Here I am trying to answer some of the questions raised in the comments on Terrorism: A shocked nation awakens
1. By asking for more proof that the 26/11 plot was hatched in their country, the Pakistanis are probably trying to probe how much details India has in its possession. It is also an attempt to confuse the issue. Not revealing all the cards we hold may be a wise policy at this juncture.
2. India allowed the Americans and the British to interrogate the surviving terrorist. Pakistan possibly cannot follow this example because they have not made any meaningful arrests linked to 26/11. They are just trying to fool the world.
3. Mug shots of the dead terrorists, DNA etc., can link to the records archives of our agencies as well as those of friendly countries. Also, the items recovered from them do tell tales.
4. We should be grateful that at least one terrorist was caught alive. There could be still more information to be extracted from him. Bringing him to trial has many benefits. Firstly, we are committed to the rule of law and cannot resort to lynching culprits. Secondly the trial would help in sustaining public attention on the question of terrorism. Thirdly, the solid evidence that India claims to have would be subjected to judicial review and more credibly presented to the world.
5. Kandahar was an avoidable bad dream. But the politicians who were involved in that episode keep blabbering loud about fighting terrorism.
6. The handling of 26/11 by the officialdom, at least in the initial stages, was inefficient, to say the least. Proper analysis of the mistakes should help us to streamline our strategies, tactics and operational procedures for the future. The controversial media reporting of the tragedy has been taken note of and the News Broadcasters Association has issued guidelines for future coverage.
7. To take a pessimistic view of the prospects of India is self-defeating. As Happy Kitten has rightly pointed out, to feel that India is finished would amount to surrendering. Morale has to be kept high. Winston Churchill's famous 'We shall fight' speech on June 4, 1940 was one of the major factors that turned the WW II around. Britain was almost on the verge of collapse at that time. India is nowhere near that situation. What we require is not oratory but the courage of conviction and concerted action.
8. Surgical or pre-emptive strikes by India should be resorted to if they become essential but such operations require Entebbe-like planning and precision. That in turn needs quality intelligence. Hopefully, the proposed National Investigation Agency would provide the necessary input.
9. AR Antulay might have put his foot in his mouth, but on one point he is right. It is incredible that in a warlike situation three top police officials were caught together in one car. That was a fatal mistake. Some of you might recall the entire AC Milan champion football team perishing in an air crash some decades ago. In very prosaic terms – never put all your eggs in one basket.
10. It is possible that there might be more terror attacks on India causing further loss of men and materials. We should be prepared – it is an undeclared war on the country that may not end with one battle. We are a strong nation and we shall overcome.
(You can read Churchill’s famous speech at http://www.presentationhelper.co.uk/winston_churchill_speech_fight_them_on_beaches.htm It is said that after the formal last sentence of the speech over the BBC, Churchill covered the mike with his hands and concluded with words to the effect – and if everything fails we shall hit them over the heads with empty beer bottles which is about all that we have got to fight with.)
Mumbai: The Last Post and after