Well done, rare and medium-well
The Hindustan Times calls for coercive diplomacy and not ruling out the use of force
While Home Minister Shivraj Patil is to be congratulated for moving much faster than he did in the case of Manipur, there is still no clear indication as to just how the government intends to tackle the renewed challenge. His call for a long-term strategy and coordinated action against militancy is neither here nor there. The straightforward issue is that the government must press ahead and act against the sanctuaries the militants have in Bangladesh.
Merely lamenting Dhakaâ€™s lack of cooperation is not enough. Too much is at stake and too many lives have already been lost to bother about the diplomatic sensitivities of a neighbour whose standard response is denial. India should make a high-level diplomatic demarche on Bangladesh. If Dhaka remains recalcitrant, approach the UN and demand action. Under the UN Security Council Resolution 1373, all states are enjoined to prevent those who finance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts from using their respective territories against other countries and their citizens. If the UN, too, fails in its task, New Delhi should make it known that it reserves the right to consider other unilateral measures. [HT]
The Hindu remains true to its lofty-softy creed.
As the Centre considers its options, it would do well to avoid any knee-jerk crackdown. Past experience tells us that when the security forces act in haste, the margin of error increases dramatically. To be effective, counter-insurgency strategy has to be sharply focussed and professionally executed. Operations Bajrang and Rhino may have led to the elimination of extremists but the heavy-handed tactics adopted also helped create a new base of resentment that ULFA has successfully tapped into. In the long run, it is the concern for people and their democratic and human rights that gives the state legitimacy; it helps defeat insurgents like ULFA and the NDFB that recognise no civilised norms. Likewise, the Centre should think twice before accepting the advice of those who feel it is time to `tighten the screws’ on Bangladesh or Myanmar for allegedly providing shelter to Northeast militants. New Delhi’s accusation against Dhaka is well known, as is Bangladesh’s equally vociferous denial of any complicity in the activities of the outlawed Indian groups. While the presence of individual ULFA or Bodo leaders in Bangladesh â€” with or without the knowledge of the Government â€” is undeniable, there is no evidence that there are camps of the kind that existed in Bhutan until last year. The sooner India drops any idea of `muscular’ talk, the easier it will be to secure the cooperation of the Bangladesh Rifles in matters of blocking insurgent cells from retreating across the border.[The Hindu]
The Indian Express‘ take is more well done than rare.
The Assam chief minister appears to be way off the mark when he argues that India should seek the cooperation of Bangladesh in wiping out militant sanctuaries in its territory knowing that they have, unlike in Bhutan, continued to receive strong support from various quarters â€” even those linked to the government. The central question that the state and Central governments must ask is this: has there been any complacency on their part after the ULFA and other militant groups had been hounded out of their sanctuary in Bhutan? It was very clear that those reverses had weakened the ULFA and other groups, as well as undermined their credibility. So why have Indian intelligence and law enforcement agencies been unable to exploit the fallout of the Bhutan operations? Instead of anti-militancy operations weakening these terrorist organisations in the wake of the Bhutan operations, the militants have been allowed to re-establish their presence. [IE]
Update: These events hit the TV blind-spot in India.