Continuity of (spineless) policy
And another one — this time from the ‘third front’ — the V P Singh government’s cave-in on the Rubaiya Sayeed kidnapping.
Even as intelligence agencies were negotiating the release of the hostage, the Centre unconditionally conceded all the terrorists’ demands, and with this single act of abject capitulation all of Kashmir simply exploded into a full-blown insurgency within days. The Rubaiya Sayeed incident – and the then Central government’s response to this crisis – is now widely acknowledged as the central event that triggered the terrorism in J&K that is now in its thirteenth year, and has already cost at least 33,159 lives in the State.
The Rubaiya Sayeed incident sent out an unmistakable message to extremists all over the country: the new Government – and evidently its Home Minister – had neither the will nor the understanding to define and implement a cogent and resolute policy against terrorist violence. [KPS Gill/Kashmir Herald]
It is abundantly clear that the lack of offensive action against terrorists has made India the soft target that it is today. V P Singh was followed as prime minister among others, by I K Gujral, he of the doctrine fame. Deve Gowda has no doctrine named after him, but no one is quite sure what he did anyway. But there was the famous ‘continuity in foreign policy’. Only Chandra Shekhar (remember him), in the few months that he was prime minister, is credited with some decisive action that nearly broke the back of the ULFA in Assam. In the end all parties are guilty of sins of commission and omission as far as terrorism is concerned. Will they ever learn?