SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
There is some indication that the India-Pakistan dialogue, frozen since the terrorist attack in Mumbai in November 2008, is set to resume. However, there is also, more ominously, intelligence that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and other Pakistan-based militant groups are planning the next big-ticket terrorist attack against India.
The LeT, arguably the most lethal among the mélange of India-oriented terrorist groups based in Pakistan, has regrouped rather well, despite the global censure in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 (26/11). While it continues to maintain a relatively low profile in Pakistan’s heartland Punjab (where it is headquartered), its paraphernalia in Sindh, Balochistan, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Waziristan are both intact and visible. Crucially, recent intelligence indicates, the LeT’s infrastructure in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), is, in fact, expanding rapidly. While Islamabad’s sham ‘crackdown’ against the LeT after the carnage in Mumbai led to a momentary displacement of its mobile training camps, the outfit has, in the months since then, reorganized rather effectively, especially in PoK – the launching ground for the Kashmir jihad.
Along with the Lashkar, all the other militant groups waging the Kashmir jihad are currently active in PoK. According to the latest assessment of the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC), the nodal agency for all terror-related intelligence under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi, there are 34 ‘active’ and eight ‘holding’ camps operational across the border in Pakistan. The Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) have 17 ‘active’ and four ‘holding or dormant’ camps each, according to the MAC assessment, based on inputs from different security agencies. An official disclosed that approximately 2,200 militants are present in these camps. After 26/11 many of these camps had emptied out or relocated. While some are currently back to their original status, new ones have also been formed. According to the MAC assessment, among the 2,200 militants in the 42 terrorist training camps in Pakistan, roughly 300 are affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Toiba, some 240 to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and around 130 to the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), while the rest are reportedly of "mixed" allegiance.
PoK Police has claimed that the outlawed Jama’at-ud-Da’awa (JuD, the LeT front) is expanding its operations and recruitment in the region. A confidential report submitted to the Federal Government has revealed it had purchased 65 kanals (a kanal is equal to 0.125 acres or 605 square yards) of land in the Dulai area of Muzaffarabad, the PoK capital, to construct a mosque, a school and a dispensary, Daily Times reported on July 1. The PoK Inspector General of Police Javed Iqbal told a private TV channel that his force was ‘closely monitoring’ the group’s activities.
Outlawed groups, including the LeT and JeM, are expanding operations and recruitment in PoK, according to the region’s Police. According to a BBC report of June 30, a detailed assessment, submitted by the Police to the PoK Cabinet on March 25, 2009, states that three banned groups – Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), JeM and LeT – are active in Muzaffarabad. This is clear evidence (from within) of Pakistan’s deceit and the fake crackdown it organized after 26/11. The HuM and JeM are reportedly planning to open madrassas (seminaries) in Muzaffarabad, where the LeT is already operating a madrassa. "No officials are allowed to enter these premises to gather any sort of information...We fear these madrassas may be a cover for furthering militant activities," the BBC quoted the report as saying. However, Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki, the Jama’at-ud-Da’awa deputy chief, told BBC that his group had not purchased any properties in PoK or been involved in any quarrel with locals.
Intelligence inputs and information revealed by some recently arrested militants in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) have indicated that the hitherto unaffected Tauheed hills, an isolated forest area of Muzaffarabad, has become a new militant hub, especially for recently inducted cadre of the LeT and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) outfits, Daily Excelsior reported on July 17, 2009. The camps here, being run with clandestine support of the Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), are being used for training militants in the handling of sophisticated weapons and explosive devices. Sources indicate that at least 200 militants each of the LeT and HM are receiving training from commanders of the two groups in Tauheed hills, located about 40 to 50 kilometers north-west of Muzaffarabad. According to Intelligence inputs, youth from Pakistan’s NWFP and Peshawar areas were among the trainees in various PoK camps, including Tauheed hills.
