with the help of retired soldiers and
members of the village defence committees is a step in
the right direction. Equally relevant is the provision
for special funds for border roads and new job-generating
projects for the Kashmiri youth. The problem of terrorism
should not be viewed in isolation. It has to be tackled
in totality bearing in mind the socio-economic needs of
the people and a responsive administration. Operations by
the security forces apart, it is the responsibility of
the Central and State governments to win the people's
confidence. There are no short-cuts to success. The road
ahead is dangerously bumpy. The rest is a matter of
Pension for all
FIRST the interest rate on public provident fund (PPF) came down; now it faces abrupt closure. The government will, in effect, withdraw from a popular social security measure, and in the name of modernising the structure and introducing new products. Its place will be taken by a privately managed PPF-2, which will be another mutual fund without a promised rate of return. If the stock market turns bearish and shares lose value, the burden will fall entirely on the subscribers and in their old age. This is because the new system does not allow any withdrawal before 60 years of age. The new product is a pension scheme for all those who are in the unorganised sector or self-employed. This is the safety net which former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh often talked of. And it is also takes the pension scheme introduced in 1995 to more sections of the population. This is the crux of the S.A.Dave committee report which the government has circulated for public discussion. A curious aspect of the report, as published in newspapers, including the economic ones, is the total silence on what the minimum return would be. Instead, there is endless discussion on using the nationwide computer networks or depositories both to collect money and disburse it when it falls due. One of them has two lakh crore entries, proving it can provide the infrastructure for a subscriber to deposit the money anywhere and for the company to receive it. Additionally there will be a third party (the network) permanent record of all transactions. In other words, the operation will be a sophisticated version of the post office money order facility. The initial proposal is to license six private companies to run the pension fund with each of them offering three alternate schemes, making 18 options in all. The report clearly prefers investing half of the fund in stock market and another 30 per cent in mutual funds controlled by private companies. The Dave committee is partial to the stock market; it has also suggested that fully one half of the employees provident fund. valued at Rs 1,00,000 crore or more, should enter the stock market to earn a higher return.
The general tenor of the
Dave committee report reveals a suppressed fear building
up in the government over the burden of pension payment
and its anxiety to either reduce the entitlement or shift
the financing obligation to the employees themselves. The
complaint is that retired people not only live long but
take away a lot of money. Pension is normally half of the
last pay drawn and together with the interest on
provident fund, gratuity and other benefits, a retired
employee makes nearly the same amount as in service. The
railways these days distribute 30 times the money as
pension as it did a decade ago. The underlying desire is
to cut this mounting expenditure and the next committee
is sure to recommend that employees should fund their
future pension entitlement as is the core practice in the
West. And the Dave committee report is the launch pad. It
is not the only disturbing feature. The governments
undue or even total reliance on the stock exchange to
safeguard public money is totally misplaced. Mr Dave, a
former chairman of the UTI, should know that shares do
not afford an investment opportunity; even at 30 per cent
dividend, and even in the case of low priced scrips, say
at Rs 50, the real return is 6 per cent. Profit can thus
be made only by selling shares at a profit. When everyone
resorts to this, the value nosedives. That is the secret
behind the volatility of the sensex. The meagre savings
of workers should not be put through this pitiless
Resignation and after
THE street theatre of agitational politics is scheduled to give the next few performances at Bhopal. The lead actors seem to have dug themselves in for a long-play drama. The theme is the alleged police assault on agitating corporators belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party during the election for the post of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation Chairman on Thursday last. The play has been livened up by the resignation of the Union Minister of State for Tourism, Ms Uma Bharati, alleging that the assault was launched at the behest of the Chief Minister, Mr Digvijay Singh. On the other hand, the Chief Minister has not only denied the allegation but has also refused to take any action against the Collector and the Superintendent of Police of Bhopal. One of the sidelights is the strike by doctors in protest against the alleged manhandling of a few of their colleagues by some relatives of the injured corporators, who were apparently irked by the "non-existence of proper medical care facilities". It is not easy to sit in judgement over the veracity of various allegations or counter-allegations. The question on everyone's lips is whether the incident was important enough for a Union Minister to resign over it. The mercurial Miss Uma Bharati, of course, would like the world to believe that the assault on the corporators, including women, was yet another instance of the high-handedness of the ruling Congress towards other parties. But her sudden and extreme reaction in itself points towards an undeclared agenda. Though she has a prestigious ministry at her command, she is not really happy being in Delhi. The alleged violence has come as a godsend to her. There is already an influential section of voters that feels that the state BJP leaders are not only not bold enough to raise their voice of dissent but are also soft towards the Chief Minister. She has stepped in to fill the vacuum. Predictably enough, quite a few young followers of the BJP have joined hands with her and seem to have felt "energised" at the prospect of making things hot for Mr Digvijay Singh.
