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9/11: Ten Years Later


911 ten years later coverOn September 12, 2001, a day after 9/11, the Times of India published a story titled, ―India hopes U.S. will now pressurise Pak.‖ At the time, this relayed a common national sentiment – India may finally get the United States to become a close ally against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, and help India in eradicating terrorism.

Ten years hence, neither has the U.S. taken a position against Pakistan, nor has India prepared itself better to fight terrorism and insurgency on its home ground. A massive explosion at the Delhi High Court this week left at least 14 dead and some 60 injured. It served as a horrific reminder that India continues to be at the receiving end of terrorism. This is the third major terrorist attack in Delhi since 9/11, following the one on Parliament on December 2001 and another at the Sarojini Nagar Market in October 2005. Mumbai has seen similar attacks with the serial blasts in March 1993, train bombings in July 2006, the 26/11 attacks of November 2008 and coordinate attacks of July 2011. Many more such incidents have taken place across the country in smaller cities like Jaipur and Pune.

Yet, rather than designing and executing ways to secure our borders, we remain enamored with the effects of 9/11 and anniversaries of attacks in London, Madrid, and elsewhere. The government‘s response is the same – they had some intelligence, law enforcement was in a state of alert, but there was no actionable intelligence, and of course, somewhere along the chain of command between the Home Minister and the constable on the street, our counter-terrorism strategy was never converted into skills or systems that would prove useful. The usually communicative, media-friendly politicians have no comment to give, reflecting only their incapability or worse, indifference. The media gives it due importance for 24 hours, then in the absence of any new information from the government or the public, moves on to other news-worthy items.

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