War rhetoric no reply to Mumbai outrage: Karan Singh

December 11th, 2008 - 8:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) Holding “total lack of coordination” among various intelligence agencies responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks, senior Congress leader Karan Singh Thursday asked for a “measured response” from India - and deprecated calls for snapping ties with Pakistan or waging war with it.Noting that the Mumbai outrage “was an attack on heart of India, on the mind of India and on the soul of India,” Singh added: “Our response has to be measured.”

He was participating in the Rajya Sabha debate on the security scenario in the country in the wake of the Mumbai attacks that India has blamed on elements operating from Pakistani soil.

“This talk of snapping ties with Pakistan or waging war is empty rhetoric,” Singh maintained.

“We must continue our engagement (with Pakistan). We must remember that there is a difference between the people and the state. We must also remember that Pakistan has said that non-state elements were involved (in the Mumbai attacks),” Karan Singh, a former central minister who is part of the Congress party’s foreign affairs cell, added.

Singh’s response came after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Shourie, also a former minister, called for snapping ties with Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai terror strike that claimed 179 lives, including 26 foreigners.

At the same time, Singh said the attacks had revealed the “serious flaws” in the country’s security apparatus.

Referred to various intelligence agencies like the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Military Intelligence and the IBs in the states, Singh maintained that there was “total lack of coordination” among them.

“We have to function at a higher level of efficiency,” he contended, adding: “Passing the buck” would not be accepted any longer.

Pointing out that the India Navy was aware of the movement of suspicious vessels near the Indian coastline, Singh asked why the boats were not tracked.

“What was the Coast Guard doing?” he wondered.

Singh said “erring” officials should be held accountable and demanded disciplinary action against them. The attacks had shown major failures in the security system, he said.

“Please stop running to mummy, Please stop running to others,” Shourie proclaimed while participating in the debate, making a forceful plea for ending the peace process with Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

“Please stop this miscalled peace process with Pakistan,” he said, adding that it was about time Islamabad was deprived of the two options it was hitherto exercising ever since it had been backing militancy in the sub-continent from the 1980s.

“Pakistan has both options. It continues to promote terrorism but the onus for continuing the peace process is on India,” Shourie pointed out.

Quoting from an Urdu couplet, Shourie said: “Zulam karta hai dushman/Ham sharam karte hain (The enemy commits a crime/We are apologetic).”

Holding that the Mumbai attacks were “part of a sequence of the low cost war of attrition that (late Pakistani dictator) Ziaul Haq had initiated against India”, Shourie called for a “befitting” response from India.

“There is no question of an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth. If it is one eye, then we claim two eyes. If it is a tooth, them we claim the whole jaw,” Shourie declared, as BJP members vigorously thumped their desks.

He also deprecated the fact that the attacks by seaborne terrorists could not be prevented despite warnings from the highest level that terrorists could use the sea route to mount attacks on India.

“There have been repeated warnings that that the sea route would be used to stage terror attacks. We were very alert in warning everyone else about this and yet we could not prevent this,” Shourie lamented.

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