''Trust me, the ISI has other hits in mind,'' US analyst Ralph Peters remarks, echoing reports from various quarters in India about another and imminent terrorist attack. The United Nations (UN) has also indicated that the LeT is planning to target India again. "LeT tactics are quite obvious. It is trying to increase tensions between India and Pakistan at a time when they and their associates are particularly under pressure in western Pakistan," said Richard Barrett, Coordinator of the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Committee, in New York on July 15. "They may do that again," Barrett asserted, adding that "this is the real risk".
Seven months since 26/11, intelligence reports indicate high probabilities of another attack on India. Sources disclose that there is specific intelligence which points directly to the LeT. Apart from Hindu targets (temples, right-wing politicians, offices of right-wing groups, etc.), intelligence sources in New Delhi said States in south India are particularly vulnerable, because the LeT is known to be working on plans to attack soft targets in these States.
Official sources also revealed that six terrorist plots by the LeT have been foiled since 26/11. Of these, two were thwarted in Jammu and Kashmir and one module had targeted the national capital, New Delhi.
Notwithstanding significant global censure and scrutiny, the LeT leadership at Muridke and Lahore and its operational commanders in PoK are undoubtedly planning another spectacular attack in India. Intelligence sources said Zarar Shah and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT leaders currently ‘in prison’, have unimpeded access to communications, facilitating the planning process. The bogus crackdown against the outfit in PoK and elsewhere has done nothing to diminish its operational capabilities. In fact, Indian security agencies have identified new LeT modules in Nepal and Bangladesh as well as in India, a clear indication of augmenting Lashkar capabilities, as well as of potential terrorist attacks on Indian soil. Crucially, all of this is clearly happening under the tutelage of the outfit’s handlers in Pakistan’s security agencies, including the ISI.
Intelligence available with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs suggests that the next terrorist attack in India could even be executed from the air. Among the plausible targets for the Pakistan-based terrorist groups, including the LeT, are key defence establishments, including the INS Viraat, India’s lone aircraft carrier, and VVIPs. One of the many intercepts recently made by a central intelligence agency indicated that top Lashkar leaders, including its communications cell chief Zarar Shah, had been analyzing India’s helicopter charter services, especially those in south India. The intercept reportedly suggested that the LeT was considering using a chartered flight, among other available options, to launch attacks. The intercept also indicated that a hired/hijacked charter flight could be used to target airports and VVIPs. The ministry has consequently alerted around 100 operators of air charter services across the country.
Further, at least 15 militants are reportedly being trained in PoK to target the 450 MW Baglihar Hydroelectric Power Project (built on River Chenab in Ramban District of J&K) and a secret tunnel is being dug from Sialkot to connect PoK with J&K, two arrested LeT militants revealed, on July 12, 2009. The two terrorists, Mohammad Shafakat and Mohammad Adnan, were arrested from the Shamashabari forest in Kupwara District. The duo, residents of Chinchawatni revenue division in Sahiwal District of Punjab in Pakistan, also said the secret tunnel must have been completed by now. Adnan later revealed to Times Now that teenagers from poor households are being brainwashed to wage Pakistan's proxy war against India. Adnan said he was 18 years-old and that there were 20 to 30 boys in his group who were trained along with him at Muzaffarabad.
There is also some evidence that militant groups are using the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad trade route for hawala transactions intended for their cadre in J&K. A July 10, 2009, report indicated that a leading businessman in Srinagar, the J&K capital, had been arrested by the Police for alleged hawala payments to over-ground workers of a militant outfit, in lieu of goods received from PoK via the Kaman Bridge. Police sources said the businessman paid INR 1,000,000 in three transactions. The Police are also examining records of eight other businessmen, who they suspect made similar hawala payments. Cross-LoC trade, which currently operates on a barter system, came under the Police scanner after the arrest of over-ground workers of a militant group in Sopore, who subsequently confessed they received INR 1,000,000 from a Srinagar businessman in three different installments. Sources said the trader received consignments worth INR 3,000,000 from Chikoti in Muzaffarabad, but sent goods worth INR 2,000,000 to PoK. The trader was instructed by his Pakistani counterpart to hand over the remaining INR 1,000,000 to the over-ground workers.
