Delhi: If Pakistan doesn`t stop backing terrorists acting against India, New Delhi must pay back Islamabad in the same coin, says a scholarly book on Indian counterterrorism strategy.
“Indian policymakers need to critically evaluate whether in fact a `strong and stable Pakistan` is in India`s interest,” says Prem Mahadevan in “The Politics of Counterterrorism in India” (I.B. Tauris).
Suggesting that the entire basis of Indian counterterrorist policy might need to be re-examined, the 297-page book says that New Delhi should take a unilateral two-pronged approach against pan-Islamist jehad.
While implementing domestic security reforms, the book says, the “more productive approach could be to take the counterterrorist offensive inside Pakistan itself“.
“This would be a daring move, requiring considerable political courage to initially be implemented.
“Once started, however, it has the potential to exert a strong deterrent effect upon the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence agency) and Pakistani jehadists.”
According to the author, a senior researcher at the Centre for Security Studies in Zurich, India`s failure to declare Pakistan a long-term adversary, “whose covert operations need to be reciprocated, has left Indian citizens vulnerable to further terrorist attacks”.
Mahadevan quoted former RAW chief K. Sankaran Nair as saying: “If what Pakistan does within our borders exceeds our capacity to control it, then we must take the fight to their doorstep. There is no question.”
The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is India`s external intelligence agency.
The book says: “Strikes against terrorist masterminds, including `rogue` or `freelance` ISI officials, would thus be an integral component of an ideal Indian counterterrorist policy.”