Security analyst and senior journalist Praveen Swami joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on 20 years of Mumbai blasts & whether there is any possibility that India can bring Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon to justice.
Q. Why can't we do an "Israel" and take out these guys covertly? Pak (lies about) claims it isn't sheltering them, so any questions bout breach of sovereignty will be detrimental to it. We aren't doing ourselves any favors by letting them live on. Dawood apparently served as a consultant for the infamous 2008 Mumbai case. Sometimes I believe we are too cowardly in dealing with these issues. Asked by: Kart
A. Hi! Well, two things here. Our offensive covert capacities were degraded over the years because Prime Minister IK Gujaral, and others, felt carrying out retaliatory attacks in Pakistan for attacks the ISI carried out here wasn't useful-or civilised. Since then, both Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh seem to have taken pretty much the same stand. Their argument, I guess, would be that retaliatory attacks would lead to escalating violence-since the ISI and terrorist groups would also hit back. Now, you can agree or disagree with this, but its a serious argument. It's true Israel hits back-but remember, it hasn't solved its terrorism problem.
Q. Is there any possibility that India can bring Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon to justice? Asked by: prachi
A. Hi, Prachi. The same simple answer is, no. Former Pakistani president Parvez Musharraf himself recently said there were a lot of people in Pakistan who admired Dawood Ibrahim for retaliating against Hindus after the communal violence in Mumbai-and I think he's right. Pakistan's ISI will also never allow him to come back to India, and spill the beans on his relationship with them. So, simply, he's going to live out his life in Karachi-unless there's a miracle!
Q. Yes whoever was responsible should have been brought to justice.whether it be perpetrators of Mumbai riots or others..as far as perpetrators of mumbai riots are concerned they are very much in india why you do not ask the same question whether they been brought to justice as they are very much in mumbai ..what do you say? Asked by: khaled
A. Absolutely, Khaled. The perpetrators of the 1992-1992 communal violence in Mumbai killed a lot more Indian citizens than Dawood Ibrahim. Its scandalous that people like Bal Thackeray were never tried for their role in the violence-and that others still roam free. However, two wrongs don't make a right. Because one bunch of criminals are roaming free doesn't mean another bunch of criminals should get a free pass.
Q. What justice are we talking about? They years they should have ideally spent in prison have been spent comfortably hiding in Pakistan and laughing at our judicial process. Justice delayed is justice denied. Asked by: Badri
Q. Pakistan will never own Dawood is in Pakistan and no one should do what US so brazenly did in Osama bin laden case. Cant commit crime to bring justice.. What are our options then? We cant let him be for sure. Asked by: Abhishek
A. I'm not sure I agree with you that the US did wrong by killing Osama bin Laden. The whole system of nation states is based on the assumption that governments will fulfil their obligation to track down perpetrators of crimes, whosoever the victims might be. The Pakistan government has refused to do that for years. Now, yes, the US violated Pakistani sovereignty-but what choice did it have? Pakistan can't claim the privileges of being a sovereign state if it isn't willing to accept the obligations which come with that status
Q. Dear Sir, If the country's Home minister doesn't allow the investigating agency to take decisive steps when Dawood was in Dubai as claimed by the commissioner of Mumbai police. How will closure be brought to the blast and Dawood be punished. Is there no limit for the patience in India ? Asked by: Suhas M
A. Well, in that case, the Mumbai Police wanted to take out Dawood Ibrahim in a foreign country. That's illegal. I suspect there were concerns in that case about what would happen if something had gone wrong. The UAE-which is vital to India's economic interests, as you know-would not have been pleased if it was discovered that we were conducting illegal operations on its soil. Ideally, though, our intelligence services should have the capacities for these kinds of operations. We just don't. The sad truth we have to understand that we don't live in a perfect world-and unless we have the tools to deal with things, we'll just have to suck it up.
Q. Dear Sir, As a country we are a sitting duck. Anybody can harm our country and its people and take shelter in Pakistan. We will not be able to do anything. Why are we spending so much money on defence budget ? Asked by: Suhas M
A. Let's not get carried away! Dozens of terrorists are apprehended and killed every year. Its not that we're totally defenceless or at anyone's mercy. Sure, we should be doing much, much better. As for defence, that's another thing-we're protecting ourselves in the event of war. Fighting terrorism is a different thing. We probably have among the most under-resourced police and intelligence services in the world. We can't have first-world protection with third-world resources. We really need to start investing more on capacity building in the security sector.
Q. From Quattrocchi, Kim Davy to Dawood & today Italy mariners are easily escaped from India or may be allowed escape... Now its fair to say Govt is working or care about own citizen.. people can believe their dram ? Asked by: Hari
A. For every Kim Davy, there's a Peter Bleach-our police and intelligence services do deserve credit for, with extremely limited resources, registering success in terrorism-related investigations. I agree, though, that we're not doing enough. For policy makers, though, this isn't an easy question. Terrorism and insurgencies claim a few thousand lives a year; traffic accidents hundreds of thousands; illness millions. Which problem should get how much attention and how much investment is a tough question. I don't think the government doesn't care-I think the real problem is that we've made several bad policy choices, and aren't thinking enough about what the smart options for us are.
Q. Why commissioner coming out today & exposing Union Minister... why he was silent for long years? Asked by: Hari
A. You'll have to ask him that, Hari.
Q. What about the politicians involved in spreading communal hatred ...who will bring them to justice .. their actions led to all this. Asked by: rahul
A. Rahul, I totally agree with you. We've been far too tolerant of politicians, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian, who have spread hatred and created the conditions for religion-based terrorism to flourish. But my question to you is-who votes for these politicians? We do. We get the leaders we deserve.
Q. Even if Dawood is caught, don't you think Politics will prevail. Then Maharastra will appeal for his pardon. Asked by: Sarin
A. I really doubt it-I don't have a high opinion of our politicians, generally, but I think accusing them of all being Dawood Ibrahim supporters is a bit much! Anyway, that's completely speculative-he's sadly not going to be before an Indian judge any time soon.