Friday, August 19th, 2022 16:06:49

It Is The Season Of Woes For UPA

Updated: March 9, 2013 2:07 pm

As the gaffe-prone UPA commits blunder after blunder, India’s efforts to fight terrorism are fast becoming a joke in international circles.

In what appears to be a season of woes for the UPA government, leaving aside VVIP helicopter deal, the hanging of Afzal Guru and sharing of dais by JKLF leader Yasin Malik with Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed has burdened it with further woes. In the first instance, the UPA government was slammed for hanging Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru without informing his relatives and in the second, the UPA faced heat again when the pictures of Yasin Malik sharing dais with India’s most wanted terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed appeared in the Pakistan media. The photographs became a major embarrassment for the UPA government as it was responsible for allowing separatist leaders to visit Pakistan and freely mingle with terror masterminds. Indeed, Malik’s meeting with Saeed sends a wrong message.

Yasin Malik sharing dais with LeT chief Hafiz Saeed in Islamabad to mourn the hanging of Afzal Guru, not only created a flutter in India but also led to a demand for his arrest on return and cancelling of his Indian passport. The JKLF leader who is nursed by Indian government couldn’t weigh the repercussions of his meeting with a terror head involved in the cold blooded murders of more than three hundred innocent people in Mumbai attacks. The fact remains that his anti-India conduct has not only revived the memories of massacre but also rubbed salt on the wounds of those who lost their loved ones in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. It is unbelievable that the UPA government is encouraging anti-India activities by allowing Malik to go to Pakistan and facilitating his meeting with Saeed.

It is difficult to believe that the Indian authorities were unaware that the JKLF leader Yasin Malik was hobnobbing with the ISI and the Jehadi groups during his frequent trips to Pakistan. Being aware of his rabid anti-India stand, Indian intelligence agencies should have kept a tab on him. Their failure to do so reveals serious flaws in the national security set-up. Recently, several news channels exposed the connections between the LeT chief Saeed and the separatist elements in Kashmir. But the home ministry has not taken action against them. Unless the UPA government gives a convincing explanation, the Yasin Malik episode will explode in its face and expose it to the criticism that it is not serious in fighting terrorism.

It appears that the UPA leaders are not summing up courage to act against those who are openly challenging the government’s authority by meeting the Pakistani leaders in New Delhi and terrorist leaders while visiting Pakistan. It is quite shocking that Yasin Malik is sitting on hunger strike with Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan and our government is mum and hushing up the matter by saying that the matter will be enquired into. There is a clear photo and video of Yasin Malik with Hafiz Saeed in different newspapers and TV channels, then what remains to be enquired into. Ironically, instead of regretting Malik has dared Indian government and said, “If government wants to cancel my passport and arrest me for sharing dais with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, I am ready for that.”

Besides Centre’s pusillanimity, there is a lack of coordination between the intelligence agencies, state departments and Central departments even in vital cases where our security aspect is involved. Though New Delhi has let it be known that it wants to negotiate directly with separatists, we must bear in mind that there is no point in toeing a soft line with fundamentalists aided by Pakistan, as their intentions are wholly criminal and militate against all tenets of democratic norms. Rather than dealing strictly with separatists, the UPA government is busy mollycoddling extremist groups and their political masters by inviting them for talks.

Embarrassed and angered by Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik’s action, the Indian government is weighing the option of revoking his passport on grounds of national security. The Indian authorities are likely to question him as soon as he returns home to explain his hobnobbing with India’s most-wanted terror fugitive and giving Saeed legitimacy as a champion of the Kashmiri cause. Responding to queries as to whether any action will be taken against Malik for sharing dais with the LeT chief while sitting on a hunger strike in Pakistan, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said, “I will look into the case.”

A pertinent question arises: Why these separatists are allowed to travel to Pakistan and other Islamic countries? Secondly, why are they allowed to meet the Pakistani high commissioner and other visiting Pakistan ministers? What is their locus standi? Because, the successive governments have been treating them with kid gloves, making them emboldened to participate in anti-Indian activities inside and outside the nation.

People and politicians are up in arms against Yasin Malik. BJP president Rajnath Singh said, “The government should seriously take cognisance of this. It’s not a small issue. I expect this much from the government,” Singh told reporters in New Delhi. The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) demanded a thorough probe into JKLF leader Yasin Malik meeting with Mumbai attack mastermind Hafeez Saeed. The Muslim body also sought cancellation of Malik’s passport after the separatist leader shared dais with the LeT chief during his ongoing visit to Pakistan.

Leaders from the ruling Congress also joined the chorus seeking actions against Malik. “Yasin Malik knows that Saeed is the convict in the Mumbai blast case. He should have objected the moment he came on stage. The government should do something,” Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has said.

Anti-Terrorist Front (ATF) chairman MS Bitta demanded that Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik be probed and put on trial and his passport be revoked for sharing a dais with Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan. Bitta also accused Malik of trying to use the hanging of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru to “accelerate” his movement. He appealed to both the Union and the state government to take action against Malik and arrest him when he returns India. Malik should be declared a terrorist, demanded Bitta.

Indeed, the free rope given to separatist leaders is a consequence directionless policies of the Congress at the Centre. Unfortunately, the UPA has not been dealing with the separatist elements firmly, inflating their egos and, consequently, emboldening them to behave like traitors. These self-styled leaders who create chaos in the Valley with help from Pakistan also dictate terms with the Indian government. While the nuisance value of these extremists coupled with the government’s failure to act against them gives them a chance to exploit the situation.

This can only happen in India. A pro-Pakistani and pro-terrorist can stay in India, eat here, sleep here, but sing for Pakistan so openly. It is high time the government took a stern action.

By Sushil Vakil

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