JPC: Prevention is Better than Cure

Mihir Chaturvedi, Syrian Arab News Agency

NEW DELHI, India– No sooner did the New Year celebrations subdue in India that terrorist activities erupted in the town of Pathankot in India’s North-western state, Punjab. The terrorists, speculated to be of Pakistani origin, primarily targeted the town’s Indian Air Force base, known for its immense size. Notably, the town of Pathankot is located in the vicinity of the Indo-Pak border.

The Kashmir-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad was suspected to be responsible for the attacks. Thus it’s concludable that the primary motive of the attacks must have been in favour of separating Kashmir from India. But their peculiar choice of target points to their intention to cause structural damage leading to considerable economic loss, too.

In times of such critical situations it is important not only to examine the motives, but to understand why such a crisis was able to emerge. Prevention of external attacks and upholding national security has been the top priority of all intelligence agencies across the globe. India’s inability to prevent such terror attacks puts a big question mark in front of their intelligence agencies’ credibility and efficiency. India must either work hard to restore faith in these agencies or ready itself to face the consequences.

Inefficiency of India’s various intelligence agencies is mainly due to the large number of them. Though all the agencies had been created for different reasons and at different times, the core structure and functioning of most of the agencies are quite similar. A clear demarcation of each agency’s area of authority had not been listed. This has led to overlapping of their operations and creating further confusion. This disorganisation has had devastating circumstances in the past, and it will continue to do so if not taken care of.

For proper and smooth functioning of the intelligence network of India, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) will first need to restructure each organisation and its working, abolish those that aren’t required and unambiguously demarcate each agency’s area of authority. Changes for efficacious transfer and processing of data should be introduced immediately. Training and preparation of personnel in each agency should be made flexible and be done with state-of-the-art technology.

National security is not only essential but a matter of pride too. The ability to withstand any external threat and aggression should be valued and protected. There should be no compromise on the safety of one’s citizens. The JPC must keep the faith of the people intact!

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