Experts analyse whether India is ready to face terror threats

The terror attacks on Mumbai on 26 November last year brought a change in the contemporary face of war. War today is no longer confined to battlefields, it is right here. How is India equipped to deal with this menace which has been described as an ‘ultramodern and a very traditional, conspiracy'?

Seeking to find answers to these burning questions, eminent experts like former Delhi top cop Ved Marwah and the former Indian Army chief, General Ved Prakash Malik, have put together their thoughts on the drawbacks and remedies of Indian security, in the form of a book, “Confronting Terrorism” (Penguin).

In this collection of essays, nine eminent experts — strategic analysts and military historians — examine, among other issues, the capacity of India's police and paramilitary forces to deal with well-equipped, meticulously planned terror attacks, the army's ability to transform its ‘reactive mode' to a more pro-active approach and the complex dynamics of the nuclear terror threat. They also look at the question — if elements within the Pakistani establishment are involved in the threat to India, what is the most effective way for the Indian state to respond?

Speaking at a panel discussion on the launch of the book in New Delhi, General Malik likened terrorism to a “wicked dog” that “bites the hand that feeds it.” He said terror is not affiliated to any flag, cause or religion and added that India is not “being candid” with Pakistan and has no coherent strategy to deal with it.

Almost all experts at the event, which included noted journalists, agreed that policing and intelligence gathering should be given prime importance and that instead of waiting for the next attack, India should launch diplomatic and other pro-active measures to confront this hydra-headed monster. The book has been edited by strategic affairs analyst and security expert Maroof Raza, who has previously written books like “Generals and Governments in India and Pakistan”.

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