Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Chilling Mumbai Cell Phone Transcripts


"We have three foreigners, including women," the gunman said into the phone. The response was brutally simple: "Kill them." Gunshots then rang out inside the Mumbai hotel, followed by cheering that could be heard over the phone.

The ruthless exchange comes from a transcript of phone calls the Indian officials claim they intercepted during the November Mumbai attacks. They were part of a dossier of evidence New Delhi handed Pakistan this week that it claims definitively proves that the siege was launched from across the border. The New York Times reports that the dossier was also shared this week with diplomats from friendly nations; one described it as “comprehensive,” another as “convincing.”

The Mumbai transcripts, which were obtained by an Indian newspaper The Hindu, show that the 10 gunmen who carried out the attacks were in close contact with their handlers throughout the siege. India says the handlers directing the attacks that left 164 dead were senior leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group.

"There are three ministers and one secretary of the cabinet in your hotel. We don't know in which room," the handler told a gunman inside the Taj Mahal hotel at 3:10 am on the first night of the attack.

"Oh! That is good news. It is the icing on the cake!" the gunman said.

The handlers told another team of gunmen who had seized a Jewish center to shoot hostages if necessary.

"If you are still threatened, then don't saddle yourself with the burden of the hostages. Immediately kill them," he said.

He then added, "If the hostages are killed, it will spoil relations between India and Israel."

"So be it, God willing," the gunman replied.

Six Jewish foreigners, including a rabbi and his wife, were killed inside the Jewish center.

Later in the night, nearly 24 hours after the attacks began, the handlers urged the gunmen to "be strong in the name of Allah"

"Brother, you have to fight. This is a matter of prestige of Islam," the handler said. "You may feel tired or sleepy, but the commandos of Islam have left everything behind, their mothers, their fathers."

The gunmen were told several times not to kill any Muslim hostages.

The attackers used several different mobile phones, including those belonging to the hostages. Shortly after the siege began, Indian authorities say they began intercepting calls from inside the hotel. They were also able to pick up calls carried over the Internet (VOIP calls), which the handlers used to route some calls, according to the the Indian government dossier.

The siege lasted nearly three days, far longer than security experts said it should have, and, apparently, far longer than the terrorists expected as well. The handlers told the gunmen on Nov. 27 that "the operation has to be concluded tomorrow morning." But it was 36 more hours before it finished.

Much of the dialogue has a teacher-student dynamic, and indeed, the surviving gunman has said he and the rest of the group were trained by Lashkar in Pakistani Kashmir.

"We made a big mistake," one of the gunman says into the phone in the early hours of the siege.

"What big mistake?"

"When we were getting into the boat ... another boat came. Everyone jumped quickly. In this confusion, the satellite phone of Ismail got left behind." The investigation shows the gunmen entered Mumbai, which sits on the Arabian sea, by a rubber dinghy.

The attacks against iconic Mumbai targets were covered nonstop by news channels around the world, which the handlers used TV reports to guide the gunmen, the dossier says. The handlers warned when commandos roped down to the Jewish center from helicopters.

The dossier included photographs of dozens of items recovered in the attacks, including GPS units, mobile phones, guns, and explosives, as well as data gleaned from satellite phones, and details from the interrogation of the lone surviving gunman.

It also had pictures of more mundane items India calls incriminating because they were made in Pakistan, including pickles, detergent, a match box, tissue paper, a Mountain Dew bottle, shaving cream and a towel.

But the strongest — and most chilling — evidence that the gunmen were not acting alone came from the phone transcripts.

"Keep your phone switched on," a handler said in the midst of the siege, "so that we can hear the gunfire."

It's not clear who the handlers were or where they were located.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Tuesday that he did not believe the gunmen were acting alone, and Pakistani state agencies must have had a hand in the attacks, without offering any evidence.

The dossier made no mention of any Pakistani officials or agencies.

Pakistani authorities are reviewing the evidence, but have dismissed Singh's claims as "a propaganda offensive" designed "to whip up tensions" in the region.

