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The Chronology of Events IA Flight 814 takes off from Kathmandu at 1615 (IST) hours on December 24, 1999.

Air traffic control is reported as asserting that shots were heard on the plane.

The five armed hijackers make pilot Captain Saran divert the plane over Lucknow and head for Lahore in Pakistan. The Lahore airport authorities refuse to permit the aircraft to land, forcing it to head back to Amritsar, India. The plane lands at Amritsar where the hijackers demand that the aircraft be refueled. The airport is sealed off. The airport authorities send over a tanker for refueling, but due to some problem they seek that the aircraft be brought closer to the tank. After a 25-minute wait, the hijackers make the aircraft take off by killing a passenger, Mr. Katyal and head for Lahore, with just enough fuel for the trip. India persuades the Pakistani authorities to permit the aircraft to land. Lahore airport is sealed off. The aircraft nearly crash lands and is surrounded by Pakistani commandos. It is refueled and headed for Kabul. But because of the lack of night-landing facilities there, and later, at Kandahar, the plane is diverted towards Dubai. It finally lands at the Al-Minhat air force base. The hijackers demand food, medicines and a step ladder since none is available. The UAE officials agree to negotiate if the women and children are allowed to disembark. The hijackers release 25 passengers, and allow the body of Mr. Katyal to be released to the UAE authorities. Early on December 25, 1999 morning, the flight takes off from Dubai for Afghanistan. At 0855 hours, it lands at Kandahar. Senior Indian officials opened talks with the hijackers to secure the release of hostages. Hijackers demand release of 35 other jailed terrorists besides Mohammad Masood Azhar and US $200 million for the release of 154 hostages. Later hijackers dropped their demands for a $200 million ransom and the exhumed remains of Afghan terrorist Sajjad Afghani. Passenger were released on December 31, 1999 after Government of India releases 3 terrorists. January 6, 2000: Hijackers have been identified as Pakistani nationals with links to ISI, an intelligence organization of the Pakistan Government.

Initial demand by the hijackers The hijackers initially demanded the release Mohammad Masood Azhar, who is currently serving jail sentence in India for terrorist activities. Azhar is a Pakistani national and is the General Secretary and ideologue of the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), an organization based in Pakistan which was in October 1997 designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States Department of State. The HUM was re-designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the State Department in its latest list released on October 8, 1999. Latest demands by the hijackers The hijackers of the Indian Airlines flight IC 814 have demanded the release of 35 other jailed terrorists besides Mohammad Masood Azhar and US $200 million for the release of 154 hostages. The hijackers have also demanded that the body of Harkat-ul-Ansar chief in Jammu & Kashmir Sajjad Afghani be exhumed and the coffin be handed over to them. According to news reports, the hijackers have dropped their demands for a $200 million ransom and the exhumed remains of Afghan terrorist Sajjad Afghani (06:30 AM EST, December 29, 1999). Final Solution India released 3 terrorists for the exchange of the Indian Airlines passengers.

Summary of External Affairs Minister's comments at a press briefing - December 27, 1999. The Government of India continues to monitor the situation. The Government has shared with the leaders of political parties in India information on developments in respect of the hijacking of flight IA-814. The leaders of political parties said that since developments were taking place at a fast pace, it was for the Government to decide on shapes should be taken. The safety and security of the passengers and crew and, above all, the national interest of the country remain the two main elements of India's approach. The meeting condoled the sad and regrettable death by stabbing of Shri Rupin Katyal. An airplane with essential materials, doctors, relief crew and a negotiating team is in the process of leaving for Kandhar. It was our expectation that the aircraft will leave for Kandhar within the next 2-3 hours. In the course of the last two days EAM had contacted his counterparts in several countries including Australia, Russia, Canada, Great Britain, USA, Switzerland, Italy, Bangladesh and Nepal to seek their active cooperation on humanitarian grounds. In response to questions, EAM said the following: The Government was aware of reports of the deadline apparently set by the hijackers. Our direct contacts with them will enable us to know the exact nature of their demands. The relief aircraft would have gone yesterday but for procedural difficulties not on account of the Government of India. The cooperation we are receiving from the US administration is totally satisfactory. EAM has been in touch with his counterpart in Pakistan. The Pakistani reaction was that whatever they do will be within the four corners of the law and transparent. Statement by Jaswant Singh, External Affairs Minister at a Press Conference - December 26, 1999 It has been 48 hours since the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight 814. The Government's first concern remains the welfare of the passengers and crew who continue to be held captive by the hijackers. Their comfort and early safe return remains our first priority. This requires that the hijacking be terminated at the earliest. That is why, in the circumstances, we have been taking all steps that we believe are both prudent and productive towards these objectives. Ever since the aircraft was hijacked, we have been constantly monitoring the situation. It left Dubai yesterday morning and reached Kandahar around 08-30 am. Since then, constant contact has been maintained with Taliban officials in Islamabad and Kandahar on this matter. In these contacts, we have consistently emphasised the importance that we attach to the safety and welfare of the passengers and crew. Late last evening, a Taliban official in Islamabad informed our High Commission that two persons had come out of the aircraft. They were met by Taliban officials. They conveyed the demand for the release of Maulana Masood Azhar, a Pakistani national who has been in our custody, on charges of terrorism, since January 1994. Masood Azhar belongs to the Harkat-ul Mujahideen, which has been involved in terrorism in India and also in the kidnapping of five foreign nationals in India in 1994. Repeated attempts have been made by the Pakistan Government to secure his release. Additionally, some other Pakistani terrorist organizations have also, in the past, resorted to terrorist and criminal methods for this very purpose.

The Government of India like a large section of the international community, condemns terrorism in all Its aspects. We have been engaged with our partners and friends abroad, bilaterally and in addressing international fora, in addressing this menace, of which many countries are targets. The present incident of hijacking, once again highlights the need for the international community to rally as one, to address the problem. Ambassador Naresh Chandra's interview on CNN December 26, 1999 ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: Joining us now from Los Angeles, Naresh Chandra, the Indian ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Chandra, thank you for joining us. Your government has said that it refuses to negotiate. Why, and if you don't open a dialogue, how do you expect this incident to end peacefully? NARESH CHANDRA, INDIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Well, it is the policy of most governments not to negotiate with terrorists, because the danger is, if you succumb to these kinds of demands from terrorists who have involved in kidnapping, hijacking and murder, you will be setting a very bad incident. This is not the first case where people have been kidnapped to secure the release of this particular individual from Pakistan. We had five people kidnapped by the same group some years back, and they killed one hostage -- Monstro (ph) -- beheaded him, and the fate of the other four hostages they have taken, it is still not known, which included an American and three Europeans. HALL: The incident, of course, has fueled the political fire between India and Pakistan. What is the priority for your country then at this point for ending the crisis? HALL: Well we would urge that this act of hijacking is not seen in the India-Pakistan context. It is the work of a terrorist group. It cannot be allowed to go on in this fashion. There is no question of succumbing to the demands under duress. We are, of course, focusing on the safety and the security of the passengers and finding the best way to secure their release. HALL: What do you suppose that best way is? CHANDRA: Well, we will negotiate. There are people there, and the negotiation is not to be carried on through agencies like the U.N. They are there for humanitarian aid and assistance. We feel that if international pressure is there, then the terrorists will find that the propaganda advantage they hope to derive from this dastardly act is not forthcoming. Then they will relent. If they are encouraged through the success of their propaganda, then of course they will persist for some time. HALL: Are you advocating this to be a waiting game then at this point? You're going to wait these hijackers out? CHANDRA: Well, I'm not directly involved with the negotiations at the ground or the concentration being given to it at Delhi. But it's a very hard (ph) choice that has been forced upon the government, and we are keeping our options open. But our policy not to negotiate with the terrorists in this kind of situation holds. HALL: We received a press release from the embassy of Pakistan. I want to read to you a question that this press release raises. "Why did the Indian government refuse permission for the airliner to land at Lucknow, as requested by the captain. Can you answer that question for us, sir? CHANDRA: Well, I'm not aware of the full facts. I'll have to check whether they requested permission to land at Lucknow. I'm sure if the permission was asked and it was safe to allow the plane to land there, the

