Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time for action India..

The TOI report in today's paper claims that India is finally on the diplomatic offensive by presenting Pakistan and some key countries with a dossier of incriminating ‘material’ from the probe into the Mumbai attacks, including telephone intercepts between the attackers and their Lashkar-e-Taiba handlers in Pakistan.

 This “Hard evidence’ was presented to the US, the UK and Israel, among other countries which had lost their citizens in the attacks. India will give copies of the documentation to members of the UN Security Council and the G-8 on Tuesday to mount pressure on Islamabad to acknowledge, as a first step, the involvement of its citizens in the attacks, and then follow that up with action against them.  

Whats in the Dossier???
-Confession of arrested terrorist Ajmal Kasab,
-Details on his family in Pakistan’s Okhara district,
-Details of the training camps run by LeT,
-Details of the journey to Mumbai,
-Identities of 9 dead LeT terrorists,
-Details of GPS readings from a device recovered from the landing raft on how terrorists navigated from Karachi,
-Satellite phone locations inside Pak from where LeT handlers talked to terrorists,
-Intercepts of Voice Over Internet Protocol through US-based Callphonix between terrorists and Pakbased commanders Zarar Shah, Muzammil, Abu Al Qafa and Abu Hamza,
-Mail ID in Pakistan used by Zarar Shah to open deccanmujahideen@yahoo.com account through which he owned up the attacks..
The question remains whether all this is sufficient?? Should we just sit and wait for the FBI and other international agencies do the dirty work or should we ourselves get into the fray and demand access to the masterminds behind this attack..

As a nation we need to assert ourselves and show the world that we are as keen on saving the lives of our citizens as perhaps the US or Israel are.. Is it sufficient for us to let these countries carry out the investigations for us? Even if Pakistan's reluctance in allowing India access to the alleged terrorists, shouldn't we ask the international powers to help us in getting justice for our citizens ourselves?

Under a SAARC agreement in 1987 on suppression of terrorism and the 2004 additional protocol to that convention, the treaty confers discretion to extradite terrorists even in a situation where the requested state makes extradition “conditional on the existence of a treaty.’’ As its preamble put it, the whole purpose of the 1987 convention, drafted against the backdrop of the Punjab insurgency, was “to ensure that perpetrators of terrorist acts do not escape prosecution and punishment by providing for their extradition or prosecution.’’ 

 The 2004 additional protocol enlarged the scope of the extraditable offences under the 1987 Saarc convention. One of the new extraditable offences is any violent act when its purpose, “by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government to do or to abstain from doing’’ something. Since international obligations undertaken by a country are deemed to be part of its domestic law, the 1987 convention and 2004 protocol show that there is no legal impediment to the extradition of terrorists from Pakistan despite the absence of an extradition treaty with India.

Pakistan’s claim to have a prior right to prosecute the wanted terrorists is also contrary to the SAARC instruments. The govt. needs to invoke its rights and take investigation in its own hands.. India owes it to its citizens.. 



Unknown said...

Very valid point Vinnet.I feel the link below is a copy of that charter.

In fact in Pakistan did say that it would consider to extradite terrorists under the same convention in 2002.(http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/jan/02saarc1.htm)
Reportedly India then did give Pakistan a list of 20 terrorists.Indeed very unfortunate that Pakistan did nothing and it took a carnage in Bombay to refresh our government's memory.

We must though also remembr that SAARC has been MAJORLY INEFFECTIVE.Territorial disputes among South Asian nations have not been able to harness the benefits of a unified economy. Over the years, SAARC's role in South Asia has been greatly diminished and is now used as a mere platform for annual talks and meetings between its members.

Recently, SAARC has intentionally laid more stress on "core issues" mentioned above rather than more decisive political issues like the Kashmir dispute and the Sri Lankan civil war.

I mean just look at the official website of SAARC (www.saarc-sec.org) IT SAYS:

"The current areas of cooperation under the reconstituted Regional Integrated Programme of Action which is pursued through the Technical Committees cover:

Agriculture and Rural Development;
Health and Population Activities;
Women, Youth and Children;
Environment and Forestry;
Science and Technology and Meteorology;
Human Resources Development; and
Recently, high level Working Groups have also been established to strengthen cooperation in the areas of Information and Communications Technology, Biotechnology, Intellectual Property Rights, Tourism, and Energy."

(No mention of terrorism at all)

None the less, you have a valid point and I wonder if you would like to email it to major newspapers and media channels in India [[ aftnet@vsnl.com, medasia@giasdl01.vsnl.net.in, feedback@ndtv.com, fpj@vsnl.com, ieletters@expressindia.com, mailbag@mid-day.com, toieditorial@timesgroup.com]]

(I presume that your point is not yet widely known)

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal said...

Ya Amit i did forward it to TOI and i think they hv posted it in one of the editions too... SAARC has really been ineffective and so has been India's foreign policy.. lets hope the current initiative and offensive taken up by the Indian govt. and the international media galvanizes Pakistan into some positive action..

Unknown said...

Well researched article

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal said...

Thanx man.. Amit has also given deep insights into this.. i hope somebody actually does something abt it!