Human Rights

India fumbles on war on terror

With the recent goof-up in the terror most wanted list given to Pakistan India’s sensitivity to terror sounds hollow and speaks of a systemic failure. The error in the terror list not only reveals a grievous lack of co-ordination among our security agencies but also a casual attitude in fighting the war on terror at all levels. The most wanted list moved from lowest to highest rung of our bureaucrats in charge of security and file and all should equally share the blame in their role in the blunder.

G K Pillay, home secretary had handed over the most wanted list to his Pakistani counterpart Qamar Zaman Choudhary on 28 March this year. Feroz Rashid Khan named in India’s most wanted list has now been traced to the Arthur Road Jail facing trial for his role in the 1993 serial blasts case. He was listed as criminal No 24 absconding with Dawood Ibrahim.Wazhul Kamar Khan also mentioned in the most wanted list was arrested last year for his alleged role in the 2003 Mulund train blasts and was living at his Thane residence. One error after another in the same list has blown up in India’s face its commitment to the war on terror internationally. India itself has weakened its case against Pakistan’s aiding and sheltering terror accused.

The perception of the people when P Chidambaram took over as home minister after Mumbai attack was that his tenure will bring a dedicated work ethics and professionalism in the functioning of the departments working under it which was lacking before he took up the onerous responsibility. But it appears from the error in the terror list that the termites have started to creep into India’s security mechanism which is certainly not a healthy sign. The problem lies in co-ordination specially when one task is carried out by different agencies with their own approach. This simply gives rise to the blame game and passing the responsibility to one another. This will not solve the problem ever. Responsibility and accountability has to be redefined so that in future nothing like this takes place to embarrass our agencies. The home minister in an interview to CNN-IBN’s Karan Thapar said “It is embarrassing, it is regrettable. Since the list was handed over formally by the home secretary, we have taken what I would call constructive responsibility.” Maharashtra home minister R R Patil while reacting on the issue said that Central agencies usually do not consult with state agencies while preparing such lists.

This does not seem to be the end as some more names which figured in the most wanted list but are either dead or in jails in India have come out. Mohammad Abdul Shahed Bangaladesh-based Huji commander in South India is dead but still on the most wanted list. Another person Shaikh Abdul Khaja is in a Hyderabad jail and still figures in the list. Noora, Dawood Ibrahim’s elder brother died last year in Karachi due to kidney failure yet he figures as an accused person wanted in the red corner notice. Ejaz Pathan, an aide of Chhota Rajan, died in 2008. The red corner notice against him showed him as wanted. Questions are also raised on Kerala born Mohammad Bashir who also figures in the list, he is not in Pakistan but was living in India
The list of 49 Most Wanted handed over to Pakistan:
1. Hafiz Mohammed Saeed *
2. Sajjid Majid *
3. Syed Hashim Abdur Rehman Pasha*
4. Major Iqbal *
5. Illyas Kashmiri *
6. Rashid Abdullah *
7. Major Sameer Ali *
8. Dawood Ibrahim
9. Memon Ibrahim
10. Chota Shakeel
11. Memon Abdul Razak
12. Anis Ibrahim
13. Anwar Ahmed Haji Jamal
14. Mohammed Dosa
15. Javed Chikna
16. Salim Abdul Ghazi
17. Riyaz Khatri
18. Munaf Halari
19. Mohammed Salim Mujhahid
20. Khan Bashir Ahmed
21. Yakub Yeda Khan
22. Mohammed Memon
23. Irfan Chaugule
24. Feroz Rashid Khan
25. Ali Moosa
26. Sagir Ali Shaikh
27. Aftab Batki
28. Maulana Mohammed Masood Azhar *
29. Salauddin
30. Azam Cheema *
31. Syed Zabiuddin Jabi
32. Ibrahim Athar *
33. Azhar Yusuf *
34. Zahur Ibrahim Mistri *
35. Akhtar Sayeed *
36. Mohammed Shakir *
37. Rauf Abdul *
38. Amanullah Khan *
39. Sufiyan Mufti
40. Nachan Akmal
41. Pathan Yaqoob Khan
42. CAM Bashir
43. Lakhbir Singh Rode
44. Paramjit Singh Pamma
45. Ranjit Singh
46. Wadhawa Singh
47. Abu Hamza *
48. Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi *
49. Amir Raza Khan

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 June 2011 on page no. 11

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