13 November 2010

The Disadvantage of Being Strategic Partner of The US

By Mustafa Khan  -  12 November, 2010  -  Countercurrents.org

As far as the bilateral relationship between India and the US is concerned there is an élan as observed at occasions like the recent Obama visit. The most important issue of the day is terrorism. But the moment the “enormous” negihbour Pakistan enters in the equation there
is a chemical change. The tripartite relationship leaves much to be desired.

On November 7th night and the morning next day President Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might have personally discussed about 26/11 and the role of the American informant David Headley, the matter is still nebulous. What do the Americans mean when they say they had “various different kinds of information about David Headley” that “weren’t specific to a particular plot in India”? This is what the top Whitehouse official Ben Rhodes said to reporters aboard the plane that brought the president to Mumbai.( Obama, Singh discuss missed warnings on suspected terrorist, Ed Henry, CNN November 8, 2010)

On the contrary Headley did have specific information regarding even the fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan whom he described as a member of Lashkare Toiba, a Pakistan based terrorism organization. She was kidnapped by Indian police from Mumbai and killed in Gujarat in a fake
encounter. The police said that she along with her three friends wanted to kill the Chief Minister Narendra Modi. This fitted in the pattern of accusation after 9/11 which generally blamed the Muslims for bomb blasts in default. As of October 11, 2010 the National Investigation Agency had found that she was not a terrorist and was not a member of LeT. The NIA charge sheet does not even mention Headley in the case of the fake encounter. (NIA document silent on Ishrat Jahan being a LeT sucide bomber NDA October 11, 2010)It is astoundingly difficult to understand that in July 2010 Indian interrogators found Headley fully aware of terrorists organizations involved in attacks on India. A newspaper even went further when it reported what an Indian official described: “Headley is a trove of information on Lashkar's plans against India.”(Ishrat Jehan was an LeT fidayeen: Headley, The Times of India, July 5 2010) 
How could this “trove of information on Lashkar’s plans against India” could become the source of vague information within four months? This kind of fabricated intelligence information has gone on for so long that now it has become a tale of two democracies: the American and the Indian. As Stephen Lendman says: “The story is disturbingly familiar. FBI agents arrest a suspect on terrorism related charges, nearly always a Muslim, photographed full bearded to look menacing. 
Media reports highlight it, headlining government charges to incite fear. Announced arrests are strategically timed, this one [arrest of Farooque Ahmed, an American of Pakistani origin] days before mid-term elections.” (Farooque Ahmed: Entrapped By An FBI Sting By Stephen
Lendman 01 November, 10Countercurrents.org.) 
Replace FBI with IB and the modus operandi is the same, to the last detail. Even to the fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan. It came so convenient that even the Home Minister Mr Chidambrum accepted it that she was an activist of LeT. Can the US be allowed an alibi that it shared information about Headley but not about the most devastating terrorist attack known as 26/11attack on Mumbai in which the American agent played a crucial role? Why has the US been so queasy about letting Indians have free access to Headley and thoroughly probe him while the
US has itself been involved in all kinds of extraordinary renditions practiced for getting information about terrorists across the continents? The Miranda provision of the US law has been turned into the carpet under which the US can conveniently sweep what it chooses
from time to time. What is crucial to its own involvement goes under the carpet. After all Headley too was inducted into intelligence information gathering because of his first hand experience in Pakistan. That happened when there were few informants available in the aftermath of 9/11.
What more particular information regarding the plot of 26/11can be there than the US informing RAW (top foreign intelligence gathering agency of India) on November 18, 2008 that a hostile ship [al-Husaaini]with specific latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates 30-34
details was sailing from Karachi in an attempt to enter Indian waters off Mumbai? This information RAW duly sent to Intelligence Bureau (top internal intelligence agency of India) on November 19, 2008. This was actionable intelligence: seven days later the attack on Mumbai came!
The US cannot wash off its hands of the responsibility. The guilt sticks and stinks. This despite the fact that they are two important democracies of the world who have chosen to ignore the kidnapping of the most important witness who saw the six terrorists landing near her fishing colony, Anita Rajendra Uddaiya.

What kind of democracies are these that they do not know what their intelligence agencies are doing? First the Indian officials say that Gujarat police’s and the Central government intelligence agencies’ claims tally with Headley on Ishrat out to kill Modi at the instance
of their Pakistani handler Muzammil and yet the NIA simply ignores Headley on Ishrat and Obama has the sang froid to assert that we have missed intelligence reports?

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