permission would have been given. So I'm not of the moment aware of all the facts at Lucknow. In fact, this is the first time I'm hearing of this addition. HALL: And can you tell us your country's next step at this point, right now, today in the third day of this hostage standoff? CHANDRA: We are in touch with friendly governments. There are nationals of other countries who are on the aircraft. The U.N. coordinator of Afghanistan, he's at Kandahar. And we are hoping that through the Taliban representatives, the U.N. representatives a proper message will be given to the terrorist group who are holding these people hostage that this is not going to succeed and that they have to come to terms with the reality. HALL: Naresh Chandra, Ambassador to the U.S., we thank you for being with us on WORLDVIEW. CHANDRA: Thank you, thank you. Statement by the Prime Minister - December 25, 1999 Yesterday an Indian Airlines flight from Kathmandu to Delhi was hijacked. Since then, the hijackers have flown from airport to airport landing at Qandahar in Afghanistan earlier this morning. My first concern is the safety of the passengers and the crew on board the aircraft. We are doing everything possible to ensure that they return home unharmed. These last 20 hours have been extremely stressful for the families of the passengers and the crew. I understand and fully share their anxiety. I also share the anger and grief in the country, particularly over the killing of Rupin Katyal. I and my colleagues have been constantly monitoring the situation. We are in touch with various countries, as well as the United Nations. This hijacking is an act of terrorism by desperate men who have no respect for human lives and human rights. It has brought home with full impact the horror of terrorism that the country faces. We have to face this challenge with determination and self-confidence. My Government will not bend before such a show of terror. President of India's Message - December 25, 1999 The heinous terrorist action of hijacking an Indian Airlines flight causing death, injury and grievous trauma to innocent passengers needs to be condemned in the strongest terms. This incident once again highlights the need for concerted international action to prevent terrorists from holding the world to ransom in the name of whatever causes they may claim to espouse. I would like to express India's appreciation to all countries that extended cooperation in dealing with this serious incident. I join the nation in mourning the loss of life and in extending sympathetic support to the passengers and their near and dear ones who are undergoing prolonged anxiety and agony as a result of this dastardly act. Profile of the terrorist group involved in hijacking, December 27, 1999 An Indian Airlines aircraft on a routine flight from Kathmandu (Nepal) to New Delhi on Friday December 24, was hijacked and, after a traumatic journey that took it to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, is currently in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan since the early hours of Saturday December 25, where over 160 passengers and crew members continue to remain hostage in rapidly deteriorating

conditions. A team of officials from India is presently negotiating with the hijackers in Kandahar in order to secure the safe and speedy release of all the hostages. The hijackers have demanded the release from jail in India of Mohammad Masood Azhar, whom sections of the international media have euphemistically described as an Islamic cleric from Pakistan, but who is in fact the General Secretary and ideologue of the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), an organization based in Pakistan which was in October 1997 designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation by the United States Department of State. The HUM was re-designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation by the State Department in its latest list released on October 8, 1999. Azhar is an Islamic cleric only in the sense that Sheikh Omar Abdel Rehman of the World Trade Center bombing notoriety was also said to be one. In its Background Information on Foreign Terrorist Organisations released on October 8 1999, the Office of Counterterrorism of the US Department of State has described the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), a.k.a. Harakat-ul-Ansar, HUA, Al Hadid, Al Hadith, Al Faran as an Islamic militant group based in Pakistan whose leader Fazlur Rehman Khalil has been linked to Bin Laden and signed his fatwa in February 1998, calling for attacks on US and Western interests. Khalil, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Harakat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami International (HUJI), broke away from the parent organization in 1985 to form a separate group Harakat-ul-Mujahideen. There were subsequent attempts to re-unite the two breakaway factions, and the merged group came to be known as the Harakat-ul-Ansar. It changed its name to Harakat-ul-Mujahideen in 1997 after it was designated a terrorist organization by the United States. Masood Azhar, the General Secretary of the organisation, who hails from Bahawalpur in Pakistan, entered the state of Jammu & Kashmir in India in January 1994 on a false Portuguese passport and was arrested by the Indian police the following month because of his involvement in terrorist activities. There have been several earlier attempts by the HUM to secure the release of Masood Azhar by resorting to abduction as a bargaining tool. Two British nationals were kidnapped on June 6, 1994 at Pahalgam in Jammu & Kashmir. Another group of three Britishers and one American was abducted in Delhi in September the same year. Six foreign tourists, including two American nationals, were kidnapped again at Pahalgam in July 1995. One of the hostages, John Childs (a citizen of the USA) escaped, another (a Norwegian national) was beheaded by the Harakat, and four others, including an American national, are still missing. The recent hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft is the most brazen terrorist attempt yet by the HUM to secure the release of its General Secretary Masood Azhar. The Government of India most vehemently condemns this and all acts of terrorism. The United States Government today has also condemned in the strongest terms the hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft and the holding of 160 passengers as hostages. Indias External Affairs Minister Mr. Jaswant Singh has called attention to the need for the international community to rally as one to address the problem. US Reaction to the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 Press Statement by James B. Foley, Deputy Spokesman December 31, 1999 Release of hostages from hijacking of Indian Airlines We join India and those other countries affected by the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814 in welcoming home the hostages who were released December 31. We reiterate our condemnation of this horrific and inhuman act. We are gratified that the hijacking was resolved with no additional loss of life. Our sympathy goes out to the family of Mr. Katyal, the Indian national who was killed during the hijacking. We wish to acknowledge the important role played by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which provided valuable humanitarian support to alleviate the plight of the hostages during this ordeal. We were in close touch with the Indian government during this incident and were impressed by the tireless efforts of Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, and other Indian officials to resolve the incident. We will continue to work with India and others to strengthen our cooperation to combat international terrorism. As Prime Minister Vajpayee said in his address to the

