August 15, 2010 Leave a comment
Security analysts who reviewed India’s record fear New Delhi might use terrorism at Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 to divert international media’s attention away from deeply embarrassing preparations for the event
By ANANT SHETH in New Delhi, Gulpari Mehsud in Islamabad
Sunday, 15 August 2010.
NEW DELHI, India—Traffic jams, shoddy game venues and a lousy organization are expected to create an international embarrassment for India in the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 in October. Already the media coverage is giving Indian officials sleepless nights, with less-than-inspiring headlines such asCommonwealth Games: Safety fears grow amid chaos, Organizers of India’s Commonwealth Games Face Corruption Allegations and Commonwealth Games: Safety fears grow amid chaos.
But the worst could be yet to come: a terrorist attack on New Delhi killing international athletes carried out by any one of the one hundred deadly terror groups active in India. These groups fuel fourteen violent insurgencies that receive little coverage in the international media. Topping the list is the Naxalite insurgency that covers most of northeastern India.
This is to say nothing of the freedom movement in disputed Kashmir where angry Kashmiris are breathing down on New Delhi because of extrajudicial killings and mass rapes by the Indian army. Security analysts say that experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan indicate there is bound to be blowback from an angry suppressed population.
Diplomats from New Zealand have already warned their government about the chances of a terror attack targeting the games.
Already in February this year a German bakery frequented by tourists was bombed killing seventeen people, including four foreigners. No one claimed responsibility but the location could mean one of the northeastern Indian militant groups might have been involved.
Blame It On Pakistan
But even if terrorism doesn’t strike New Delhi, there are reports Indian officials are considering ideas to divert the attention of Indian and international media away from the shabby preparations during the October 4-14 event.
Many Pakistani analysts are worried that New Delhi might resort to false flag operations or a mock terror threat to sidetrack media attention from the mess surrounding the games. In all probability, India could use one of the many Hindu terror groups to mount attacks that would be blamed on Pakistan. India has seen a mushrooming of Hindu terror groups over the past decade.
There are at least two recent precedents where India falsely accused Pakistan for terror acts that Indian investigators discovered later were committed by Hindu terrorists.
In both cases, serving Indian military intelligence officers were found directly involved in carrying out the bombings. The purpose was simple: To implicate Pakistan and its intelligence agencies and build international pressure to force Islamabad into conceding the disputed territory of Kashmir.
For example, an Irish newspaper published this report, India uncovers Hindu terror group that carried out bombings blamed on Islamists . A Hindu extremist and a serving Indian Army officer were arrested and charged with planting bombs in public places that were blamed on Pakistan. That was November 2008.
In Spring 2007, a peace train called Samjota Express carrying Pakistani visitors to India as part of peace dialogue was blown up causing a fire that burned 59 Pakistanis alive. The Indian government accused Pakistan’s ISI of involvement. It said Pakistan’s military wanted to derail Pakistan-India peace talks. A year later three serving Indian military intelligence officers were arrested for planning and executing the attack. The Indian investigator who uncovered the nexus between Indian intelligence and Hindu terror groups was the first casualty of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. He was eliminated by a professional sniper far away from the Taj hotel but was his death was blamed on the terrorists who stormed that building. Read more of this post