While all this may
further her personal agenda considerably and even lead to
her ascendancy in state politics, the resignation does no
good to the national-level politics. Surely, the
settlement of what is at best a localised issue does not
require the resignation of a member of the Union Cabinet.
It only gives strength to the charge that certain MPs
have reduced Parliament to the level of a municipal
corporation or a panchayat. And to cap it all, she has
only faxed the resignation letter to the Prime Minister.
The latter should either accept it with immediate effect
or make her come back to Delhi and look after the work in
the ministry. If the resignation is kept pending for
long, it will only reinforce the impression that some
posts are only "ceremonial" and do not require
any hard work.
OMINOUS MESSAGE FROM ISLAMABAD
EVEN before Gen Pervez Musharrafs interview with The Hindu the message from Islamabad was loud, clear and ominous. It was Kashmir, Kashmir and Kashmir or else. The last two words of the message evidently mean relentless intensification of the proxy war in the sensitive and long-suffering Indian state though not perhaps a repetition of Kargil that proved so costly and embarrassing to Pakistan.
This is by no means all. Not only does Pakistans present military ruler want the Kashmir issue to be settled quickly and to his satisfaction, he also demands of India to end its campaign of vilification against his government and its policy of denying the military regime legitimacy. And he has accompanied this plea with the warning that should he continue to get the flak from New Delhi, he would hit back because he is not a believer in turning the other cheek.
In keeping with this rough tenor, Pakistans Chief Executive has blandly denied Pakistans sponsorship of and encouragement to cross-border terrorism and indeed indulged in overblown anti-terrorism rhetoric that has set a new record in hypocrisy. He has also contradicted reports that the USA and Britain have privately asked him to ban such self-proclaimed purveyors of terrorism as Harkat-ul-Ansar that now calls itself Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. Truly breathtaking, however, is his categorical denial that the five hijackers of IC 814 flight are in Pakistan. Would the General, please, enlighten the bewildered world whether these perpetrators of a heinous crime disappeared into thin air from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border where they had arrived along with Masood Azhar, the Harkats kingpin, exchanged for the hostages along with two other terrorists. Masood Azhar is now in Pakistan and has been speaking of his plans for a jehad against India with a degree of candour that General Musharraf would do well to emulate. The reasons why the General is feeling so cocky are not far to seek. Britain, which had taken the lead in the move leading to the suspension of Pakistan from the Commonwealth because of the overthrow of democracy as a result of the military coup has now chosen to appear at General Musharrafs court. As an emissary it has sent no less a person than its Chief of Defence Staff, General Guthrie, with a top official of Foreign and Commonwealth Office following in his footsteps. The USA, despite its avowed abhorrence of military takeovers, had never hesitated to engage itself with the Musharraf regime. Since then these contacts have been intensified ostentatiously. Quick on the heels of several influential Senators who held long parleys with the military dictator and his aides, Mr Rick Inderfurth, Americas senior official in charge of South Asia, is arriving in Islamabad. And if this was not enough, General Musharraf has gone to China on a two-day official visit. No wonder, he is gleefully telling India to learn from these major powers and recognise that his regime is legitimate and worth doing business with because 130 million Pakistanis support his seizure of power from the Nawaz Sharif government that was a negation of democracy. Moreover, he has loftily proclaimed that he would introduce true democracy in Pakistan but this would take time though a precise timeframe could not be spelt out at present.