Indian people on New Years Eve, "The battle against terrorism can be won by all nations acting together." The release of the hostages is not the end of the matter. We will work with other governments to see that those responsible are brought to justice. In this connection, all parties to the relevant international convention on aircraft hijacking are obliged to prosecute or extradite those who committed this hijacking and the murder of Mr. Katyal during the course of it. This should be our highest priority in the days ahead. Statement by Spokesman, US Department of State, December 27, 1999 The United States Government condemns in the strongest terms the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight 814 and the holding of 160 passengers as hostages since Friday, December 24. We consider this terrorist act inhuman and we call for the immediate safe release of all hostages. We understand that the Indian Airlines flight that originated in Kathmandu, Nepal, continues to be held at the Kandahar Airport in Afghanistan by hijackers. We understand from press accounts that the hijackers are demanding the release of a number of individuals under detention in India. These include Masood Azhar, whose release was the objective of an earlier terrorist kidnapping in Kashmir. Azhar was affiliated with the Harakat ul-Ansar, a group now known as the Harakat ul-Mujahideen and designated by the U.S. government as a "foreign terrorist organization." We welcome the news that an Indian negotiating team is in Kandahar and has begun its work with Taliban authorities, UN representatives, and the hijackers toward a resolution. We call on the Taliban authority and the governments of the region to work together in close coordination to end this hijacking and to restrict their public comments to those that serve this objective. Obviously, the hijackers are responsible for the safety of the hostages they are holding. We also welcome UN preparations for contingencies at the Kandahar airport. We will remain in close contact with the governments of India and Pakistan as well as with UN representatives. Congressman Frank Pallone condemns Indian Airlines hijacking; calls for greater India - US cooperation in fight against terrorism December 31, 1999 Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., D-NJ, today strongly condemned the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight 814 and the holding of 160 passengers and crew as hostages. Pallone, who has been one of Congress's most outspoken voices warning of the danger of the armed separatist movement operating in India's state of Jammu and Kashmir, said that the incident demonstrates the need for the U.S. to upgrade its cooperation with India on counter-terrorism efforts. "At this time, our foremost thoughts are with the hostages and their families," Pallone said. "I appeal to the hijackers to release the passengers and crew, and I urge the Taliban authorities to play a helpful role in bringing this crisis to a peaceful conclusion. "This incident is another reminder of the threat that terrorism poses to all democracies. India and the United States have both been particularly targeted by Osama bin-Laden and the loose network of militant forces who share his goals. This is a further indication of the need for increased partnership between the U.S. and India in identifying the shared threats we face and devising ways to protect our citizens in ways consistent with open, democratic societies." Pallone said the current hostage situation is linked to the militant movement waging a campaign of terror and violence against both military and civilian targets in an effort to end Indian governance of Kashmir. Pakistan has acknowledged its "political and moral" support for the separatist movement, but Pallone has frequently charged that Pakistan's support goes far deeper. The U.S. State Department has described the Harakat-ul-Mujahudeen as an "Islamic militant group based in Pakistan." One of the hijackers' demands is the release of the organization's General Secretary, Masood Azhar, who hails from Pakistan.

"I hope this incident will alert the world to the threat India faces from this terrorist movement," Pallone said. "I believe that Pakistan must be held accountable for contributing to this violence and instability. There should be more pressure brought to bear on Pakistan to be part of the solution, instead of continuing to exacerbate this problem." Senator Harry Reid denounces hijacking of Indian Airlines Jet, December 29, 1999 Washington, DC U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Assistant Democratic Leader in the U.S. Senate, today condemned the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814 by terrorists and expressed his strong support for the Indian government's ongoing efforts to release the hostages. "The hijacking of the Indian Airlines jet and murder of an innocent civilian are reprehensible acts of lawlessness and must be condemned by the international community. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this criminal act and it is my hope that the situation will be resolved immediately," said Senator Reid. Reid, who will be a part of a congressional delegation trip to six countries in early January, including India, said that he expects to discuss how the U.S. Government can work with India and other nations in a multilateral effort to fight terrorism. "Combating terrorism at home and abroad will be one of our biggest national security challenges in the new century, and because it's a global problem, it demands a unified global response from peace-loving nations," said Reid. Reid pointed to the recent rumor that a suspected terrorist bought an airline ticket to Las Vegas as an example how terrorism can affect people's daily lives. "No one is immune from the fear that terrorism can instill in people, as evidenced by the unconfirmed reports that a suspected terrorist planned to travel to Las Vegas. It demonstrates the need for law enforcement to be constantly vigilant and to keep the fight against terrorism at the top of the international agenda," said Reid. Reid said he contacted the FBI after the reports and was informed that the FBI has not uncovered any credible evidence that anyone suspected of terrorism has traveled to Las Vegas. Reid has asked federal law enforcement to keep him informed of any developments concerning the matter. Congressman McCollum Condemns Terrorist Hijacking of Indian Airlines December 28, 1999 Washington, D.C. Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL), Chairman of the House Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, issued the following statement condemning the actions of the hijackers of an Indian Airlines aircraft currently grounded in Afghanistan: "State-sponsored terrorism, such as this hijacking, is unacceptable. The United States and the civilized societies of the world must never condone this most inhumane form of terrorism. We, along with our allies such as India, must together fight terrorism in order to protect the lives of innocent men, women and children around the world." "It is my hope and my prayer that this tragic situation be resolved as quickly as possible, and all of the hostages will remain unharmed and will be freed. May our prayers be with the passengers, flight crew and their families during this tragic ordeal." Congressmen Gilman and Gejdenson Condemn Terrorist Hijacking of Indian Airlines Jet Washington DC, December 26, 1999- House International Relations Committee Chairman Ben Gilman (R-NY) and Ranking Democrat Sam Gejdenson (D-CT) condemned the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight 814 as a blatant act of terrorism and urged for the immediate release of all passengers and crew. "The kidnapping and murder of innocent civilians and the hijacking of an airplane is a hideous form of terrorism that our nation and the civilized world will never condone," Chairman Gilman stated. "The Committee on International Relations and the U.S. Congress sends its sympathy to the victims and families and its support to the Indian government during this tragedy."

"This is a cowardly act of terrorism against innocent civilians," Gejdenson stated. "Our hearts go out to the passengers and families as they endure this horrible ordeal. Chairman Gilman and I extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. Katyal and others who may have lost their loved ones to this barbaric act." The two lawmakers pledged the support of the United States Congress in working with India and other countries to combat global terrorism. "Terrorism is the single biggest threat to our national security." Gejdenson noted. "As we have seen by this latest hijacking, terrorism knows no boundaries. I intend to discuss with the Indian government ways in which the United States and India can work together to combat terrorism." The Connecticut lawmaker will be leading a trade delegation to India in January. "We urge the hijackers to release the passengers and crew of Indian Airlines flight 814. Freedom loving nations around the world will never sympathize with a political cause that commits unforgivable crimes against innocent civilians," Chairman Gilman pointed out. "Rep. Gejdenson and I believe that this ordeal once again strongly indicates that the United States and India face similar threats to our common democratic forms of governments and we must forge closer ties on every level and particularly in combating terrorism." Media reports on hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814

U.S. Pressures Pakistan to Cut Ties With Extremist Groups - Washington Post, January 26, 2000 U.S. Concludes Pakistan-Backed Group Played Role in Hijacking - New York Times, January 25, 2000 Use leverage on Pakistan while we can - Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2000 Weapons against terrorism - Washington Times, January 11, 2000 Hostage Confirms Hijackers' Identities - Associated Press, January 11, 2000 Undiminished terrorism threat - The Washington Times, January 5, 2000 Hunt these hijackers down - The Chicago Tribune, January 03, 2000 We must formulate plan to deal with terrorists - The Buffalo News, January 01, 2000 Hijackers Demand $200 Million and 35 Rebels' Release - Los Angeles Times, December 29, 1999 3rd Attempt to Free Pakistani Militant - New York Times, December 29, 1999 Hijackers wage their holy war - Christian Science Monitor, December 27, 1999