While Pakistan has initiated some action against renegade militant groups like the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which direct their ire against Islamabad, jihadi groups that target India have escaped state action, despite the global pressure. In fact, the US has, to a significant extent, winked at this duplicity, on the logic that groups like the LeT and JeM are not targeting the US. This is clearly an irrational perception, since the militant groups in Pakistan – be it the TTP, Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, LeT, JeM, or others – have the same ideological worldview, and are integrally interlinked. These linkages and common ideological ground underpin the essential logic and dynamic of their operations. Appallingly, the current US administration has failed to exert adequate pressure on Pakistan to bring to justice the Lashkar operatives, including outfit chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who orchestrated 26/11, despite the fact that three Americans were killed and two injured in the attack. Significantly, Juan Zarate, the Deputy National Security Adviser for counter-terrorism in the Bush administration, had told Chicago Tribune in March 2009 that "We are and should be concerned about the threat LeT poses, given its global network… It doesn’t just reside in South Asia. It is an organisation that has potential reach all over the world, including the US." Bruce Riedel, chairman of the Obama administration’s Pakistan-Afghanistan strategy review team, stated that he believed a "global jihadist syndicate" of disaffected young Pakistanis was the most likely mechanism for launching an attack on US soil. Clearly, the US engagement with Pakistan on prosecuting the war on terror without any action on groups like the LeT will prove fruitless.
Amidst all this, a significant incident in PoK brought the region into sharp focus. On June 26, 2009, a suicide bomber killed two soldiers when he blew himself up near an Army vehicle, in the first such attack in PoK. The military stated that another three soldiers were injured in the early morning bombing at the Army barracks at Shaukat Lines in Muzaffarabad, the PoK capital. The junior section of the Army Public School, several other educational institutions, and the 5-AK Brigade headquarters are located in the area where the attack took place. The 18-year old suicide bomber has since been identified as Abid, a TTP militant from Waziristan. Muzaffarabad is now getting a taste of its own medicine.
Hakimullah Mehsud, a deputy of the TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud, told AP that the attack was launched to prove that Baitullah had not been weakened by more than a week of military strikes on his suspected hideouts in South Waziristan Agency. "We are in a position to respond to the Army’s attacks, and time will prove that these military operations have not weakened us," Hakimullah declared. A Police Officer told Dawn on June 27 that the Army installation had probably been attacked to give a message to the authorities that militants could expand their area of operation and hit Security Forces anywhere. The barracks fall under the 5-AK Brigade of the Azad Kashmir (AK) Regiment which is reportedly taking part in the operation against militants in Swat and adjoining areas.
The first suicide bombing on the Pakistan Army in PoK was certainly not anticipated by authorities. None of the militants groups in PoK, which concentrate largely on India and remain Islamabad’s strategic assets, have ever launched attacks on Pakistani targets. More importantly, groups like the LeT and JeM are believed to have operational links with the TTP. There is a strong possibility that the TTP has now decided to up the ante by targeting the Pakistan Army in PoK to generate instability in a region that is crucial for Pakistan in its terrorist campaign and proxy war against India. The underlying idea is to try and open another front for Islamabad in PoK, in order to ease the pressure in FATA and the Frontier. However, the TTP would incline to calibrating its operations in PoK, in order not to invite hostility from its jihadi brethren in the region. Islamabad, consequently, is not expected to be unduly troubled by the suicide bombing in Muzaffarabad.
Nevertheless, political groups like the United Kashmir People’s National Party have called on Pakistani authorities to take preemptive measures to stop the spread of Talibanisation in PoK. There is also some evidence that militants from PoK are fighting in the NWFP and Tribal Areas of Pakistan. For instance, 34-year-old Muhammad Owais and 30-year-old Ubaidullah, of the militant group Ghazi Force (named after the slain Lal Masjid cleric Ghazi Abdul Rasheed and active primarily in the Hangu District of NWFP) were arrested by the Islamabad Police on July 13, 2009. The two are accused of recruiting young men from Islamabad and PoK for training at terrorist camps.
