New Delhi, May 24: The union government under Narendra Modi has completed two years. The last year has been an eventful one and it goes without saying that there are hits and misses. For Narendra Modi national security was a major issue during his election campaign.
In this two part series we will analyse the performance of the government on the issue of internal security. While the first part would deal with the hits, the second one will go into the misses.
The ISIS issue:
Handling of the ISIS issue is probably one of the biggest hits for this government. The strategy itself while dealing with this foreign terror outfit prowling on citizens across the world was a good one.
No matter what propaganda material may put up and how much the media may scream, the ISIS is still a long way before it becomes a reality in India. [Modi govt's 2 years: Ups and downs]
Modi along with his national security advisor, Ajit Doval have been meeting with the moderate Muslims time and again in a bid to spread the message to the youth that the ISIS does not stand for Islam.
Giving those who have been radicalised on the internet, but have actually not joined the ISIS the benefit of the doubt is also a move that paid off. Such persons are counselled and the return rate has been hardly one per cent.
Although there have been lapses, the government has taken measures to ensure that border security is not compromised. The formation of a committee under former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta to suggest measures to step up border security was one good move.
There is a lot of work on the borders still remaining, but the government is moving in the right direction to make it more fool proof. The Bangladesh border was a perennial problem for all governments. However under this government, the situation is improving considerably.
The decision to seal the India-Bangladesh border is another good move. It not only curbs illegal immigrants, but also stops the free flow of terrorists from Bangladesh.
Sanity among the agencies:
Under this government there is a great deal of coordination between all the agencies dealing with terrorism.
The NIA has been given a free hand and cases of interference from the Home Ministry have not been found. Moreover the NIA gets ample support from the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing.
Investigations seem more coordinated and unlike the past officials do not murmur about interference and lack of coordination any more. Due credit must go to the National Security Advisor a former IB man who assured that coordination between all the agencies would be a top priority.
Coordination with foreign nations:
The sharing of intelligence with other countries has marginally improved. India's decision to coordinate on intelligence sharing where the ISIS is concerned has paid dividends. Another good decision by India was not to join the global war against the ISIS.
This is a good move as any such decision would have led to sectarian violence among the Muslims in India.
The Gulf nations are also a crucial part of the fight against terror. It is a well known fact that the who is who in the terror circles from India end up taking shelter in these nations. However the number of people who have been sent back from the Gulf for their involvement in various acts of terror has gone up.
The other change in scenario when dealing with the UAE is the manner in which India has an upper hand over Pakistan.
In a recent incident, Pakistan had tried to pressurise UAE into not sending Ahmed Siddibappa an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative to India. However India got the better of Pakistan and the alleged operative was back in India last week.
In this context one must also note the recent trip that the PM made to Iran. It was decided to closely coordinate and combat terrorism.
Terrorism and extremism are major challenges and the coordination of Iran and India would go a long way in combating that. The pact with Iran would help combat terror from both Afghanistan and Pakistan. It would also help curb the problem of drug trafficking and cyber crime.
The trip to Pakistan:
Modi faced both criticism and praise for his sudden trip to Pakistan. This was in fact a very good move by the Prime Minister. Many may say that there is no point in trusting Pakistan. What those people need to understand that war is not an option with that country.
The only way out of the problem is continue talking. Engaging Pakistan in trade has a direct impact on curbing incidents of terror from that country. Several experts on the subject say that if a trade route is created, Pakistan would ensure that the same is secured as there is economic involved.
The Pathankot attack may have derailed the talks and the efforts made by the Prime Minister. However both countries only postponed peace talks.
At no point in time did anyone try to call off the talks entirely. India does realise that there is a section in Pakistan which does not want peace with India.
The fact of the matter however is that the Indo-Pak foreign policy cannot be decided by a bunch of mindless jihadis.