Some of the longest hijackings: July 23 - September 1, 1968 (40 days): Members of the popular front for the liberation of Palestine divert a Rome to Tel Aviv flight on El Al to Algiers. The last hostages are released on September 1, 1968. June 14 - July 1, 1985 (18 days): Shiite gunmen seize a TWA Boeing 727, forcing it to Beirut, Lebanon. They demand the release of 700 Arabs held by Israel. A US Navy diver is killed and 39 Americans are held until they are released after Syrian mediation. April 5 - 20, 1988 (16 days): Shiite gunmen hijack a Kuwait Airways Jumbo jet en route from Thailand to Kuwait and divert it to Iran, Cyprus and Algeria. They demand Kuwait free 17 pro-Iranian terrorists. The hijackers kill two passengers and free the rest. March 2- 14, 1981 (13 days): Three Pakistanis hijack a Pakistan International Airlines plane on a flight from Karachi to Peshawar, and force it to fly to Afghanistan and then to Syria. They leave the aircraft after Pakistan agrees to free 54 political prisoners. December 24 - 31, 1999 (8 days): Hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC - 814 June 27 - July 4, 1976 (8 days): Palestinian and German terrorists hijack an Air France airliner to Entebbe, Uganda, and demand the release of 53 pro-Palestinian prisoners in Israel, Kenya and Europe. Israeli commandos raid the craft and rescue the hostages, killing four civilians during the rescue.

December 3 - 8, 1984 (6 days): Shiite gunmen seize a Kuwait Airways plane from Dubai to Karachi and force it to land in Tehran. They demand that Kuwaiti free 17 people convicted of carrying out bombings on US and French facilities in Kuwait. Two Americans are killed. Iranian security forces then storm the Jetliner. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Lessons from Entebbe and Kandahar Leadership and Strategic Capability B. Ashok* Faultlines: Volume 20, January 2011

The hostage release operations at Entebbe (Uganda, 1976) and Kandahar (Afghanistan, 1999) are studies in contrast from the point of view of classic phases in hostage crises and the respective responses of the state actors. The strategic centrality of the hostage takers' demands is emphasized as the key dynamic that sets a series of option-searching and decision-making acts in motion. The various preconditioning factors determining the interests of hostage takers and state actors in the developing crises are traced out, in addition to an analysis of why the Indian response to Kandahar was operationally and strategically flawed, with a long-term impact on India's hostage doctrine. Two Crises, Two Outcomes July 4, 1976, and December 31, 1999, are crucial dates that changed the way two important democracies facing the most protracted and destructive territorial disputes (Palestine and Kashmir) respectively faced their 'moment of truth' with different strategies, styles, tactics, capabilities and end results. These divergent challenges, decisions and responses had dramatic and lasting impact on the two nations' counter-terror doctrines and on their popular psyche. The first of these incidents ended in Entebbe in Uganda with the forced storming, extraction of hostages and execution of all directly involved terrorists by Israeli commandos. The second ended in Kandahar in Afghanistan, marked by the negotiated release of hostages with the exchange of crucial previously arrested terrorist assets, including motivationally and doctrinally important leaders.

Both events deeply affected post-incident national attitudes: the first marked by dynamic optimism and progressive though prolonged negotiations towards a political solution for the underlying problem; the second tainted by low morale, open drift and weakness in the political leadership, escalated terrorist violence, including attacks on audaciously demonstrative targets such as the Indian Parliament using suicide squads, successful strikes at numerous chosen targets by militants, and a state of general pessimism, lack of confidence and indignity amongst the responding (security) community. Both, therefore, were rare instances of crucial successes: one from a State's point of view and the other from an anti-State actor's point of view. Entebbe reflected the military and strategic supremacy of Israel, which could not possibly be regionally challenged any further, at that stage, by Palestinian capabilities; while Kandahar brutally reminded India that all its strength in conventional and strategic forces did not necessarily add up to overcome the leadership challenge which - combined with a series of real-time tactical errors characterized by an intensely risk averse and bureaucratic decision-making process, and by the extreme lack of accountability of systems - established a legacy of capitulation and extreme willingness to accept soft options. The Indian response demonstrated unambiguously that strategic goals tended to be ignored or pushed to the background by posturing and ephemeral, rhetorical, highly questionable and whimsical policies unfortunately thrust upon the nation arbitrarily. Entebbe successfully demonstrated the effectiveness and reach of Israel's swift military capability. Kandahar once again exposed India's faction ridden political mosaic, incoherent and uncoordinated policing and public service system, weaknesses in in-country and foreign intelligence coordination, poor development of strategy and tactical apparatus , and, overall, an unaccountable and capricious leadership at the moment of crisis. Worse, the manifest failures to arrive at timely decisions and the faulty decisions taken by senior executives and political leaders in India were never systematically examined post facto by any suitable public investigation, and no accountability was ever fixed. The 'lessons not learnt and refused to be learnt' further exposed India's aviation sector, which is a key national asset for terrorist takeovers and even catastrophic attacks like September 11, 2001. This paper explores eight crucial aspects of the Entebbe and Kandahar crises and looks for learning points from the Israeli and Indian experience. Aviation hostage crises in history After the September 2001 attacks in New York, the issue of aviation security in the context of terrorist takeovers of civilian aircraft has assumed new significance. The 9/11 attack also marked a profound tactical departure from conventional hostage-taking, which was defensive, to the new and deadly combination of human shields, aircraft fuselages as missiles, huge quantities of aviation fuel as warheads, and the tactical choice of high visibility targets, to enhance the damage potential to the level of weapons of mass destruction. The first wave of hijackings in the post-World War II era was mostly done by convicts or refugees escaping from communist countries, or political dissenters, fleeing hostile regimes. An analysis of all hijacking incidents since 1947 shows that 61 per cent of these were committed to facilitate refugee escapes.1 Hijackings exploded between 1968 and 1969, at the peak of the Cold War - nuclear deterrence was, paradoxically, threatening civil aviation security. In 1969, there were 82 hijack attempts in the World, more than the total number of attempts in the preceding two decades between 1947 and 1967.2 After 1968, a majority of hijackings were executed by US's criminals fleeing for Cuba or in attempts to escalate the Israel-Palestinian conflict, where terrorists used hijacking as a political weapon to publicize their cause and to secure release of key Palestinian terrorist assets from prisons. The anti-Hijack measures initiated in the US from 1973 and diplomatic initiatives such as the US-Cuba hijack pact substantially reduced hijacks after the 1967 - 1976 period, when total incidents peaked, with 385 events world wide.3 Between 1977 and 1986, the phenomenon declined, with 200 incidents, a level roughly maintained in the succeeding decade, with 212 incidents between 1987 and 1996.4