There is little evidence of coherent action against the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan, and state agencies remain deeply embroiled with a number of terrorist proxies, even while they fight groupings that have turned renegade, and that are now attacking targets within the country. Pakistan’s continuing support to externally oriented terrorist formations, however, is creating the very spaces within which groups that target Islamabad flourish. Unless the Pakistani state entirely abandons the instrumentalisation of jihadi terror as a strategic tool, neither the country nor the wider region can hope for any possibilities of peace.
Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
Lashkar-e-Toiba active in the country for last 14 years, say intelligence sources: The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has reportedly been active in Bangladesh for the last 14 years, intelligence sources said, quoting one of the most wanted Indian terrorists recently arrested in the capital Dhaka. Local leaders of the outfit have links to the network of absconding Indian underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim, and also to leaders of other Islamist militant outfits like the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), sources added. The Detective Branch (DB) of Police on July 17, 2009, disclosed that they recently arrested an Indian national who is very close to the LeT, and is also one of the most wanted persons by the Indian law enforcing and intelligence agencies. Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner A.K.M. Shahidul Hoque said the arrestee has been identified as Mufti Obaidullah, who has been staying in Bangladesh since 1995. "He was arrested from the capital and was making preparations for a jihad by organising Bangladeshi mujahids with directives from Ameer Reza, a leader of the Jammu and Kashmir based LeT, who is an Indian national now staying in Pakistan," the DMP Commissioner said. Obaidullah reportedly took part in the Afghan jihad four times and he was active in the militancy in India, in collaboration with militants from Pakistan and Afghanistan. He also collaborated with Islamist militants of Jammu and Kashmir, Varanasi, Punjab, and Hyderabad in India, said the DMP Commissioner, adding that Obaidullah came to Bangladesh to evade Indian intelligence after the Government of India in 1994 had declared him a most wanted person.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters on July 17, Obaidullah, in detention, said he came to Bangladesh only to hide, and brought his family into the country later. He admitted that he is one of the most wanted persons in India, and said four other most wanted Indians are also hiding in Bangladesh. "In 1994, Indian commandos went to West Bengal from Delhi by helicopters to arrest me, but I managed to evade arrest and later left India," Obaidullah added. He also reportedly managed to get a Bangladeshi national identity card, and cast votes in several elections, Obaidullah said. The Daily Star, July 18, 2009.
India and Pakistan to ‘delink’ action on terror from bilateral dialogue: On July 16, 2009, India and Pakistan agreed to renew the bilateral relationship, frozen since the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani agreeing that dialogue between their two countries "is the only way forward." While the joint statement issued after their meeting on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Summit at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt said nothing about when and how the Composite Dialogue process would resume, the two Foreign Secretaries have been tasked with meeting "as often as necessary" in the run-up to a review by the Indian and Pakistani Foreign Ministers in New York in September 2009.
Speaking to reporters later, Dr. Singh said Gilani had been keen to resume the composite dialogue "here and now." "But I said that the dialogue cannot begin unless and until the terrorist acts of Mumbai are fully accounted for and the perpetrators are brought to book," the Prime Minister stated. Unless this happened, he stressed, "I cannot agree and our public opinion will not agree." There was no road map for resumption yet, he said, but added: "We have an obligation to engage Pakistan." Asked by reporters if the joint statement meant India was ready to resume the composite dialogue, Gilani said, "It is my understanding that they are convinced it is the way forward." He also drew attention to India’s readiness "to discuss all issues with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues." The Hindu, July 17, 2009.
Left-wing extremist groups pose 'formidable challenge', says Home Ministry report: The Government has conceded that the coming together of Left-wing extremist groups posed a "formidable challenge" but expressed its resolve to fight the menace by deploying additional forces under a comprehensive plan. The Annual Report of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for 2008-09 also said nearly 87 per cent Naxalite (Left-wing extremist) violence is accounted for by the four worst-affected States – Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa. The report said the coming together of major groups like People’s War Group and Maoist Communist Centre under a single banner has been accompanied by growing militarisation in their organisation and tactics, thus creating a "formidable challenge", it said. There were 1,591 incidents of Maoist violence in which 721 persons were killed in 2008 compared to 1,567 incidents which left 696 dead in 2007. "Left-wing extremist violence registered an increase of 3.4 per cent over the previous year. The four worst affected states accounted for 86.39 per cent of total incidents of Naxal violence in 2008," the report added.