Never mind the Generals Walter Mitty-like visions of his own grandeur. But we, in this country, would be erring grievously if we misjudge either General Musharrafs malevolent plans or the permissive attitude of major powers towards Pakistan, irrespective of the composition of its government at the given time. The lip service paid to democracy and human rights should not be allowed to obscure the reality.
Britain did make a great deal of noise over the military takeover in Islamabad first at the Commonwealth ministerial meeting in London and then at the Commonwealth summit in Durban. Less than three months later all the earlier favour has vanished. Why? Because, as The Guardian has exposed pitilessly, Britains armaments industry and powerful members of the British Cabinet are anxious to resume lucrative arms sales to Pakistan. To be sure, there is opposition to this pernicious move. But in a clash between profit and principles, profit usually wins.
As for the USA, it continues to regard Pakistan as a long-standing ally and does not want to isolate it even at the cost of having to turn a blind eye to Pakistan-sponsored or Pakistan-supported terrorism as long as it is not directed against America and Americans. This suits Islamabad fine, especially when it can tell the USA that trouble in Kashmir stems from Indias unwillingness to address this core issue which could, therefore, become a flash-point of nuclear holocaust.
President Bill Clinton has proclaimed to the wide world that during the remaining months of his tenure he aspires to ease tensions between India and Pakistan as part of his legacy. General Musharraf has cleverly played on this to argue that if Mr Clinton does want to lessen tensions in the region he would do well to visit both Pakistan and India. If the US Presidents objective is limited to promoting economic cooperation between his country and India, he has added, Mr Clinton can have different travel plans.
In this context a particularly painful element in the situation merits special attention. For weeks on end after Kargil we had been jumping with joy because we were supposed to have formed an international coalition against cross-border terrorism, with an Indo-US joint working group on the subject as the centrepiece of this architecture. But when the foulest act of terrorism, the hijacking of the IC 814 flight, took place the great international coalition was nowhere to be seen. Even so, a song and dance is being made about the more recent agreement between this country and Britain on combating terrorism. It is also being claimed that during the tenth round of talks between Mr Jaswant Singh and Mr Strobe Talbott, terrorism will be added to the agenda hitherto confined almost entirely to the nuclear issue.
Whether this will make any difference to the existing situation remains to be seen. In any case, prudence demands that we do not have unrealistic hopes and expectations. The bitter truth is that Washingtons definition of international terrorism seems to exclude the perfidious acts of terror and mayhem to which we have been subjected in Jammu and Kashmir for more than a decade.
Our battle against Pakistani terrorism we have to wage ourselves. Others might be inclined to lend a helping hand only when they see to be winning. Nothing can be more demeaning than to whine to Washington, especially when it does not listen. It was tragic that Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee allowed himself publicly to appeal to the USA to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. To nobodys surprise America, at the level of the official spokesperson of the State Department, rejected the plea within 24 hours. Britain, as is its wont, followed suit.
At the same time an inflexible policy of refusing to talk to Pakistan until the end of cross-border terrorism neither serves any useful purpose nor impresses the outside world. In any case, this policy broke down, rather embarrassingly under the weight of the hijacking crisis. Mr Jaswant Singh found it necessary to telephone his Pakistani opposite number, Mr Abdus Sattar. It is necessary moreover to talk sternly to Pakistan to put an end to the kind of bestiality that it has inflicted on a member of the Indian High Commission staff. As also for negotiating confidence-building measures even though General Musharraf has dismissed them as a joke.
The ruling establishment
in New Delhi knows very well that Pakistan is up to
enormous mischief in Kashmir. A foretaste of this has
been in evidence already. The latest attack on the
brigade headquarters of the Rashtriya Rifles was the 36th
incident of its kind since Kargil. This campaign
targeting formations and installations of the security
forces is going to be stepped up. Simultaneously,
outrages like the recent bomb blast in Srinagars
vegetable market will also be repeated. Nearly a thousand
heavily armed terrorists, mostly of the Afghan jehad
vintage, are already in position for this vile purpose.