Between 1980 and 1990, however, terrorists shifted attention to larger transport aircraft as 'stunt terrorism' targets. The Air India bombing in 1985 near Canada and the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie (UK) in 1988 demonstrated this trend. However, hostage-hijacks continued as an instrument to coerce state actors to give concessions to prisoners. The TWA hijack to Beirut in 1989 and the Kuwait Airways hijack of 1988 were successful from the terrorist point of view. On the other hand, the December 1994 hijacks by the armed Algerian Islamic Group (GIA) resulted in French Gendarmerie storming the aircraft and releasing all passengers and troops in Marseilles. When suicide hijackers gain control of an aircraft, it is critical that the information regarding its flight path and possible target or destination is conveyed as rapidly as possible to crisis decision makers and that air traffic control, civilian and military authorities coordinate all emergency action. Post 9/11, aircraft have become potential weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Countries like France have deployed surface to air missiles around key political targets to provide swifter responses than interception by fighter aircraft. Countries including India are also establishing 'no fly zones' and well rehearsed plans to prevent 'suicide sabotage' scenarios. With these, combined with a high degree of boarding gate and in-flight security, aviation experts hope to contain the challenge. An interesting technological innovation which would prevent purposeful sabotage is a computer programme called Robolander which will allow the ground air traffic controller to override the manual aircraft landing system and land the craft safely, despite manifest control by the pilot, thus avoiding the incentive for the hijackers to harm passengers or pilots. Adoption of this system will, however, be timeconsuming and demands a high degree of international coordination and standardization. The chance of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) itself becoming the target of hijack, subterfuge and takeover cannot, moreover, be ruled out once such a system is established. The Kinetics of Entebbe and Kandahar Both Entebbe and Kandahar have all the classic phases of an aviation hostage crisis. Though separated by more than 23 years in time, and by radical intervening changes in the polarity of global political arrangements, a quantum jump in military hardware, the digitization of signals and warfare, internet and more sophisticated satellite and human intelligence systems, they broadly conform to established patterns in the tricks, tactics and strategies of a hostage taker. Centrality and dynamics of objective and aggressors' demand The primary attribute of the hostage taker/hijacker is the absolute clarity of his/her objective and stake in the process. The sophisticated scheming and tactics adopted by them follows a doctrine which is established at fairly high levels of the terror organization's hierarchy. The strategic objective of the Entebbe hostage takers, the People's Liberation Front of Palestine (PLFP) and the Kandahar hijackers, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) with the support of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's external intelligence agency, was to secure the release of some of their key leadership and operatives jailed in the States fighting the terrorist organizations. The Entebbe incident involved Flight 139, an Air France Jet carrying 256 passengers and 12 crew members, flying from Tel Aviv (Israel) through Athens (Greece) to Paris (France). Here, the hijackers demanded the release of about 50 terrorist leaders and supporters jailed in many countries, including Israel, France and Kenya. In retrospect, by this tactical blunder in demanding an internationally unattainable objective, the hijackers forced Israel to seriously consider, plan and finally execute the military operation at Entebbe. The successful IC 814 hijacking involved an Indian Airlines plane with 178 passengers and 11 crew members aboard. In this case, the hijackers exhibited great flexibility and political awareness to narrow their tactical objective down to the release of just three key militants jailed within their target country, India, down from the release of 36 terrorists originally demanded. The hijackers also showed willingness to drop two possibly difficult demands - the recovery of the dead body of a terrorist and demands for a ransom (stated at USD 200 million), in addition to tactical concessions exchanged with national authorities during the flights interim halt at Dubai (release of some women and some children for food and fuel). With military support from the then Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and overt support from the ISI, eventual negotiated settlement ended the game very

much on the hijackers' terms. The lesson for all future possible hijackers from the limited and precise nature of the HuM demands is that demands which tend to be successful have a borderline status of possible political acceptability, with the target Government being able to make an explicit case that the outcome does not amount to a major setback or an outright military defeat. Demands, consequently, need more than amateur consideration; they need to be weighed for tactical superiority, objective, morale, possibility of compliance by the state actor, and flexibility to scale down to essentials. The demands should never be set at a level that compels military action as the only option left for key decision-maker in the target country. The outcome must be politically marketable, and must not cross the threshold into a 'no go' situation, forcing a radical military response. Steeper demands can only be supported with much weightier stakes, such as VIP hostages or WMD, to force the target State to play the game on the terrorists' terms. Choice of space and time In both Entebbe and Kandahar, the hijackers used a third territory, where the threat perception to stage and board the aircraft was lower. In the Entebbe case, Athens was much less guarded as a target airport and the metal detector was not even manned. The hijackers showed initiative and imagination in striking at the point of least resistance. For Entebbe, the four 'muscle hijackers' - two Arabs and two terrorists for hire who were German nationals - transferred in transit from Singapore Airline flight 763 from Bahrain. In the IC 814 case, which ended at Kandahar, the transfer of five hijackers was from a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft again through transit at Kathmandu (Nepal). In this critical event at Kathmandu, the complicity of an ISI officer has been established beyond doubt by local authorities.5 However, some complicity of the security details in Kathmandu cannot be ruled out. In addition to the hand guns and Kalashnikovs the hijackers brandished at onset of the crisis, they also subsequently accessed a large cache of ammunition stowed in the baggage hold of the aircraft, once the flight landed at Kandahar. Flight 139 was hijacked immediately after departure from Athens. Flight IC 814 was hijacked after a short delay, about 20 minutes into the flight, after entering Indian territory. The hijackers waited tactically for the cockpit hatch to be opened for beverage services so establishing control over the pilots could be easier. Both takeovers were rapid: less than a minute long and executed very quickly, with full coordination, precision and role clarity. Kinetic analysis reveals repeated rehearsals. Hijackers typically sprung to the aisles and brandished weapons, attacked some closer passengers with bare hands or the butt of weapons and ensured that the entire passenger cabin received the shocking message loud and clear. It is likely that the hijackers rehearsed this phase repeatedly, since the potential for resistance or violence at this point during the crisis tends to be at a maximum. Neutralizing any potential resistance at the very beginning, if necessary, by hurting a passenger or two who show poor or late compliance to orders, is a stunning tactic used by many hijackers. Subjugation to the fear of brandished weapons and taking cover from possible bodily hurt is the key theme in the minds of the hostages and they barely think about the medium term outcome or finale of the unfolding drama. The tactical objective of hijackers is to dominate the aisles and segregate passengers, with military-aged males (MaM) securely tied up and at close gunpoint. In most instances, they are the first targets of 'humane' execution. Choice of staging for negotiation The first onset phase usually ends with the hijackers securing and positioning the craft and hostages for negotiation and easy selective targeting, in case they resort to execution. Family members are segregated from each other and males, females and children seated separately. By the time the craft is positioned or stabilized, the key issue in the demands would be exchanged between the hostages and negotiators or/and state party involved. In this phase, the hijackers would vehemently try to evade the state party's territory, particularly after the well publicized positioning of anti-hijack squads in striking distance from most important civil airports in strategic locations. In the Entebbe case, the hijackers, with the help of their political masters, chose Libya and Uganda as successive interim locations, where

