The media has been full of reports on the alleged plot to blow up jet liners due to a handful of men, mainly of Pakistani descent. This plot was supposedly exposed by British intelligence which received tips from Pakistan. Several young British men of Pakistani origin have been detained and taken away for questioning.
The lawyer for two of those detained has complained of harassment of her clients which included denial of food for over 24 hours and confinement in a cold cell and denial of blankets that the men sought.
At this point, it is also worth recalling that, according to a BBC report dated June 13, 2006 “Two brothers, one of whom was shot by police, have spoken about an anti-terrorist raid at their home in east London. The pair were released last week without charge.” The same report says “Brothers Mohammed Abdul Kahar and Abul Koyair, London-born but of Bangladeshi origin, were arrested on 2 June in a raid by the Metropolitan Police’s anti-terrorist squad. During the 0400 BST raid Mr Kahar was shot in the chest – the bullet missed his heart – by a police officer.”
This comes not much after the atrocious killing of a completely innocent man Mr. Jean Charles de Menezes in July 2005, after the terrible events of July 7, 2006 in which tens lost their lives in bombings in London’s public transport system, by the London police. There was little by way of apology from the London police and the involved officers are said to be back at work.
It may be worth recalling that the July 7, 2005 events came at a time when the G8 leaders were meeting in Gleneagles Castle and the demonstrations against the Iraq war were at an unparalleled high. The Bush-Blair pair was the target of public hate on a scale not seen before.
The present events surrounding the plot of jet liner bombing comes at a time when world over there is great disgust at the behaviour of Israel first in Gaza and then in Lebanon. The atrocities of Israel include the bombing of an apartment block in which over 50 lives were lost, the bombing of a well-marked UN post in which 4 observers were killed, and countless other incidents of ‘collateral damage’ due to the use of bombs with large blast radius in densely populated civilian areas, and the subsequent ground assault in Lebanon. These activities are being carried out with the full support of the USA which has agreed to rush more munitions to Israel, and with the full backing of Mr. Blair’s Government of UK. In this manner, the name of the Anglo-American camp is being reduced to mud in the eyes of the justice loving peoples of the world.
Given this scenario, irrespective of the veracity of the claims of the British Intelligence, it is the state organs that come out looking good, and the Government regains lost prestige in the public mind as the provider of security. The Government of Pakistan has used the occasion to portray itself as a friend of all those who are waging the ‘war on terror’ and as a friend of ‘western values’ in its adoption of ‘moderate Islam’ as opposed to the ‘fundamentalist Islam’ of those who are engaging in the war on terror. In order not to be outdone, Indian media claims that there are links to Jaish-e-Mohammed, a banned organization supposedly waging war on the Indian state.
Indeed, world over the present political system is one in which the state is increasingly abrogating its responsibility to the peoples. Rather than being a provider or guardian of the needs of the populations, be it in the sphere of basic necessities, education, transportation, employment, or indeed all those amenities which would allow the populations to lead a human existence, the state is increasingly one that merely stands by as a spectator, except to maintain ‘law and order’ and to build ‘infrastructure’ so that the maximum profit may be extracted from the labouring classes for the enrichment of the propertied classes, a state of affairs often referred to as ‘civil society’. This has been increasingly the case since the adoption of the Paris Charter after the collapse of the East bloc.
At these times of crisis of confidence in the state world over, the ‘war on terror’ comes as a great boon for these states to reassert their primacy, as providers of security of this kind. Each of these incidents is immediately followed by the further strengthening of the hands of security forces, of further repression of dissent, of war mongering and race-hate peddling.
In light of this, it is imperative that all progressive forces think hard about each of these events and mobilize opinion to prevent the harassment of targeted sections. They should rally to have these incidents individually probed, and demand the highest standards of law and justice, oppose all jingoism and chauvinism.
by B. Ananthanarayan