This is known to the powers that be. The crucial question
is whether the counteraction against the desperadoes will
be more effective than it has been in the past.
Inadequate funds for modernising
THE Union Government has a crowded defence agenda at a time when it is taking the country into the next millennium. The issues which the Vajpayee government will have to grapple with range from equipping the defence forces for their nuclear responsibilities to a revamp of the national defence machinery. Besides, it will have the immediate task of ending internal friction, which has overtly begun to threaten the Army.
The Agni Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) will cap Indias land-based nuclear delivery system. More tests of this weapon, however, may be required to prove its reliability in a variety of fuel configurations. While the Agni tests have mainly shown the weapons range, it is not clear whether Indian defence scientists have developed the required warheads which will be landed in the target zone. There is yet another problem related to warheads. The integration of nuclear warheads to missiles is not easy. In fact, the Pakistanis are finding it extremely difficult to acquire the interfacing technology, which is necessary to mount nuclear payloads onto the missiles. Without this capability, the deterrence of the Pakistani arsenal will be denied. The government will have to decide whether to use the short-range Prithvi as a tactical nuclear missile or prefer its deployment with conventional warheads alone.
Though the Mirage-2000 and the Jaguars of the IAF can be technically used with modifications as nuclear delivery platforms, India is yet to acquire reliable means of delivering these weapons. The IAF, therefore, may be looking for such fighter jets as have a foolproof nuclear delivery capability. The IAF is reportedly looking for Mirage-2000-5-D from France to bridge this gap.
The draft nuclear doctrine indicates the need for a second strike capability. This means the capacity to retaliate after absorbing an initial strike from the enemy. Security experts the world over contend that a nuclear submarine is an ideal platform for a second strike. India has a nuclear submarine programme, but it will have to push it hard before it can acquire an operational status. In the meantime, India might have to look for nuclear submarines on a lease basis. However, driven by nonproliferation concerns, very few countries may have the political will to lease these platforms to India.
Indias naval aviation arm may also be keen to acquire long-range strategic bombers Russias EU-22 which is being examined by India can also be used for this purpose, especially when Pakistan has already acquired deadly Agosta missiles for its navy. For this anti-missile missiles, which can destroy and fire hostile nuclear missiles in mid-air, are the need of the hour. India has been negotiating with Russia for acquiring the S-300 missiles for this purpose. However, with the nuclear scenario transforming after the nuclear tests in the subcontinent last May, a decision to purchase these weapons will have to be taken at the earliest.
Indias missile man, Dr Abdul Kalam, has advocated a two-pronged strategy for the defence sector. It should aim at collaborations and joint ventures in technology development with developed countries at the global level, and forming defence industry complexes at the national level. Dr Kalam says India can use its strengths such as the solid technology base, cost-effectiveness and research and development infrastructure to have joint technology initiatives with friendly countries, to mutually enhance business opportunities. There is tremendous pressure on India to build high-performance defence systems at an affordable cost. The challenge becomes even tougher when one takes into consideration global competition, which is marked by mergers and strategy business alliances.
Speaking at a seminar some time ago, Dr Kalam said the future war environment would be technologically intensive, and in the coming decade weapon effectiveness would decide military strength. This high technology would have the support of missile systems, unmanned armoured vehicles (UAV), electronic warfare, information technology and precision delivery systems.
Referring to the Kargil crisis, Gen V.P. Malik, Chief of the Army Staff, who was also present, said if we had satellite imagery and UAV surveillance platforms, despite human intelligence failure, we could have detected Pakistan army built-up and intrusion in those difficult terrain and climatic conditions much earlier. Adequate night vision devices, laser-guided artillery and weapon-locating radars could have reduced the total cost and duration of the war as well as the number of casualties. Towards the end of the war the IAF had safely and accurately used laser-guided weapons on Tiger Hill and a few other positions, General Malik disclosed.