Separately, on July 15, the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram admitted that the problem of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) had been underestimated for several years allowing the Maoists to spread their wings. Replying to questions in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) Chidambaram said, "Regrettably, for many years, we did not assess the LWE challenge correctly. I think we underestimated the challenge. Left wing extremists have extended their areas of influence. They have entrenched themselves. Today they pose a grave challenge to the State." The Home Minister told the Rajya Sabha that the Government would pursue a two-pronged approach to deal with the problem - first a police action to secure the ground and follow it up with development work. Securing the ground was necessary as development works had become Maoist targets – they were blowing up communication towers, destroying school buildings and planting mines to prevent laying of roads, he pointed out. Times of India; The Hindu, July 16, 2009; PTI News, July 15, 2009.
53 militants and 14 civilians killed during the week in FATA: On July 18, 2009, jet fighters pounded militant positions in the Orakzai Agency, killing seven people, including two suspected militants. Two children and three women are said to be among the seven persons killed when jets bombed a suspected militant hideout in Moputay. Helicopter gunships also struck areas in Chappar Ferozkhel in Lower Orakzai, but no casualties were reported. Further, three militants were killed and two others injured when Taliban militants attacked Security Forces (SFs) during a search operation in the Kohi and Ray areas of Charmang sub-division in Bajaur Agency. The SFs also destroyed two Taliban hideouts. Separately, a local Taliban commander was killed and four of his aides were injured when a US drone targeted their hideout in the Shaktoi area of Ladha revenue division in the South Waziristan Agency late on July 17.
Five militants were killed and four others sustained injuries in a drone attack on a suspected hideout of the Taliban in Badar village, about 30 kilometres from Razmak in the North Waziristan Agency, on July 17. Sources said a CIA-operated spy plane fired two missiles at the house of a local cleric, Maulana Abdul Majeed. The Badar village near Gharium is located on the border between North Waziristan and South Waziristan. According to sources, the five militants killed in the drone attack had come from the adjacent South Waziristan and were affiliated with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud. Separately, a shopkeeper died and the cleaner of an oil tanker was wounded in two separate bomb blasts in the Jamrud and Landikotal subdivisions of Khyber Agency in the morning of July 17.
Taliban militants fired missiles at the houses of elders of a Salarzai militia in Bajaur Agency on July 16, killing one person.
Three persons were killed and four others sustained injuries on July 16 when an improvised explosive device, planted by unidentified miscreants, exploded on the Ghulam Khan Road, eight kilometres from Miranshah, headquarters of the North Waziristan Agency.
Five militants and two civilians were killed and seven others wounded in air strikes and rocket attacks in South Waziristan Agency on July 15. According to security officials, planes shelled two compounds occupied by militants in the Sararogha and Laddha areas, killing five militants and injuring six others. In addition, militants fired several rockets in the village Khechi in the Jandola region. Two women were killed and a child was injured when one of the rockets hit the house of a tribesman.
23 militants were killed during clashes between a tribal militia and militants in the Ziaray Kandao area of Anbar sub-division in Mohmand Agency on July 14. Four members of the militia were injured, sources said. However, official sources said only 18 militants were killed in the gunfight which continued for several hours. They said militants also destroyed five houses of the militia identified as those of Subedar Major Pasham Gul, Sultan, Zahir Shah, Baghdad Shah and Rozi Shah. Three volunteers of the tribal force were reported missing after the clashes. Separately, two persons were killed and three others wounded when militants attacked an oil tanker in the Chingai area of Landikotal subdivision in the Khyber Agency on July 14.
Eight militants were killed and three others injured in a clash with a militia in the Mohmand Agency on July 13, 2009. Assistant Political Agent Rasool Khan said the clash had taken place in the Anbar Valley. One tribesman was injured in these clashes. Further, six suspected militants affiliated with the Maulvi Nazeer-led Taliban were killed and 10 others injured in an exchange of gunfire after an attack by the militants on a roadside security post at Wana, headquarters of South Waziristan Agency, in the morning of July 13. Dawn; Daily Times; The News, July 14-20, 2009.