Indian leaders have made clear they do not want a military conflict with Pakistan, and Pakistan's intelligence chief said there will be no war over the Mumbai attacks. New York Times correspondent Somini Sengupta said in an interview on NPR radio today that many Indians realize that there will be "swift retaliation" by Pakistan if India launched air strike on targets in Pakistan.

These transcripts and accounts of Mumbai suggest that the cold-blooded gunmen were essentially human drones directed, manipulated and controlled by their remote masters. Without suggesting any moral equivalence, the methods of Mumbai attackers can be compared to the high-tech warfare by American predator drones that wreak havoc on the ground in Afghanistan and FATA, thousands of miles away from their pilots sitting in front of video screens with joy sticks in Nevada, USA.

It should be recalled that India deployed a large number of its troops on Pakistani border for almost a year in an exercise of "coercive diplomacy" after attacks on Indian parliament in 2001. Pakistan responded by mobilizing its troops. In the end, the Indian strategy did not work. After Mumbai, India is relying on a diplomatic offensive to bring international pressure on Pakistani government to achieve its objective of stopping further attacks from its neighbor's soil. Missing from this strategy, however, is a political track aimed at resolving the key dispute on the status of Kashmir that has caused continuing hostilities and recurring tensions between the two neighbors since their independence in 1947.

Here's a video clip of the live coverage of Mumbai attacks:

18 comments:

Ray Lightning said...

The Mumbai terror attacks were clearly motivated to hide the murders on the western front of Pakistan. The Taliban are growing from strength to strength here. It is hard to believe that all of this is happening without any support from the army. There are serious complaints that some members of the army are aiding and abetting the Taliban. Gen Faisal Alavi produced as much evidence before he was murdered in broad daylight.

Please keep the inhabitants of the Swat valley in your thoughts, along with the innocent victims of Gaza. There needs to be an end to their nightmare.


The main town of Swat, Mingora, has now virtually fallen to the militants. The police are escorted by army officials and come out from their ‘hide-outs’ only for a couple of hours. One of the busiest squares, Grain chowk, was renamed by the shopkeepers as ‘Khooni chowk’ because when they come to their shops in the morning on each day they find four or five dead bodies hung over the poles or the trees. They see dead bodies scattered along the foot path in the morning. The bodies are usually headless. The practice goes thus with an average of four deaths daily in the square. Similarly on each morning there are found bodies with their throats slit in Qambar, Kabal, Matta, Khawza Khela and Charbagh. This practice has been going on for weeks; and unfortunately does not seem to stop.

Jan 15 is the deadline set by the militants to close all schools, especially those of girls. As the deadline approaches people are getting more and more terrified. The government’s writ is all but absent. Nazims have been killed, women are not allowed to visit bazaars (which are deserted), NGOs have stopped working and children play a ‘Fauji Taliban’ game. The people live a miserable life in the cold. Most bridges have been damaged and beyond the main town phones have been dead for months. Most people live in darkness at night because the fighting has badly affected the power infrastructure as well.

Curfew is imposed constraining the people inside for days on end. And security forces personnel sometimes fire indiscriminately. The residents can do nothing – they cannot protest against the high-handedness of the military or stand up to the militants. The Taliban gain from strength to strength, partly aided by the use of FM radio. Various checkposts set up by the security forces seem to be no little use. Scores of militants entered Kalam last week in spite of six checkposts set up from from Bagh Dahri to Bahrain. It is quite clear that for now the victors in the war are the Taliban – and the losers the people of Swat.

But who cares about that in the rest of the country. The government seems too busy dealing with the aftermath of the Mumbai carnage. That said, the predicament of the people of Swat is worse than even of the people of Gaza. In Gaza the enemy is well known but in Swat the people know not who the enemy is and whom to hold responsible.

