Action against terror: Revive RAW’s covert action unit

“Man is immortal, his salvation is thereafter, the State has no immortality; its salvation is now or never. States do not receive credit for doing what is right; they are only rewarded for being strong enough to do what is necessary” – Cardinal De Richelieu

India, hit by yet another terror attack in Mumbai, should take Richelieu’s words seriously and act now. I am not suggesting that we should go and bomb Pakistan. We have concrete evidence of the involvement of Pakistan-based terror organisations and the rogue Inter-Services Intelligence. This gives us to right to take actions necessary to safeguard our nation and our way of life.

We know the terror organisations (LeT, JeM) waging a war against our country, the people who are supporting them (Dawood and his gang) and their locations. The first thing our government has to do is to immediately revive the covert action unit of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), which was closed down by then Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral in 1997.

The government has to ensure that Pakistan pays a heavy price for supporting terrorism in India. The terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan has to be destroyed and targeted assassinations of figures like LeT chief, JeM chief and Dawood has to be carried out.

RAW has the capability to carry out covert operations inside Pakistan and it has proved that beyond doubt in the past. What is needed before that is to revamp the premier intelligence agency, which is in news for all the wrong reasons. Now, as the current RAW chief retires in January 2009, the Prime Minister has to ensure that a competent person is appointed to head the agency. As former senior RAW official B Raman puts it in his blog, “At this critical time in the nation’s history, RAW has no covert action specialists at the top of its pyramid. Get a suitable officer from the IB or the Army. If necessary, make him the head of the organization.”

The Indian establishment (Political and bureaucratic) now has to ensure that stern actions are taken against the perpetrators of the terror acts and their masters.

Another thing that the government should avoid is presenting their case before the United States of America every-time an attack takes place in India. If Pakistan is supporting terrorism in India, and we have the proof of its involvement, then why should we ask the US to intervene. We have to be strong enough to take action on our own. Diplomacy aside, there has to be a firm conviction that attacks on India will not go unpunished. That is what the US does. Did they give any proof before attacking al Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001? The entire world knows the story of the “faulty intelligence” which they relied on to attack Saddam Hussein in 2003. Did they wait to present any proof to anybody? NO. They just went in and bombed everything.

We have to keep in mind that the only one thing important to the US is their own national interests. They don’t care about India’s concern on terrorism. So, pleading before the US to pressurize Pakistan to take action will not yield any results.

The Mumbai terror attack has given us an opportunity to completely rethink the way we perceive national security. We have suffered enough at the hands of Pakistan and now is the time for action.

Let Pakistan know that if they continue to promote terrorism in India, they will be made to bleed even more. According to B Raman, “A divided Pakistan, a bleeding Pakistan, a Pakistan ever on the verge of collapse without actually collapsing – that should be our objective till it stops using terrorism against India.”

Along with the covert actions, the government also needs to ensure strengthening of our security apparatus.  This will include strengthening the police force throughout the country, ensuring coastal security, setting up specialized investigating agencies, and have a crisis infrastructure.