no hostility to their political cause was to be expected. Landing in Libya was planned for refueling. The Libyan, Pakistani (Lahore) and Dubai leaderships behaved similarly. They allowed refueling and replenishment of food and cleaning, but refused to entertain the other demands, such as extended stay. The choice of Uganda under dictator Idi Amin, who helped the Palestinian hijackers overtly, and of Kandahar, where the anti-Indian hijackers expected and promptly received military, logistical and political support from the Taliban, with whom India was yet to establish any diplomatic relationship after their take-over of the country in 1996, demonstrate this point. Israel also had no direct diplomatic relations with Uganda and Amin's enmity to Israel and his support to the Palestinian cause at that time was well known. Stabilisation Phase Once the status quo between the hijackers and the hostages is established and the rules of engagement are clear to both parties, the hijack could be considered to be stabilised or poised for resolution or escalation, depending on the next strategic moves by the actors. The instances under present analysis entered the phase of stabilization as soon as the craft touched down in Entebbe and the hostages were secured in the old terminal block there; and, in the Indian case, as they were securely held in the cold aircraft on the Kandahar tarmac, freed from any risk of assault from Indian Forces. This phase demonstrated the clear domination of, and control of the tactical initiative by, the hijackers. They held the bargaining chips the option of declaring and altering the deadlines and specific threats of execution of or harm to hostages at frequent intervals. The idea is to allow domestic pressure on the hostage community to escalate and counter-balance the apparent political inconvenience of the decisions demanded. Deadlines of less than 24 hours are counter productive here. Sufficient time is allowed for media to expand story as well as concentrate attack on the state actors, usually for their presumed indecision and inaction. Since there is no exigency on their part on account of immediate threat and since they are well defended by friendly national troops, the key choice left before the state actor is to choose between negotiated processes or the option of military force. Apart from debating the particular concessions sought, this is the central dilemma of the state actor in any air hostage crisis. The constraints on state actors in such cases include the total lack of control in the territory where stabilisation has been engineered, possible problems with international law of aggression, and air traffic access; and the potential of full casualty, which may domestically be perceived as a political and military defeat. The Non-choice of No-negotiation There are two negotiation models in vogue (1) the US / Israel professed model of no negotiations with terrorists; and (2) the pragmatic model of talking formally to avoid/delay harm, and simultaneously explore force or political options, as frequently adopted by India and many other countries. The engagement of negotiators is however inevitable in either case. Even US and Israel negotiate through the national party in the holding territory or through third parties, at least for the level of logistics and supplies. Entirely cutting off communications with the craft or the hijackers is never an option, since they can always sacrifice a token hostage to force the reopening of the doors of negotiation or take even more drastic actions. Once negotiators from, or representing, the target country are positioned and engaged, the onus of problem solving is shifts to the target country. The highest executive authority will have to consider the often politically damaging demands, while the military option may resurface if a credible plan is offered and mounted at this stage. Here, the military leadership, if consulted right from the beginning, can explore windows of professional opportunity. One clear rule to be kept in mind, from classic negotiation theory is that the negotiators mandate must be fixed hourly or even more frequently by the political advisors and key functionaries in charge. The force option, if planned, must not be known at all to the negotiators. If the storming is planned it must be done by a separate team and the principal negotiator must be given the mandate of distracting the lead terrorist. Before the storming action is initiated, no word of it must even be contemplated in the negotiation room. Even the slightest hint of the option of force being explored in the voice or tenor of

the negotiator can provoke a catastrophic ending. Clearly, in both the Entebbe and the Kandahar instances, the stabilisation phase started on day three and four, respectively. In the Israeli case, the hijackers exchanged French and non-Israeli passengers for food and services, met the demanded release of some other hostages and also set a 48 hour first deadline. In Kandahar also, after December 27, 1999, a little too late according to some observers, the civilian team led by an Indian diplomat engaged the hijackers in negotiations and finalized the demand for release of three terrorists, leaving roughly 72 hours for the Indian Government to consider all their options. Both aircrafts and hostages remained in captivity for almost eight days, Indians reaching freedom on the eve of the millennial New Year in Delhi. The reason why Israel considered the military operation early and actively can be attributed to its freshly sanguinary history as a targetted nation; a persistent hostage and victim consciousness, which prompts retaliation; a strong resonance of the harsh memories of the holocaust; and a determination in the political leadership that the horrors of the past would never be repeated at any costs, (As the then highest ranking officer of the Israel Defence Forces IDF expressed it, "What good is Israel if Israelis are selected and slaughtered?");6 and the early realisation that the demands of the hijackers were unrealistic, amateurish and practically impossible to meet. It was, interestingly, the Israeli Defense Minister Shimon Peres who asked the Chief of Staff, Motuhai Motu Gaur, to prepare "the plans he did not have". While Generl Gaur had initially recommended a negotiated political settlement, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Peres, who were political rivals by that time, with Peres known to be eyeing the chair of the Prime Minister, had detected the infeasibility of the political concessions the hijackers had demanded.7 This gave considerable committed time for making an 'impossible' rescue mission possible. The Entebbe mission has, of course, since become a staple of instructions in military schools for its precision, preparation, actionable, sharp and clear intelligence, leadership, sacrifice, surprise and technical prowess, even in that age of analog technology. In Kandahar case, there was also a lag-time for the Indian response system to get its act together. Though the signal intimating the hijacking of the aircraft was available to the Delhi ATC at 4.40 PM on December 24, the Crisis Management Committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary seems neither to have met nor communicated with candidate response airports, where the plane could be landing, in the succeeding two hours.8 Since the origin of the aircraft was Kathmandu, and since the ATC radar gave indications that it was moving North-Westwards, just two options were available, in the order of increasing gravity and risk. One was to identify the candidate airports the hijackers might choose and get at least local authority and force staged there, with a clear mandate, or at least sufficient forewarning. Why the cabinet crisis system failed to specify the mandate of local authorities (meaning the District Collector and Superintendent of Police/Commissioner/Inspector General of Police) of Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Mumbai or Jammu till 6.04 pm, when it was clear that Amritsar was to be the staging area, is not clear. At 6.04 PM, Amritsar received the aircraft's landing signals. Clearly, the bureaucratic establishment did not conduct the basic intellectual exercise of projecting the possible destinations. Worse, despite the Cabinet Secretary being present in New Delhi, there were no orders available to the Amritsar local authority for the 40 minutes the aircraft stayed on tarmac. In fact, the Director General of Punjab Police was not contacted at all; he was left to collect the news from Television at 6.00 pm, by his own admission.9 That reflects also on his poor intelligence coordination. New Delhi was clearly out of character as a national capital responding to a national emergency: nobody assumed responsibility in these crucial two hours after which the Captain of IC 814 was forced to fly off across national borders to Lahore in Pakistan. The Flight Captain was the only one in charge from the Indian side at that point. It was at 6.40 pm that New Delhi told Amritsar to delay refueling as far as possible - the first signs of life in Delhi's crisis ridden crisis management system. By this time, however, a decision for a nodecision could no longer be enforced - since the hijackers had started killing hostages. One hostage was mortally wounded and later died, upon which the pilot, was forced to take off at 7.45 pm. It was at the stage of intentional delay that the second option could have become operational, when a late decision in New Delhi, conveyed to the team in Amritsar, sought to instruct Punjab Police Commandos to shoot