The civil society of any country is regarded as a great force to mobilize the general public against the violation of civil rights and liberty. It is considered as a bulwark against the violation of human rights. It is deemed as the upholder of people’s rights where the state fails to deliver. Its mettle was tested in the lawyers’ movement but we in Swat wonder why it is silent now? We hear no voice raise against the atrocities committed in Swat. No civil society organization has its voice against the plight of the women and children in Swat. We have not seen a single demonstration in the big cities against the monster of militancy in Swat, or in FATA for that matter. The media also seems apathetic about the plight. The print media does well to some extent but their scope is limited.

The people of Swat ask you to come out on their behalf and mobilize the general public against the war tearing the valley. We implore you to come out of your drawing rooms and stage protests so that the government does something about our plight.

- Zubair Torwali

Mayank said...

I hope that the smog, lying in the glasses worn by the Pakistanis, would now be clearing off. The folks there need to understand that living in denial would no longer help, and by doing so what message they are passing to their children - continue to kill people. It does not seem good for any civilized society.

Anonymous said...

Attack were clearly aimed at Pakistan and not India. After military success in tribal area, terrorist wanted to trap India into threatening Pakistan and India seems to have fallen in the trap.

Abdi said...

It is all a well staged and well choreographed drama made directed and executed by the Indian regime and its cronies.

There are more than 150 separatist movements currently blossoming in India. This is a nice way and method came to the mind of flowers of "chankia" to get the attention off the internal problems and put the blame on Pakistan.

One must remember that Pakistan committed a mistake by harboring the extreme thoughts during Afghan war which India is repeating by giving the blind eye to its fast emerging Hindu extremist factions.

kuldeep singh chauhan said...

"What kind of a god is it that's upset by a cartoon in Danish?"
Salman Rushdie

Prologue: The Muslim Fury and its Impotence

From the ghettos of Bombay to the alleys of Beirut, from the tall minarets of Chittagong to the imposing domes of Birmingham, Islam is scaring the world like a terrifying dinosaur — its fiery tongue lashing out, its eyes red with tears of victimhood, its mind ravaged with the visions of the glories of the past, its whole body seething with rage at its wretched defeated present.

Islam is furious and the entire world is being seared by the flames of its outrage.

Why is Islam Angry?

Mussalmaans have one book. Koran. They should have another, too, detailing all the new legends, stories, and facts which have come to lay siege to the barren landscape of their closed minds.

The brutal stories are too many: Heads still hung down in mourning over the fall of Andalusia. Fists are frustratingly tightened over the unsuccessful Turkish sieges of Vienna. The decadence and fall of the Ottomans hurt like a rotten tooth.

Then there are shameful episodes of the near centuries: The fabled Mughal Empire of Hindustan compressed to present-day pathetic bubbles of Pakistan and Bangladesh, Jerusalem lost, Palestinians dumped, fellow Muslims massacred in periodic Indian riots, myths of Muslim blood coloring the Kashmiri and Chechnya mountainsides red, ungodly Amreekans camping over the holy sands of Mecca-Medina...

The Way They Were

Islam is a religion that once shined in innovation and dazzled the world with its scientific inventions and mathematical discoveries. Remember, algebra derived its name from the Arabic al-jabr, meaning 'the reunion of broken parts'. The great Muslim astronomer Nasir ad-Din at-Tusi wrote the Book of the Transversal Figure, which was the first treatment of plane and spherical trigonometry as independent mathematical sciences.

Edward Gibbons in his fifth volume of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire had written that the science of chemistry owes its origin and improvements to the Muslims. The legendary Al Azhar University was founded in Cairo in 970 AD, making it older than Oxford — the oldest institution of higher learning in the English-speaking world.

Islam as a Beggar King

Today Islam resembles the last Mughal emperor of India - Bahadur Shah Zafar - whose writ was not obeyed even with the walls of his own palace in Delhi. He was thin, old, and dying. His skeleton figure, wrapped in unwashed, smelly, but royal kaftans and gowns, was exiled to Rangoon by the British in a buffalo cart!

