What changed the face of modern terrorism
- Hello Mam, The kidanapping definitly changed the face of the modern terrorism but it would be really immature to target a particular group or a country for it . Dont you think you are being judgemental since in most of such cases Government sponsored gunmen were held responsible (example chattisingpora massacare)? Asked by: Omar (sopore)
- Only six people were directly affected in this case and many tens of thousands have been victims of the Kashmir conflict. But this one seemingly insignificant crime, when compared to the daily tragedies of Valley life, was a prism through which to assay the cost of war
- why Kashmir? Asked by: chX
- we have been reporting from Kashmir for almost 20 years but in the west the war is either misunderstood or ignored completely. Reinvestigating the tragic story of the 1995 hostages was a way to get attention to a much bigger issue. Also, every time I arrived in Srinagar I was haunted by what had happened to those four hostages who had never made it back home
- The summer of 1995 events of Kashmir should have led to the Indian neighbour. What were the obstacles in getting the trail followed up for finding the group which had planned and executed it ? Asked by: sundar1950in
- There was never any question that this kidnapping was perpetrated by a Pakistani extremist group backed by the ISI. After his subsequent release as a result of the Indian Airlines hijack of 1999, Masood Azhar talked openly about Harkat's role in the kidnapping, as did many of his followers, who were interviewed in Pakistan. What was harder to get to was the truth about what had happened to the hostages six months in, after winter had set in, the original kidnap party was tired and frightened and looking for any way out
- Has the media coverage of terror attacks in any way helped reduction or countering of such attacks ? Asked by: sundar1950in
- Media coverage of terrorism has had positive and negative impacts. Through in depth reporting we have been able to reveal that pure terrorism not genuinely held religious belief is behind many heinous acts. Consider the Pakistan Taliban that hides behind the mantle of Islam but is nothing more than a mafia, most often targetting its fellow Muslims and countrymen. On the negative side, the media attention on key figures has elevated them in some people's eyes to hero status - OBL, KSM - which can ony be counterproductive.
- What effect has this had on John Childs life? Asked by: chX
- John Childs never recovered from his experience. He went to Kashmir for a four day trek to see the breathtaking Himalayan peaks and ended up with his head under a horse blanket surrounded by AK-47 wielding teenage jihadis. It took us three years to persuade him to talk to jus about his experience. His greatest regret is that he was not able to convince the Indian or foreign teams based in Srinagar to go back into the mountains and rescue the others. To this day he is unable to sleep under sheets on a bed. He can only sleep on top covered by a rough blanket. He says it is the only thing that makes him feel closer to his lost comrades
- Do you feel that son or daughter of a VIP would have helped matters as Mufti's daughter was rescued around same time as he was Home Minister so the message is common man is always going to be treated differently while VIPs get different treatment is right Asked by: Shailesh
- You have answered your own question. Plus the fact that the families of the 1995 hostages were told to make as little noise about what was going on as possible. Contrast this to David Housego, whose son Kim was kidnapped by the same group a year earlier. David was a journalist based in Delhi and from day one decided to make as much hoopla about his son's abduction as he could. He got him back after 17 days. Consider too the Flight 814 hijack of 1999. Several influential people were on board and the governnment listened to their families pleas. Mazood Azhar and two others were duly exchanged for the passengers
- Even before 1995 and Kashmir terror was in the radar .Israeli and Palestinian conflict is Terrorism only.Also Munich olympic attack was an act of terror. Anyhow until 9/11. Terror did not get a definition.earlier it was mostly termed as Kidnapping.Hostage crisis, or Hijacking of aircrafts. How do you account 1995 as a start period ? Asked by: sundar1950in
- Of course we do not consider the Kashmir kidnapping of 1995 as the first ever act of terrorism. But it was a watershed moment in terms of the West and the subcontinent becoming aware of the proclivities of Pakistani jihadi groups, that at that time were throwing all their efforts at Kashmir. Beheading a Western hostage in Kashmir was shocking. It brought attention to the conflict in Kashmir - in a way that would be manipulated by some in the Indian security services. It also brought attention to the likes of Masood Azhar and his group that was still pretty much under the radar, although he was already busy recruiting sleepers in Europe and working with OBL in Somalia. Last year I interviewed a former head of the National Counter Terrorism Bureau in Pakistan. In the 1990s he was a senior police officer in the Punjab responsible for tracking extremists. He said in 1995 he had not even heard of Masood Azhar. But by 2000/2001 everyone would be familiar with this name.
- You have covered The Kashmir Kidnapping in depth but what about thousands of other incidents that go unreported in the area and around the world so what is the state of human rights and usefulness of organisations like UN in curbing crime Asked by: Manav
- As I have already said I acknowledge that the kidnappings in 1995 involved only six westerners, an insignicant number compared to the thousands who have died in Kashmir since 1989: civilians, militants and soldiers. I welcome initiatives that are currently underway in Kashmir to investigate all human rights issues: like the J&K State Human Rights Commission inquiry into unmarked graves and efforts by the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice to document case of torture. Things are moving slowly towards truth and reconciliation in Kashmir, but at least they are moving in the right direction. And the state too should be congratulated for this.