and deflate the tires of the AB 300 aircraft, which the local team had some training for. But this could have provoked direct retaliation from the hijackers in terms of the killing of more hostages, or even of the pilots, or a finale in total disaster. The reasoning in the New Delhi analyst's mind was to prevent the aircraft being taken to hostile territory. But without a concomitant storming, neutralization and extraction plan (which Amritsar had executed successfully in 1994 against a lone, less trained, hijacker) this was a non -starter. In retrospect, the solitary act of disabling the tyres would have been extremely counter-productive in the absence of an effective plan for neutralizing the hijackers. This raises the key question, why was the storming decision not left to the local authorities at Amritsar, who could have acted legally under the mandate of the District Magistrate, provided the local capabilities existed? It is now known that New Delhi wanted the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos to take on the storming, but they failed to reach Amritsar before the aircraft took off for Lahore at 7.45 pm. These failures indicate a key strategic and operational gap in New Delhi's response system. Given three hours and five minutes of lead time, it is astonishing that New Delhi could not decide and mount a commando operation in a city as close as Amritsar. This was at least six times off the NSG's stated response standard of 30 minutes. The other stark deficiency in India's response to Amritsar was the total absence of military planners or of the Army or Air Force in mounting the response. In retrospect, even the then Home Minister, L.K. Advani, and Defense Minister, George Fernandes, traded charges, each claiming that they were not adequately consulted, and that the Foreign Ministry monopolized the response, especially during the stabilization phase. Clearly, the Cabinet Secretariat and Home Ministry, along with civil aviation controllers (the Civil Aviation Safety Bureau) failed to remain in full communication, compare options, predict outcomes and mount a quick response. Worse, we have no evidence that any of the airports in the episode had a quick response Force back-up which is airlifted and actionable even after 1999, like the successful Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN, the French counter-terrorism unit) which stormed the hijacked Air France aircraft successfully at Marseilles in 1994. Further, there was no readiness to involve the operational command of the Air Force or alert the Army, since the civilian establishment was clearly determined to the handle this key development alone, with far-reaching consequences, when handled as a Police crisis. The Defence Ministry was almost entirely out of the picture from beginning to end, except for Cabinet-level discussions. There is hardly anything in the public domain even now, to determine whether the Army, which had sufficient paratroopers and aircraft, was preparing an operational plan in those four crucial days - forget rehearsals or execution, for rescue and extraction, if needed, in Kandahar. The fact of the matter was the Indian Army's did not have the ready capacities for operational force projection beyond its western frontier, in a remote locale like Kandahar. The country had neither set superior ambitions nor trained extensively in trans-border operations in the near abroad. The Force had entirely missed tactical transformation, beyond sporadic acquisitions, which were themselves bogged down by logistic and corruption linked quagmires. Even Army lacked neither operable plans nor a feasible extraction unit which could storm and retrieve the passengers, even with collateral damage. Caught in a fight for survival on the country's borders and the Kashmir Valley, ambient, offensive, city specific capabilities simply did not exist, despite the availability of necessary technologies. In sharp contrast, at Entebbe, the military and not the domestic crisis team handled the problem right from the beginning. With the IDF Chief sitting in Cabinet, the viability of a distant and risky operation was always present before the decision makers. The distance of Force commanders from key decisionmaking bodies and their replacement by civilian foreign policy experts and civilian negotiators cost India dearly in the final count. India's diplomacy-based plan in the negotiations at Kandahar was also flawed in its basic assumptions, right from the beginning. The Foreign Service officer, who led the team comprising internal and external security experts, as well as his political leaders, were convinced that India had considerable concessions to offer the Taliban, and hence some leverage. They, for instance, regarded recognition of the Taliban regime by India as a major concession. The diplomat's team was very skeptical about the Taliban offering any hard on site cooperation in exchange for unilateral recognition, and this, in fact, is exactly what happened. Leverage just did not exist. Neither could sufficient track-two pressure be

exerted by the covert establishment to elicit cooperation from the Taliban. India was playing for high stakes without any cards to back the gamble. Concessions of a monetary nature to the Taliban would have been fully justified to neutralize their response, particularly to secure the withdrawal of their offensive armored vehicles which had been deployed visibly to preempt Indian forces from storming of the craft. The option of neutralizing the defensive Taliban Force guarding the aircraft was not explored at all. The Final Faux Pax Finally, the negotiators established working relationships with the hijackers and succeeded in eking some concessions. They had started working through stable communications and, with Taliban mediation, secured some key results from the hijackers, when New Delhi did the final volte face, unilaterally accepting all the hijackers' demands at one go. This is known to have been a decision that surprised everyone in the loop, including the negotiators. The perception was that it came at a moment when the situation had stabilized and pressure was building on the hostage takers to offer further counter-concessions. Assessments suggest that India could have retained two of the 'target assets' out of the three demanded, when New Delhi abruptly and dramatically gave up the battle of wits. A controversial unilateral decision was taken, allegedly at the highest level, to accede to all the remaining demands at once, and arrangements were made to release the key targets of the terorists' demands, including Maulana Mazood Azhar, from Kot Balwal jail in Jammu, where he was lodged. The express reason: the functionary did not want hostages "to spend New Year in captivity".10 One express rule in such negotiation under duress is that the stressor must have full discretion in setting all deadlines. Setting arbitrary and external deadlines is suicidal in terms of outcome, since this forecloses the possibility of further reductions of the aggressor's targets. Maulana Masood Azhar was flown to New Delhi by a RAW jet and transferred to an IA aircraft in which the External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh escorted the terrorist ideologue and two other 'terrorist assets' - Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh - to Kandahar.11 While one camp in the establishment justified this act of the Foreign Minister, as a caring and sensitive gesture towards the super-stressed hostages, which also helped contain the pressures on the Government exerted by the families of the hostages, the move was widely portrayed as capitulation of the highest order. This, indeed, was Masood Azhar's subsequent and vehement projection in Pakistan. Home Minister L.K. Advani, who had criticized both the Rubaiya Saeed episode, when V. P. Singh was Prime Minister,12 as well as the trading of food with hostage-takers at Hazratbal,13 was not in agreement with the final decision on Kandahar. It would later transpire that the hijackers' tactical objective in insisting on the Foreign Minister accompanying the released terrorists was intended to preempt any possible Indian misadventure, such as crashing the plane carrying the key terrorist assets. In effect, the presence of the Minister completely ruled out the force option. It was also lost on the Indian covert establishment to plant a satellite linkable transponder to the persons of the released hostages, in order to locate and recapture or eliminate through a retaliatory strike by a crack team after a few hours of the flight's return to safety. It is not known whether such a capability existed at that time, or whether such capabilities have even been acquired today. In stark contrast, the Israeli commandos had the forethought to destroy the radar at Entebbe and the few jets that Idi Amin had, in case they pursued the rescue aircraft. The termination model The classic termination phase described in the literature on such crises also throws light on the Entebbe and Kandahar cases. While the negotiators successfully or unsuccessfully manipulated the relationships developed through the standoff phase, the termination follows the acceptance of negotiated settlements

