Now that RIM has agreed to give 'lawful' access to the security agencies what is the guarantee that the government will not spy on legitimate communication (personal, business, legal) between citizens. Given the Indian Government's record in illegally tapping phones there is a huge possibility of them using the access to BB devices to monitor communications of business leaders, journalists, social activists, political rivals, and bureaucrats among others.
Vice President Hamid Ansari has pushed for a parliamentary oversight committee to monitor the activities of the intelligence agencies, something which previous Canary Trap posts have strongly advocated for. While delivering the late R N Kao memorial lecture on January 19, Vice President Ansari highlighted the case of "faulty intelligence" on weapons of mass destruction before the Iraqi invasion in 2003 and asked "How shall a democracy insure its secret intelligence apparatus becomes neither a vehicle for conspiracy nor a suppressor of the traditional liberties of democratic self-government?"
The findings of the internal inquiry of RAW into the Rabinder Singh episode will never be known even to the Indian Parliament or a parliamentary committee. How then can we be sure of their effectiveness in gathering information and protecting the country. The Home Minister has to ensure that an oversight mechanism be created to ensure that such vital issues (Rabinder Singh episode) affecting national security are not swept under the carpet and appropriate lessons are drawn from it.
By far the most important aspect of illegal economy in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in valley which has received minimum attention, is the introduction of fake Indian currency. During last decade the role of fake currency in impacting the socio-economic scene in Kashmir Valley is more than anything else. Injection of fake currency seems to have crossed the boundaries of clandestine operations. It is becoming the part of socio-economic culture.
The hawala transactions reveal not only the modus operandi of money transactions but also the elaborate network of over ground workers who are part of a elaborate subversive establishment. This establishment is gradually transforming Kashmir valley into a den of illegal economy causing irreparable damage to the social set up.
Regular seizures of drugs along the LoC and IB in the state, hawala money and counterfeit currency has been a feature of counter terrorism operations in the state and local papers have been regularly reporting such incidents. The discourse on Kashmir at the political level in India eschews this dimension. However experts of International repute have taken significant and serious notice of linkages between terrorism in Kashmir and its financial support through drug trade.
An intelligence report by India's Intelligence Bureau in December 2006 states that ISI, in cooperation with Pakistan Navy, is imparting navigational training to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists. The report further states that the training is for 12 to 18 months and is divided into three phases. The first phase deals with learning swimming. The second phase of the training involved tasks like handling large boats, laying of mines in coastal zones, and planting of explosives under dams, bridges, and ships among others.
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.
More than 70 blasts in last six months and scores of people dead. The latest in the series of unending violence against India is the bold and daring attack that took place in Mumbai. The latest attack was totally different from previous bomb blasts and took everybody by surprise. Around 11 (according to media reports) terrorists walk into our country by a sea route and create the kind of mayhem that we witnessed in last few days. This is unprecedented.