- Cathy, Do you think people across the non-Islamic countries have Islamophobia ? If yes, what is the reason and who is responsible for this state of affairs in Muslims ?. Asked by: aditya.yanamand
- That is far too big a question for someone like me to answer. All I would say is that we all have phobias about things we do not know or understand
- Cathy, We all know that Pakistan is in serious economic crisis and they cannot facilitate to feed their citizens. Why would they still be in the lines of radicalization of religion ? Why don't Muslims in general do not think in the lines of economics and follow the birth control ? This is true across the globe not just Pakistan or Afghanistan. I feel that they just get into this emotive trap by some radical terrorists just because they cannot feed their children ?. Asked by: aditya.yanamand
- Unfortunately extremists everywhere feed off poverty and lack of education. But consider for a moment what it is like to live in some of those remote tribal areas and maybe you would not be so judgemental. Would you not send a child to a madrassa that offers free food when you have none to give yourself? Or consider selling one child to the Pakistan Taliban for 25,000 Pak rupees that you can then spend looking after your other children? Pakistan's population has more than doubled since the time this hostage taking took place. But it is not a simple question of enforcement. Would you risk the wrath of your husband, your relatives and your whole village to do your bit for population growth? I think not. Education and addressing poverty are the answer so yes the Pakistani government has much responsibility here.
- There is a hering on the case on the 28th? what do you think about that? Asked by: chX
- I welcome the J&K State Human Rights Commission hearing on May 28 into the 1995 kidnapping. I hope that those who were involved in the search for the hostages will come forward to tell the truth and that the government and police will release the original files relating to the case. Our book and claims have so far been 'rubbished' by those in Kashmir who were not involved directly and I believe that some people we talked to have now denied that they spoke to us. But we have tapes of most of those conversations and we look forward to seeing the truth confirmed. Contrary to what some people have claimed, we did not go looking for controversy with this book. We simply sought to uncover the truth about the hostages' fate.
- affter Pakistan>KASHMIR>what next? Asked by: myspace
- We are researching a book on the brave men and women of the Indian police and security forces who responded to the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.
- As we all aware that the Terrorism is the greatest threat to any democracy, in your opinion to tackle this greatest threat what can a country like India do where our Political system is cripled with Corruption & Miss Governence? Does not right to say without Political will nothing can be done to tackle this threat Asked by: Sidharth
- India and Pakistan can between them do a great deal to tackle the global terrorist threat by removing one of its primary recruiting sergeants: coming together and solving the Kashmir conflict once and for all. Pakistan has repeatedly used Kashmir as its default bargaining chip, a substitute for any progressive foreign policy. India has failed to act imaginately or boldly in the Valley. Where are the big ideas to outflank the default positions of succession (to Pakistan) and Islamism? Post the 2010 agitations, an opportunity presented itself but that too has been lost. It is time to move forward.
- Have you confined in your Book to terrorism in Kashmir or gone to the Global picture on this unfortunate events of our lifetime.? Asked by: sundar1950in
- We sought to bring the spotlight specifically on Kashmir as it is little understood or ignored completely in the West. But as the book explains some of those who went to wage war in Kashmir, then went on to commit terrorist atrocities around the world. The Delhi parliament attack of 2001, the 7/7 bombings in London, Mumbai, the liquid bomber plot, all are intimately connected to Masood Azhar and his followers. Hhe outlived Osama Bin Laden, remains at large and continues to plot terror to this day
- hello mam, Why has west always failed to read the writing on the wall .? Indian government has always tried to play down the aspirations of kashmiri people which are genuine and UN backed? What about thousands of young souls who were picked up by the indian security forces in kashmir anf neva returned back? Asked by: omar(sopore)
- Through organisations like the SHRC and the People's Tribunal and the J&K government I feel that the voices of the disappeared, the dead, those still imprisoned and who have been tortured are finally beginning to be heard
- Brilliang work on this Cathy, can you give us some ideas as to how to become investigative reporters. India needs them Asked by: Vinod
- you already have great investigative reporters and outlets for real journalism - Tehelka springs to mind.
- Maulana Masood Azhar's adventure with terror are just another example that American intervention is necessary for catching hold of big terrorist as local authorities are not strong enough to deal with them as they are under some fear not to act against them Asked by: Hitesh
- I'm not sure I understand your question but I would agree that Pakistan has not done enough to curb the excesses of homegrown jihadi groups and individuals like Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed. There is on fact plenty of evidence to suggest they have nurtured them. The world would be a much better place without them
- Did you bury Otter in the garden? This is a mystery we all want answered... Asked by: Rajesh
- Loved the book. Will it change anything though... Asked by: Ajay
- I cant answer that. We will have to wait and see.
- Why is it that your book can be considered as just another mystery novel while terrorist have always used innovative methods to get to power be it plane hijackings or assasinations as long as terrorism is given patronage by people in power for eg organisations like ISI and CIA for meeting political objectives of the govt in places like Israel and rest of world terrorism will be difficult to eliminate Asked by: Rij
- I agree that terrorism will never be elimated until government patronage stops, That applies not just to Pakistan and US, but also to India. The renegade system in Kashmir was deeply devisive and evil. People are still suffering its impact to this day