43 militants and seven soldiers among 51 persons killed during the week in NWFP: The Police launched a counterattack on Taliban militants in the Sambat Cham area of Matta sub-division in Swat District after the beheading of a Matta Police Station class-IV employee, killing one militant, besides demolishing seven houses, The News reported on July 20, 2009. In addition, three militants were killed in the ongoing military operation in Swat.
Six Taliban militants, including a local commander, were killed and several others injured after clashes with the SFs in Swat and Malakand on July 18. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a soldier was also killed and three others injured in sporadic clashes with Taliban fighters in the Shangla and Shakardara.
Two soldiers and an equal number of Taliban militants were killed in the Swat and Dir Districts of on July 17, according to the ISPR. "A security vehicle – en route to Peochar from Shahid Khapa – was hit by an improvised explosive device near Serai… two soldiers were killed," said the ISPR. Further, a local militia in Dir destroyed Taliban bunkers in Shahdas near Lal Qila and killed two militants and injured two others.
Two people, including an official of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), were killed and another was injured, when suspected Taliban militants attempted to abduct UN officials at the Katcha Ghari Refugee Camp in Nasir Bagh in Peshawar, capital of the NWFP, on July 16.
SFs on July 16 killed eight Taliban militants in the Loi Namal area of Matta sub-division in Swat District. "Security forces conducted a search operation in the area around Loi Namal and Pansarat and killed eight terrorists, including local commander Bilal," the ISPR claimed. A number of tunnels and hideouts were unearthed in Matta. The SFs have also reportedly wrested the headquarters of the Taliban – Peuchar.
Two Policemen were killed and six others sustained injuries in a roadside explosion in Bannu District on July 15. Sources said a party of the Bakkakhel Police Station was on its way to Bannu city when an improvised explosive device, which was planted under a bridge on the Bannu-Miranshah Road, went off at 8 am, killing two Policemen and injuring six others.
SFs on July 15 claimed to have killed the most wanted terrorist leader Abu Laith and 13 other Taliban militants, including two foreigners, in Swat valley. According to the ISPR, the SFs conducted a search operation in Peuchar and killed Abu Laith, a Swat Taliban commander in Peuchar, their former headquarters. "The security forces carried out search operation in Akhund Killay near Kabal and killed eight militants, including two foreigners. One soldier embraced shahadat (martyrdom) and three soldiers, including an officer, were injured during exchange of fire," the ISPR said. During a search operation in Reema, the SFs claimed to have killed another three militants.
In the Swat Valley, SFs killed nine militants and arrested several others during search and clearance operations on July 14. According to an ISPR update, SFs conducted an operation at Syed Parinda Ziarat near Rangeela and arrested five suspects, besides recovering four small machine guns, 11 pistols, two rifles, three grenades and one Motorola set. The SFs also conducted a search operation at Kuza Bandai and, during the consequent encounter, five militants were killed while four others were killed during clashes between the two sides at Tahirabad and Billogram. Dawn; Daily Times; The News, July 14-20, 2009.
Pakistan home to syndicate of terror, says US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on July 19, 2009, said the US was keeping a close watch on the actions being taken by Pakistan against terrorists, since the country had emerged as home to a "syndicate of terrorism". "We are watching it and we hope Pakistan will make progress against what is a syndicate of terrorism — Al-Qaida, Taliban and many other terror organisations are connected in a way that is deeply troubling to us, and I know to India. But it is also now troubling Pakistan," she said in Gurgaon, outside the Indian capital New Delhi. In response to a question, the visiting US Secretary of State expressed hope that the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks would meet their "day of reckoning" soon. Referring to Pakistan, she said, "I have also sent messages very directly to the Pakistani people that this (fight against terrorism) is in the interest of Pakistan, the future stability and security of Pakistan." Times of India, July 20, 2009.