This is what Islam has evolved itself into - the memories of the golden grandeur of the Past haunting the shameful poverty of the Present. The Muslims know it. They are grieving. They are hurt. They are ashamed.

They blame everybody but themselves for their state.

The Intellectual Retardation of Muhammad's Children

Islam has plummeted to depths of ignorance and backwardness. The first word revealed to Muhamamd was 'read'. Today they just read Koran. There are no great universities any longer in the world of Muslims. There are no invigorating publishing houses. There are no great authors coming from a religion which literally worships a book.

Incidentally, there are no good book shops in Pakistan, Bahrain or Saudia!

The few Islamic countries which are rich owe their wealth to the drilling of oil holes, not because of their people. The despots and kings of those lands waste their easy money in building more palaces and acquiring more jet planes. In the true traditions of the nouveau riche who lapped up fortunes by winning a lottery rather than doing hard work, the money is spent insensibly in a seriously flamboyant fashion.

This oil wealth, apart from being burned in pursuing private pleasures, is generously used to fund uneducated village mullahs to churn out atrocious fatwas, to build ugly tiled minarets in South Asia, to arm mad frenzied minds with bombs and missiles, to supply Korans, more Korans, more and more Korans for children to mug them up in the grimy madrasas of Xingjiang, Abuja, and Bukhara.

The early brilliance of Islam is gone and forgotten. What is left resembles a dog's two-day-old rotting corpse that stinks up an entire neighborhood.

The Complete Muslim Dictionary - Fatwas, Kafirs, and Jehads

The apologists plead that these Koranic terms have been hijacked by people who have no religion. They reason that Jihad does not mean killing people but actually it is all about struggling against evil inside oneself. It is about trying to become a better person.

The endnote being that terrorism has no religion.

No. Terrorism has a religion. People are killed, raped, and burned alive because they belong to this religion or that. The verses, quotes, stories, and legends are selectively lifted by modern day prophets to justify the killings of the people belonging to a different religion.

This is a crisis faced by every religion in the world but Islam, thanks to a surplus of weapons and combustible substances that are amply stockpiled and easily accessible in the regions where it dominates, the murderous frenzy of this faith has become the most damaging and visible.

Islam — A No-Tolerance Zone

The non-Islamic world sees Islam as a group of followers with no tolerance.

They ask why the problem areas of the world chiefly consist of Muslim-populated regions. They ask why Muslims could not live in harmony alongside people not following their faith.

Why did Salman Rushdie have a death fatwa issued against him? Why couldn't he freely roam the streets of Bombay - a city he loves and which has formed the backdrop of almost all his novels?

Why was there such intense fury against the Danish cartoons of Muhammad? Why does Allah seem so angry and his followers so violent?

The Rigidity and Hypocrisy

Do the Islamic societies exploit the free democracies of the rest of the world?

The Muslims happily leave their undemocratic, oil-rich, or oil-poor lands, to pursue happiness and wealth in free liberal countries. They make money, get educated, and are also free to recite Koran and perform five prayers a day. They have their own Friday mosques in their own neighborhoods in these foreign cities.

But their dictators and Imams do not allow the same benefits to non-Muslims in their own societies. There are no churches in Saudia. A non-Muslim cannot visit and attempt to understand the pull and magic of Allah in the al-Haram mosque of Mecca.

Saudia can send missionaries to India, fund Islamic societies there, but Hindus or Sikhs or Christians or Buddhists or Jains or Jews or Parsees in India cannot receive permission to propagate their respective faiths in Medina.

Islam appears to be a religion that has no qualms about using and exploiting other societies but remains reluctant to let it be equally open to outside influences.


Epilogue: Crib Crib Blame Blame

George Bush, Tony Blair, Commie China, Hindoo India
Red Sea, Ariel Sharon, Bloody Serbia

Hezbollah, Hamas, Mujahideen, Jehad
Kashmir, Chechenya, Abu Gharib

Al Sauds, H Bomb, bin Laden, Taliban
Bamiyan, The Koran and I, and The Satanic Verses

Allah, Medina, Muslims get a new Ummah
Hindus, Jews, Christians goodbye

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire

THE END

Anonymous said...