These views confirm that the deployment of newly formed corps along the high altitude areas of Kargil during the winter months like the Siachen glaciers is not a strategically sound move for three reasons. One, landslides and avalanches at Dras, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, will cause heavy casualties due to high-altitude-related diseases like pulmonary edama and frost bites. Two, the aim of Pakistan has been achieved to tie down our forces and deplete our reserves. Three, the expenditure on the maintenance of these troops is going to be around Rs 4 crore per month which could be saved by deploying high-tech equipment along the LoC in Kargil for monitoring enemy movement and guns as advocated by Dr Kalam as well as General Malik.
In order to cover up the immediate deficiencies in respect of arms, equipment and ammunition in the armed forces, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sought additional funds for defence hardware purchase as planned for the current year. This year the MoD has a Rs 46,000 crore budget which, experts feel, is not sufficient for its weapons purchase plans. The government has contracted the construction of three warships with a Russian shipyard worth Rs 2500 crore and is negotiating the purchase of a couple of nuclear submarines worth Rs 15,000 crore. In addition, MiG Advance Jet Trainer (AJT) planes and refurbishing of the Admiral Gorshakov aircraft carrier, which Russia has offered to gift to India, besides its upgradation, will cost another Rs 5000 crore.
Of the total sanction in the 1999-2000 budget, barely Rs 15,000 crore is for defence hardware with much of it already earmarked for the ongoing purchases like the Sukhoi-30 aircraft for which a Rs 3,600 crore deal was concluded with Russia in 1996. The demand this year is for a lot more than Rs 1500 crore if the nuclear submarine deal is clinched it will mean Rs 2000 crore spent on advance account alone.
The MoD has sought a 20 per cent hike in the budget allocation in the coming fiscal for replacement and management and for fresh purchases of arms and ammunition following the Kargil conflict. This translates into an increase of around Rs 9,139 crore over the current years budget allocation of Rs 45,694 crore. The Finance Ministry, which had sought an estimate for the coming fiscal year, is currently scrutinising the wish list furnished by the Ministry of Defence.
During 1998-1999, defence expenditure was budgeted at Rs 41,200 crore and retained at the same level in the revised estimates. The budgeted expenditure on revenue and capital account stood at Rs 30,480 crore and Rs 10,339 crore respectively. Though the expenditure on revenue account was enhanced marginally in the revised estimates, it was scaled down on capital account. While the Defence Ministry has sent its estimates well ahead of the scheduled time, other ministries are expected to forward their proposals on the revised estimates in the coming days.
The top brass of the Finance Ministry have already deliberated on the issue. An across-the-board cut in Plan expenditure is on the anvil, subject to the approval of the Finance Minister. It is learnt, that the government would also make efforts aimed at pruning non-Plan expenditure particularly the food and fertiliser subsidy bills. An indication that government will be taking hard decisions has already been given by the Prime Minister as well as the Finance Minister.
Report on Kargil must be
THE much-awaited report of the Subrahmanyam Committee, which went into the events leading to the Kargil intrusion in the summer of 1999, is now with the government. Barring a few, the contents of the report are not known.
Dr Subrahmanyam, who headed the National Security Council Advisory Board (NSCAB), was Chairman of the panel which conducted the enquiry. When approached by The Tribune, he agreed to meet but set a ground rule nothing on the report.
Of course, he did not like the manner in which there has been reaction over the fact that the committee excised certain information. He said the panel, which consisted of the present Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), Mr Satish Chandra, former Chairman of the JIC in himself, former Vice- Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen K.K. Hazare (retd), and journalist B.G.Verghese, understood the national security demands and its interests.
The idea to keep out certain sensitive information, he said, was to facilitate making the report public and he was confident that the government would do so soon. The report runs into some 2,300 pages bound in several volumes. The main report runs into 200-odd pages.
