Incredible indifference towards alerts
SIR, The report, “New revelations back The Statesman report on 26/11 lapses” (9 November) has sent shockwaves across the country. It confirms the story titled “Security lapses had nearly ensnared PM in 26/11” that you had carried on 20 December 2009.
Those who operate the security and intelligence network ought to be booked for the catastrophe in Mumbai on 26 November 2008. The Centre owes an explanation as to why it didn’t react to intelligence alerts relating to “sea-borne infiltration, multiple and commando-type attacks in Mumbai city by the Lashkar-e-Taiyyaba (LeT)”.
In the past, the country has paid for security lapses. The posting of Indira Gandhi&’s assassins, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, as security guards at her residence remains a mystery.
The woman, who had garlanded Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur, had evaded a security check. Despite repeated alerts, our security agencies had cleared a visit by the Prime Minister scheduled for 29 November 2008 to one of the targeted sites. It is because of our lapses that the terrorists managed to kill 166 people in Mumbai.
Yours, etc., Rupam Guha,
Kolkata, 10 November.
TALIBAN IN PAKISTAN
SIR, This refers to your sharply analysed editorial, “Tougher Taliban” (10 November). Mullah Fazlullah, the new head of Pakistani Taliban in place of Hakimullah Mehsud who was killed in a US drone attack, has conveyed a strong message against negotiations with the Pakistan government. It is possible that, under Fazlullah, the Pakistani Taliban will become weaker.
He isn’t a member of the powerful Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan, as the two previous leaders were. He will also have to contend with his powerful rivals from the north-west.
Mehsud died less than a month after his interview to the BBC in which he had said that he was prepared to hold peace talks with Pakistan if America stopped its use of drones.
His killing might widen the rift within the fractious Taliban. It will doubtless complicate, as you suggest, the process of negotiations. The prevalent uncertainty is bound to deepen both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Fazlullah&’s statement over “Mullah Radio ~ “when you smell sulphur, you know Satan has been around” ~ has been translated to action. Mehsud was killed soon after Nawaz Sharif urged President Obama to stop the drone attacks.
No wonder the Taliban is livid as is Pakistan&’s political class which now cavils over violation of sovereignty.
Yours, etc., SS Paul,
Chakdaha, 10 November.
MODI’S TIT FOR SONIA’S TAT
SIR, The Congress has been offended by the remarks of Narendra Modi who has described the party&’s symbol ~ the hand ~ as khuni panja. However, the party found nothing wrong when its leader, Sonia Gandhi, had referred to Mr. Modi as Maut-Ka-Saudagar.
Yours, etc., Vineet Phadtare,
Mumbai, 10 November.
CARNIVAL, NOT CRICKET
SIR, Sachin Tendulkar’s 199th Test at Eden Gardens has turned out to be a damp squib. The CAB was focussed more on Tendulkar than on cricket and in the fanfare it appeared as though a carnival ~ and not cricket ~ was in progress.
A tailored pitch was laid out; the West Indies team was weak in the absence of Sunil Narine and Debendra Bishoo. What Kolkata witnessed was definitely not competitive cricket. It seems the BCCI dangled the carrot of two such Tests to ease Tendulkar out of Test cricket. He too is partly to blame. The anxiety to create records is anything but cricket.
Yours, etc., KK Roy Choudhury,
Kolkata, 10 November.