India (RSS, BJP, VHP) kia chahey - Larney ka bahana. And what about those police officers who were investigating the homegrown and BJP nurtured terrorists? Why aren't they mentioned in the dossier as an evidence. Somg...huh

Anonymous said...

Ask the same Danish newspaper to publish a cartoon of Shiva and you will know the kind of God that gets upset....what kind of message is that...Oh Sulman Rushdie..no wonder.

Jadev,India said...

^^Cartoon of Shiva won't be much of a problem I assure you.Your mullahs have a problem with even a pictorial description regardless of context or satire if any.Well there were instances of Lord Vishnu's image inscribed on slippers(American company), worse Shiva's son Lord Ganesh image(and Kali's) on brand of water closet's seat! (toilet seat!),nuclear scientist Oppenheimer mis-quoting Bhagavat Gita's context as "I am death" to declare the result of 1945? open-air nuclear test and many more. But, since you may have not heard about any of these controversies and nobody was killed in the protest(no protest took place in most of them and latter was praised! ha ha)..it is safe to say that hyphenating mentally long bearded guys and shuttlecock women to us bigots is a long and hard stretch of biblical proportions.

Anonymous said...

Chilling or Phony dossier...fabricated evidence..why the hell this dossier does not talk about killing of Kurkure and many others? What about MANY other details that appeared in the media everywhere? How come Ajmal got so lucky that he survived and he got photographed? What about others? The first casualty is truth and for attaining 'shaining India' status, India burried the truth along with the death of Gandhi..just like America burried it with Lincoln, JFK, MLK, and Malcom X, just like pro Indian and pro American agents in Pakistan buried it with the death of all true public leaders...

Anonymous said...

Islamic civilization invented Algebra, chemistry ?...please , get back to history books. While the barbarians were invading and looting, the intellectual few viz. Alberuni etc( mostly Persian or Turkish) copied from the Hindu priests. I can see some dumb idiot refuting this without referring to the authentic texts.

Riaz Haq said...

Anonymous,

You say, "Alberuni etc( mostly Persian or Turkish) copied from the Hindu priests. I can see some dumb idiot refuting this without referring to the authentic texts."

Let's not blind ourselves with misplaced and chauvinistic pride based on lies and revisionist history. If you are serious about exploring the topic, let me refer you to "Lost Discoveries" by Dick Teresi" that talks about the contributions made to Math and Science by Indians, Arabs, Chinese and many other nations that have not been adequately acknowledged by Europeans who benefited greatly from their work.

Here's a link to get an idea of what the book is about:

http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides3/lost_discoveries1.asp

Anonymous said...

Abrahamic school of religion [ islam, jews & christian ] are caught in the limitation of thought to hell and heavan. They have different gateways to heaven.

However vedic scripture of hinduism went beyond the pair of opposites. Rationalized the human conscious at the level of waking, sleeping and dreaming. Tried to analysis and go beyond these three aspect of human life. In fact i feel hindus owe a lot to maxmuller who took vedas to the whole world. He tried to bring out the various mathematical observation in the criptic sanskirt worship mantras.

Anonymous said...

Riaz,
with all due respects, i meant a dumb fanatical idiot,which we see plenty of in these blogs.Am I proud of the rich scientific pre-islamic heritage of India?yes.Am I being chauvinistic? No. You seem to be a respected writer, so I shall refrain from bravado. You said 'revisionist lies'. well, here is where I shall remind you that i am not quoting from half baked research but from original ,uncorrrupted texts of Alberuni,Fahien,Al-Khwarizmi,Avicenna,Al-ghazali. If you want to know what real revisionist lies are please check out islamic websites and see the distortions for your-self. Well, the short point ,all great Persian scholars and turkish (mind you ,only sparingly few Arabic...why only turkish and Persian?, do your own research) have expounded on the existing knowledge and enriched it. Are there great Musllims even today, of course yes, but they are clearly found in the moderate and liberal societies not in the decadent and mullah driven cultures. Alas!

