If the FBI can help hunt down the killers, then why not accept its assistance?
There is nothing wrong in India accepting American assistance in investigating the recent blasts in Assam and Nagaland – after all, what good use is having a high-level Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism when the two countries cannot work jointly to investigate an actual act of what appears to be cross-border terrorism?
The development of Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts region into a veritable Waziristan-of-the-east is an issue of concern both to the United States and India. Jemaah Islamiyah’s Hambali has been reported to have been holed out in Bangladesh for some time before he was arrested. The United States cannot tackle this incipient regional threat alone without Indian cooperation.
Whether Indian investigators really require technical help and assistance from the FBI is a another matter; if the FBI can help close a gap in capabilities, it should be welcomed; if India can do it alone, then it should be declined.
Other than demonstrating closed intellectual shutters, turning down the American ambassador’s offer — which seems like a well-intentioned but misconstrued move — due to a perceived affront to sovereignty or national pride, does nothing else.
Ultimately, the terrorist attacks in the north-east are a greater threat to India’s sovereignty that the Ambassador’s offer of assistance. A sense of proportion is what the intellectual and political critics of the foreign ‘helping’ hand need.