Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) says to use the economic, trade, media, foreign relations, military and covert measures against Pakistan

Nov 10 (Inditop) Hard military and economic counter actions should be the answer to Pakistan's cross border terror, says India's top business forum, regretting that New Delhi's response has so far been only "reactive and defensive".


"India has a basket of options (to) use against Pakistan… economic, trade, media, foreign relations, military and covert measures," the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), one of the largest business lobbies in the country, has said days before the first anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack Nov 26 last year.


In its "Task Force Report on National Security and Terrorism", a 118-page document on India's preparedness or the lack of it to quell terror attacks that was released Monday, FICCI observed that the terror attacks last year, including in Mumbai, Jaipur and Bangalore, were meant to "derail India's surging economic growth".


The task force has former bureaucrats, intelligence and defence officials on its panel, including Lt Gen (retd) Satish Nambiar, former air chief S. Krishnaswamy, former National Security Guard head Ved Prakash Marwah, retired additional cabinet secretary B. Raman and former Intelligence Bureau director Ajit Kumar Doval.


"The attacks by 10 terrorists who (came) from Pakistan were not just random… (they) were meant to frighten away the world from India's economic story… and to convey that no one was safe here," says the report about the 26/11 strike that claimed 170 lives.


The report documents in detail how Pakistan's policies on terrorism and its military establishment infused with jehadist mindset will continue to threaten India's surging economy and security in the coming years.


Pointing out that Pakistan "will maintain its infrastructure of terrorism – the networks that recruit, train, equip and finance jehadis", the report highlights how Pakistan's duplicitous policy was threatening not only India but also the world.


"India needs to be sanitised from influence or affliction by radical elements of Pak(istan)/Afghan origins that have their focus on destabilising India," the report states.


"So far India's response has been reactive and defensive. India must make Pakistan realise that continued use of terrorism against her will hurt itself more than India."


In this context, the report suggests "hard options" to make "sponsorship of terrorism prohibitive for our neighbours". For starters, the report suggests to "inflict economic pain" on Pakistan.


"Stop all imports from Pakistan, ban overflight by Pakistani airlines and significantly restrict travel between the two countries. Pakistan will react but the pain will be asymmetrically more for Pakistan," the report recommends.


"Covert retaliation. Immediate reprisal strikes should always be an option. India must revive its covert capabilities and be able to take deniable covert actions inside Pakistan."


"Surgical strikes. Conduct surgical strikes, particularly (at) Pakistan Occupied Kashmir terror camps. This can be done. India seems to know with reasonable certainty where these terror camps are. We should be prepared to deal with international disapproval and more importantly be prepared for escalation of war with Pakistan," says the report.


"Leveraging water issue. The Indus Water Treaty is highly tilted in favour of Pakistan. Water is a very serious issue for Pakistan and India channelising water for irrigation and power can seriously pressurise Pakistan."


The report notes that "it is fallacious to believe that the so-called soft attitude and double standards of the West on Pakistan will change".


"We have been paying a heavy price for it. They will not and it must be factored in India's response. Indian expectations of a hardline by the Obama administration against Pakistan have been belied. President Barack Obama has been following the traditional US policy of closing its eyes to Pakistan and Pakistan has always taken advantage of such double standards in the US counter-terrorism policy."