INDIA SHOULD have interaction with the Taliban provided that it can provide India a deal on jihadis focused on the rustic. India will have to no longer be determined to recognise the Taliban, slightly it will have to be the Taliban searching for India’s stamp of approval, former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) leader Vikram Sood informed The Indian Express on Friday.
Sood headed India’s exterior intelligence company between 2000 and 2003 and handled scenarios coming up out of the 9/11 attacks and america invasion of Afghanistan.
“Ultimately governments engage governments. First you have to decide whether this is a legitimate government. Can terrorism lead to legitimate governments? Are we there for giving terrorism legitimacy? That this is a legitimate means of acquiring power. Just because we want to deal with you? And we want to deal with you for what? What is it that Afghanistan will give us that I must be desperate to deal with them? There may be a possibility of threat, but that does not mean I should be recognising the Taliban. They have said they are going to defend all Muslims everywhere, including Kashmir. So why should I deal with them,” Sood mentioned.
He mentioned India will have to no longer be frightened about Pakistan’s strategic intensity because it had given a message to the rustic via surgical and Balakot moves after the Uri and Pulwama assaults that it could give it again. He additionally believed that one will have to wait to look how lengthy the Taliban live on slightly than being in a rush to acknowledge them and later glance foolish.
“Soon you will find this game starting about minerals and resources or the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan pipeline. Maybe the Chinese will not give Americans any space anymore. So the game is going to involve China, Russia, USA, Iran and Pakistan. They have all got different goals,” Sood mentioned.
When requested if this supposed that India was once out of the sport, Sood mentioned, “Why do you want to be in the game? How will going to Afghanistan help my security? They say we are not going to do anything to protect you from jihad. We are going to take care of Muslims wherever they are. You do a deal on that and I will recognise you. Taliban should seek us out. They are the terrorists. They should seek us to gain legitimacy from an important country like India. Why should we run after them? Tomorrow if Dawood [Ibrahim] becomes a member of the Pakistan government we will say fine, good chap, we will deal with him? It’s in our self-interest and self-respect that we shouldn’t recognise them,” Sood mentioned.
He underlined that as a rustic with some of the greatest armies, really extensive financial system and 2d greatest inhabitants on the earth, India will have to no longer be in panic mode.
Remembering the day 9/11 assaults came about, Sood mentioned he iced up gazing the visuals of the assault on TV.
“I was in my room upstairs. It was 6-6.30 in the evening I think. I was still working. I got a call from a colleague saying switch on your TV. I switched it on and saw this aircraft flying which went on to hit a building. I thought someone was enacting a movie — a would be scene of a terror attack. Or an accident. I kept watching. After sometime there was another aircraft. When I saw that second aircraft, I knew that something is going to happen, instinctively. And sure enough, it came and hit. I froze. I kept looking and asking, ‘Is it real? Have they really done it?’ Then, of course, you start getting calls. People wanting to know if I knew who had done it,” he mentioned.
Sood mentioned there have been high-level conferences held that night time and the following morning. “It was really not a situation you could put a fix on. There was hardly any outcome of any meeting,” Sood mentioned, including that his evaluation was once there have been greater than 3,000 casualties within the assault.
He mentioned the Indian govt didn’t react till the Americans did. “It was when the Americans reacted, saying they were going to go on a global war on terror, that is when the government started feeling that may be now the Americans will understand our problem,” he mentioned.
Sood was once vital of america function in delivery of global terrorism to counter the Soviets and their partnership with Pakistan all through Afghanistan’s invasion. He referred to as is a “failure of imagination” on a part of america.
“You know you sit and watch a blunder being made,” he mentioned of america invasion of Afghanistan. “You [the US] are taking the help of the man who has helped mount the attack. You are hitting the wrong country. Osama Bin Laden was not there at that time. Unless you go to the base, you are not going to succeed. You made Afghanistan your enemy. You didn’t think of Pakistan, which had been sheltering these guys. So it was not a question of if but when it will fail,” Sood mentioned.
He mentioned Americans gave Pakistan a unfastened go and can nonetheless accomplish that within the present scenario. He said, alternatively, that Pakistan performed its playing cards neatly all alongside.
“They are not even thinking of sanctions. You can make sanctions on whole of Afghanistan and it would make no difference. You sanction Pakistan, it will make a difference. You impose sanctions on Iran and Russia for lesser reasons. For lesser evils you are prepared to sanction Myanmar. They are hardly a threat to anyone. They did it on the Rohingya issue. Pakistan does pretty awful things to its own people,” Sood mentioned.
The former R&AW leader mentioned India’s safety was once jeopardised from the time of Zia ul Haq, when so as to lend a hand Pakistan in opposition to the Soviets in Afghanistan, Americans closed their eye to Pakistan’s efforts to obtain a nuclear bomb. “They let them play with us, assist the Khalistan movement, because it didn’t concern them,” Sood mentioned.
He expressed worry over jihadi teams and educated opponents in Afghanistan within the present scenario. “Where will all these out-of-work jihadis go now? There are 70,000 of them, armed, trained and experienced. Will Pakistan, the suzerain of Afghanistan, keep them there? Or will it divert them. They can’t be given a job as a motor mechanic. Jihad is the only thing they know,” Sood mentioned.