Nishant said...

Dear Mr Chauhan
you seem to be an enlightened mind i thank you for providing so many perspectives.But if we take this debate to regional level than i think the misconception of partition of 1947 would be well understood.I for one beleive that the partition was handiwork of Muslim League when it realized in 1936 elections that it will not be able to match the might of congress all over Indian subcontinent and also the fuedal muslim class felt threatened by Nehruvian socialism which if would have beeen adopted in free india would have hampered their landholdings and wealth.This was the reason that the bogey of "islam in danger" was raised by ML and generously supported by the landlords.If u draw a paralence between ML and congress of 1940's there is cotrasting difference between the two congress(not of today) was ready with a plan for the country there were so many plans put forward by congressmen,a clearcut vission for tommorow which indeed got materialized.on the other hand ML had only a zeal for seperate homeland nothing else and a leader in form of jinnah( a former congressmen frustated by Gandhi's methods though secular at heart).
Comparison between acheivements of congress and ML
Nehru provided a leadreship and applied all what he learnt in his formative years in practice such as ideals of Socialism,Secularism,Democracy
etc.and he quickly realized need for nationbuiding.
Jinnah on the other hand acheived a state on the verge of bankrupcy,with no real vision,ideals. except Islam which certainly can be a uniting force but not binding force.
what India has acheived in these 61 years vis-a-vis Pakistan is a visible truth which can not be denied.
I also beleive that there were some outstanding issues between Hindus and Muslim but if proper statecraft would be in place they would have easily been pacified.Also i agree that there were some right wing elements in congress but entire muslim religion was not in danger because of them as propogated by ML.
But the communal passion stirred by ML was much stronger therefore this tragedy took place.
Now if we look back and do retrospection.We will find that the social cost which was paid was huge and damage to mutual undertanding is unrepairable.The real benefaciaries of partition are not Muslims but Hindus for this i have a simple argument when partition took place and the huge tranfer of popultion took place India received a substantial punjabi middle class and Sindhi business community which got consoidated and penetrated Indian side on the other hand Pakistan received a mix of aristocratic and poor Mohajirs which got heavily concentrated in the Urban Sindh which later resulted in riots in 70's and 80's.However Punjab of Pakistan got a better deal but the landlords of fuedal Punjab never allowed the novel ideas to trickle down to masses so Muslim stood loosers in this game of partition.
However it is a complex issue but if trace the origin of partition and then try to relate the misuse of religion then and even now it can be well understood and enlightened people can always free the masses from poverty and bigotry.
Thanks

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting opinion by Irfan Hussain who is often praised and cited by Indians when he harshly criticizes Pakistan:

A year later (after Mumbai), perhaps we can look back on the attack with a greater degree of objectivity, and count the winners and the losers.

The real winners, of course, are militant groups, like the Lashkar-i-Taiba, and their shadowy backers in Pakistan. They have achieved what they set out to do: sabotage the peace talks between India and Pakistan. Although these negotiations had not achieved a breakthrough, they had greatly improved relations between India and Pakistan.

The second prize goes to the security establishments in both countries, although this is truer of Pakistan than it is of India where the military is firmly under civilian control. The reality is that soldiers and spies need enemies to justify their lavish budgets. Peace between traditional enemies means cuts in defence, and less toys for the boys.

Obviously, the biggest losers are the victims of the attack, and their friends and families. But the other big losers are the people of the subcontinent. Millions in the region will continue suffering, just because their leaders remain locked in a 60-year old conflict. And when there was a glimmer of hope of some kind of resolution, relations have plunged to a new low.

The militants’ victory is not restricted to poisoning bilateral relations between India and Pakistan: by hitting Mumbai, it has ensured that there will be no cooperation between the two countries in the war against extremism in the foreseeable future.