The following are excerpts of the interview with Dr Subrahmanyam
Question: Having been given the task of probing matters relating to the Kargil intrusion and that such a task was not attempted earlier, how did you go about it ?
Answer: The committee first asked the services, the Army and the Air Force as well as the intelligence services to make presentations of the information they had on the events leading up to the Kargil military intrusion. After having obtained that we formulated a questionnaire and sent it to the services and asked them to reply in detail. We also sent similar questionnaires to the command, the Corps headquarters, divisional and brigade headquarters to give their replies to our questions. We collected all these material first and after studying them, we made a visit to the command headquarters, the division and the brigade headquarters and asked those people to make presentation as to what happened at those places.
Meanwhile, we also looked through all the intelligence reports that had come in the previous two years to find out if they gave any indication of how this intrusion happened or the possibility of intrusion.
Then we also met people, not just the commanders of the formations and intelligence chiefs, but the civil servants, the National Security Adviser, the Cabinet Secretary, the Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Defence Secretary and we also met the Ministers. The committee also met the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, the Governor and also local intelligence personnel. This gave a broad idea as to what happened. Thereafter we called for specific things from various agencies, battalion commanders, civil defence and also the shepherds who were said to have seen them (the Pakistan) first.
The Committee also met policy makers, the Chief of Army Staff, former Defence Ministers, Ministers and former Prime Ministers. In all, we met 92 people.
Q: Did the committee get cooperation from all those whom it approached ?
Ans: Yes. Barring three people, former Prime Minister, Chandra Shekhar, who said there was no use of him meeting the committee as he did not have anything significant to share, former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, who said he did not have the time, and journalist, Mr R.K. Misra. The last named who visited Pakistan during June (as part of the back channel diplomacy), said that in view of developments in Pakistan any sharing of information could have an impact in that country now.
Q: Since the Committee also met the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, what were the areas it touched during the meeting ?
Ans: We met the Prime Minister towards the last stage. The questions were basically on decision making, policies and perceptions.
Q: Did your committee have access to classified information or did you have to be satisfied with information which people you approached thought needed to be given ?
Ans: We could get every information we wanted, included those marked Top Secret.
Q: Are you satisfied with the report and what has prompted the Committee to take out some sensitive information ?
Ans: I am satisfied with the report that runs into some 2,300 pages. We excised very sensitive information regarding the formations, the deployment of forces and operational details. These have only been removed from appendices. Retaining the information could have hurt national interest. The excised portion is with the Secretariat of the National Security Council. The report given to the government is final.
Q: Would you prefer that the report remains under wraps so that even if is not implemented nothing is known except to the few who have access to the report ?
Ans: We want the report to be published . We want it to be made public, I deeply regret the impression that the committee would not like it being made public. The committee consisted of people who know about national security interests. The idea of deleting certain information was precisely to facilitate the report being made public.
Look it is a matter of fact that the committee had access to very sensitive information and not a word leaked. That speaks for itself.
Q: The intelligence agencies have always been the whipping boys, so to say, Having gone through the entire gamut of events leading to the Kargil intrusion, do you think it was justified ?
Ans: What you are asking forms part of the report. You will have to wait for it to be made public. But let me give a similar instance. After the 1962 Chinese attack, a report was prepared which later on found mention in B N Malliks book. It allowed us to take a fair and objective view of the situation then.
Q: Would you suggest a revamp in the intelligence set up or toning up the existing apparatus ?
THE startling development that has taken place in connection with the Allahabad riots is of obvious and undoubted significance. The Sessions Judge, who tried the shooting case, held that all the Mahomedan witnesses for the prosecution and all the Hindu witnesses for the defence had perjured themselves and given an account of the affair which was wilfully false and on which not the slightest reliance could be placed.
In a subsequent order he
stated that the evidence given by these witnesses,
including three constables, constituted so gross a
scandal that it was quite impossible for him to refrain
from accordingly proceeding to make a formal complaint of
perjury to the District Magistrate against all these
witnesses. The progress of this new case will be watched
with the greatest interest.
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