Small wonder that his Indian operations are now close to $6 billion in turnover, and $900 million in profits. If the Dawood group is no longer as active in masterminding violent actions in India, it is not because of a police force that they have vast influence over, but because he himself does not want to place is immensely lucrative Indian operations in jeopardy by launching a terror strike that may make it difficult for even his Cabinet-level accomplices to bail him out.
That India is enjoying a respite from terror strikes is due not only to the profits being made by those based in Karachi and Dubai who would otherwise be active planning bombings in India, but because of the fact that the US sees India as the only counterweight to China in Asia. Because of this perception, the US authorities have been immensely helpful in sharing input with their Indian counterparts, except in so far as providing evidence against those in the Pakistan establishment is concerned. Some in India would like to present the UN and the International Court of Justice with evidence against some members of the Pakistan establishment, so that they may be sanctioned and prosecuted as accomplices to terrorism.
However, the US side has refused to help India collect evidence against Pakistani officials, even while Washington is helping Delhi to identify and defuse specific threats against the country. Such cooperation is the reason why even a government as incompetent and venal as the UPA is able to ensure relatively few terror attacks in India since the Mumbai attack in 2008.
However, the vulnerability remains. The police in key cities continue to be corrupt, and more than a few senior officers are partners of narco syndicates. The Manmohan Singh government has ensured that the functioning of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) gets kept out of the provisions of the Right to Information Act. The purpose behind this is so that they can continue to use the CBI to blackmail politicians ( by filing corruption cases) or save from prosecution those who are allied to key politicians. Indeed, the Press Club in Delhi is well aware that the real boss of the CBI has been the soft-spoken Political Secretary to Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel.
A telephone call from Patel has key ministers standing to attention, the reason being that he is the only Congress leader trusted implicitly by Sonia Gandhi. The UPA Chairperson has the knack of locating people who are totally loyal to her and who are thereafter looked after by her. An example is a former high official in the PMO, who ensured a couple of years ago that coal blocks got allocated to those friendly to Number Ten ( 10 Janpath, the residence of Sonia Gandhi). This official was smart enough to usually rely on oral orders for allocation, rather than put such commands in writing, and was responsible for most of the key allotments.
Now, the entire episode of the allocation of coal mining blocks has become a scandal that has the potential to seriously wound Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The official, of course, has in the meantime moved out of the PMO, although it must be said to his credit that it is loyalty to Number Ten rather than cash that has been the motivation behind his frequent oral and other interventions while at the PMO. He himself is personally clean of financial wrongdoing, unlike many of his brother officers in high positions in the UPA government
It takes a lot of cash to operate in the political system in India, and because the laws are archaic and still reflect the colonial era of a century ago, the system is such that most of the actions ( such as campaign contributions or spending) regarded as normal in the civilised world are outlawed in India. The consequence is that political parties are forced to break the law to function, just as officials are forced into corruption in order to maintain their families. The system needs a complete overhaul so that it reflects the 21st century rather than the 19th.However, to a political and bureaucratic class that has fattened on the colonial-era system, any talk of change is anathema. Hence the resistance to civil society, when it demands change.
Copyright 2008 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.