This is no small victory. The war being waged on the Pak-Afghan border is perhaps the most decisive conflict of our times, and its outcome will affect the region for years to come. In order to combat the Taliban and their various partners effectively, active cooperation between India and Pakistan is crucial.

After the Mumbai attack, India has refused to pursue peace talks, arguing that as long as Pakistan tolerates the presence of terrorist organisations on its soil, there can be no meaningful negotiations. Again and again, the Indian leadership and media have echoed the mantra of Pakistan ‘not doing enough’ against the planners of the Mumbai attack.

In several articles, I have argued that it is precisely because of the atrocity that peace talks need to be pursued with greater focus and political will. Does India really want to hand a major victory to the perpetrators of the attack?

I have also suggested that in order to reassure the Pakistani military that it has nothing to fear on its eastern border, India could easily withdraw one of its divisions deployed there. This would encourage Pakistan to transfer more troops to its northwest where the real battle against extremists is now going on.

They miss the point that one negotiates with one’s adversaries, not one’s friends. And they have the bizarre notion that peace is a reward for good behaviour, not a mutual need. The fact is that India needs peace just as much as Pakistan does. True, it is Pakistan that is currently being battered by an unrelenting wave of terrorism. But a Pakistan destabilised by extremist violence should be New Delhi’s worst nightmare.

Those who think a victorious Taliban would stop their mayhem on Pakistan’s eastern border are living in cloud-cuckoo land. These thugs have no respect for international boundaries, and have repeatedly declared their intention to ‘liberate’ Kashmir. Many of them also want to re-establish Muslim rule over India. These insane goals will ensure that terrorist groups will go on trying to hit Indian targets.

Riaz Haq said...

According to a Times of India report, Kasab has answered the judge's questions in Marathi language.

Another newspaper, Indian Express, has reported that Bal Thackeray is asking why others in Mumbai can not learn Marathi if Kassab can?

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting call-in discussion on NOR Talk of the Nation about Mumbai with NY Times reporter Somini Sengupta.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99087002

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an India Times report on Wikileaks about the incompetence of Indian security forces:

NEW DELHI: India is "very keen" to get information and technology from the US for counter-terrorism efforts but provides "little in return", says a US embassy cable made public by WikiLeaks .

The cable, dated Feb 23, 2007 and reproduced by The Guardian, also came down heavily on Indian security forces, calling them corrupt and poorly trained and said they did not "conduct solid forensic investigations".

The cable explained the American assessment of why New Delhi remained a distant partner vis-a-vis the US on counter-terrorism efforts.

"India's lingering zero-sum suspicion of US policies towards Pakistan, its fiercely independent foreign policy stance, its traditional go-it-alone strategy toward its security, and its domestic political sensitivities over the sentiments of its large Muslim population, have all contributed to India's caution in working with us on a joint counter-terrorism strategy," the cable said.

It pointed out that while "India has been very keen to receive information and technology from us to further its counter-terrorism efforts, India provides little in return, despite our belief that the country should be an equal partner in this relationship.

"India frequently rebuffs our offers of support for their police investigations of terrorist attacks and our offers of training and support are often met with a stalled logistical pace."

Making another point, the cable said it had to be kept in mind that "our perception of India's lack of cooperation on US CT (Counter Terrorism) concerns often stems in part from India's lack of capacity to manage these issues bureaucratically".

It said that Indian police and security forces were "overworked and hampered by bad police practices, including the widespread use of torture in interrogations, rampant corruption, poor training, and a general inability to conduct solid forensic investigations.

"India's most elite security forces also regularly cut corners to avoid working through India's lagging justice system, which has approximately 13 judges per million people.

"Thus Indian police officials often do not respond to our requests for information about attacks or our offers of support because they are covering up poor practices, rather than rejecting our help outright."
"She (Sonia Gandhi) presents an intriguing enigma of a warm private personality that remains concealed and is available only to her closest confidants and family members."