or, in their absence, the exercise of the force option. There are only three logical real world outcomes: 1. Partial or full acceptance of demands / hijackers surrenders peacefully and are arrested and tried. 2. Force option: Police/commandos storm the craft and kill, maim or arrest hijackers with or without harm to hostages. 3. Partial or full acceptance of demands and hijackers are given some lead time for escape, with complicity of the host country and they disappear to live in safe havens, which are prenegotiated with host or state party. In any eventuality, the onset phase and the termination phase hold maximum risk for the hostages, and it is in these phases that maximum casualties are recorded. The Entebbe operation, which took 72 hours of planning and an imperfect Sinai desert exercise for night landing, which was a limited success, left four dead and one seriously injured. The commander of the Israel Defence Force raiders, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, and three hostages were killed. Nevertheless, the Israelis and the world accept the operation as a total and exemplary success, and these sacrifices were perceived as necessary for the objectives achieved. In other words, the operation reduced a near total damage scenario to fewer than 3 per cent casualties, a proportion entirely acceptable and politically saleable domestically, when balanced with the huge strategic and political success at Entebbe. Collateral damage was overwhelmingly balanced out by the doctrinal and political gains. The real criterion of success is the strategic and political balance secured through the end game. To India's credit, it may be said that it chose wisely to concede just one casualty - that too, in the onset phase, and in a chance event. From the perspective of lives saved, the chosen option was a near-total success. In hindsight, however, the political and material costs of the release of dreaded and potentially highly destructive fanatical motivational leaders proved very costly. The complicity of Saeed Sheikh in the 9/11 attacks in the US and the Daniel Pearl killing, and of Masood Azhar's group - Jaish-eMohammed - in the attack on India's Parliament in December 2001, and in a rash of lesser, but devastating terrorist operations in Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of India, imposed an enormous strategic cost in India and beyond - a price that is still being paid. In one estimate, the loss of some 2,500 lives was attributed to direct acts of Azhar's outfit, just between 2000 and 2003.14 The aftermath of Kandahar The US stance at the time of the Kandahar crisis was repeatedly critiqued by Indian leaders. The US apparently sought to dissuade from undertaking any military operation on Afghan soil, as Washington was then hoping to develop military and commercial relations with a 'moderate Taliban'. Post 9/11, it dismantled its oil pipeline plans for Unocal, a US oil giant, and went all out after Taliban, who were then harboring Osama bin Laden. At that time, however, US inaction and failure to assist India politically and logistically in its moment of great need discredited Washington in the eyes of Indian strategic planners, for a considerable period of time. It is only now, after the renewed nuclear agreement and deepening cooperation on a range of other issues that that the quality of the relationship has been somewhat restored. The strategic and tactical edge the IC 814 hijackers maintained throughout the operation needs special mention. The involvement of an immediate relative of one of the terrorist assets whose release they were demanding made the effort very emotional and direct (Mazood Azhar's brother, Ibrahim Athar, was one of the hijackers). The hijackers were able to pressure the onset and standoff phases effectively, and secure a termination at a port of their choice, and with local defense preventing any adventurism by any potential aggressor. The exit route they had pre-negotiated with the Taliban, with the support of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (they had an iftar party in Kandahar before being driven across to Quetta, capital of the Balochistan province in Pakistan) was also ingenious. Some observers believe that it was the convenience of the exit routes that prompted the successive choice of Dubai, Lahore and Kandahar as target ports for the hijackers.

As a near-total failure of its internal security apparatus and the exercise of the use of force option, Kandahar should have sent India's strategic planners back to their drawing tables. It established a precedent for future Governments to follow a weak 'negotiations and selective release of assets', even as it exposed deep infirmities in the Force capabilities of the purported 'regional hegemon'. India was seen to be a slow, pliant, elephantine giant, with a soft underbelly of un-crystallized political expression, poor civil-military coordination, deeply distrustful of empowering strategic military assets, of involving them in decision-making, and coordination with paratroopers, commandos and Force transport systems. Terrorists are bound to exploit the windows of opportunity created by this, the fragmented civilian leadership, and uncoordinated intelligence and Force capabilities, to further their objectives in future as well. The 'path of least resistance' response to the Kandahar crisis did have one positive consequence: the Indian Penal Code was amended to make the death sentence mandatory for any convicted future hijackers. Conclusion The Kandahar and Entebbe episodes, in sharp contrast, demonstrate the distinguishing absence of relevant and effective strategic and tactical leadership in India. The Israeli national leadership at the time averaged the age of 50; the Entebbe mission was executed by a team which averaged an age of 30. India's traditional leadership, having stuck in around for far too long, was in no hurry to prove anything. For them, there were no legacies to be left in the fight for survival. The leadership factor could become much more crucial in the foreseeable future, with India behaving like a tottering giant, with poor coordination and dexterity in maneuvering across the troubled and muddied waters of the simmering extremist and fundamentalist politics of South Asia. It is imperative that the leadership factor is addressed by intense capacity building across services and calling in the security apparatus for responding well to emergent situations, especially after the experience of the Mumbai attacks. The need to expose the intensely secretive covert apparatus to hold them accountable also is evident. * Dr. B. Ashok is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, currently Private Secretary to the Minister of State for Agriculture. He served earlier on the Faculty of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie. He was also a Scholar in Peace and Conflict at the Turin University in Italy. Views expressed in this paper are personal. The author is grateful to Indrajitpal, Associate Professor in the Centre for Disaster Management, LBSNAA, N.V. Joseph, Research Officer, and Sachin Agarwal, Computer Programmer, for assistance in preparing this paper. 1. Paul Wilkinson, Terrorism versus Democracy: The Liberal State Response, London: Frank Cass, 2001, p. 161. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. Praveen Swami, "Bowing to Terrorism," Frontline, Chennai, vol. 17, no. 01, January 8-21, 2000. 6. Operation Thunderbolt: Entebbe, film by Eyal Sher , (Director), 2000. 7. O. P. Sabharwal, The Killer Instinct, Delhi: Rupa, 2000, p. 109. 8. Swami, Frontline, vol. 17, no. 01, January 8-21, 2000. 9. Ibid. 10. IC 814 Film, National Geographic. 11.Swami, Frontline, vol. 17, no. 01, January 8-21, 2000. 12. The then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Saeed's daughter, Rubaiya Saeed, was abducted by militants of the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) on December 8, 1989. The negotiated release of extremists was seen a surrender on the part of the Government, tremendously weakening India's anti-terror doctrine and spurring an escalating insurgency in

the State. 13. The Hazratbal Mosque, considered among the holiest because of its association with the Prophet's relic, was brought under siege in October 1993, after Pakistan backed terrorists occupied it. In one of the longest and most incoherently managed operations lasting over a month (October 15 to November 16), State Forces eventually conceded, and the terrorists were given safe passage from the shrine. 14.Praveen Swami, "The Kandahar Plot," Frontline, vol. 20, no. 24, November 22-December 5, 2003. --------------------------------------:The

Truth Behind Kandahar

Dec 24, 2008 Kanchan Gupta, Was it really an abject surrender by the NDA Government? There have been innumerable communal riots in India, nearly all of them in States ruled by the Congress at the time of the violence, yet everybody loves to pretend that blood was shed in the name of religion for the first time in Gujarat in 2002 and that the BJP Government headed by Mr Narendra Modi must bear the burden of the cross. Similarly, nobody remembers the various incidents of Indian Airlines aircraft being hijacked when the Congress was in power at the Centre, the deals that were struck to rescue the hostages, and the compromises that were made at the expense of Indias dignity and honor. But everybody remembers the hijacking of IC 814 and nearly a decade after the incident, many people still hold the BJP-led NDA Government responsible for the shameful denouement. The Indian Airlines flight from Kathmandu to New Delhi, designated IC 814, with 178 passengers and 11 crew members on board, was hijacked on Christmas eve, 1999, a short while after it took-off from Tribhuvan International Airport; by then, the aircraft had entered Indian airspace. Nine years later to the day, with an entire generation coming of age, it would be in order to recall some facts and place others on record. In 1999 I was serving as an aide to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the PMO, and I still have vivid memories of the tumultuous week between Christmas eve and New Years eve. Mr Vajpayee had gone out of Delhi on an official tour; I had accompanied him along with other officials of the PMO. The hijacking of IC 814 occurred while we were returning to Delhi in one of the two Indian Air Force Boeings which, in those days, were used by the Prime Minister for travel within the country. Curiously, the initial information about IC 814 being hijacked, of which the IAF was believed to have been aware, was not communicated to the pilot of the Prime Ministers aircraft. As a result, Mr Vajpayee and his aides remained unaware of the hijacking till reaching Delhi. This caused some amount of controversy later. It was not possible for anybody else to have contacted us while we were in midair. Its strange but true that the Prime Minister of India would be incommunicado while on a flight because neither the ageing IAF Boeings nor the Air India Jumbos, used for official travel abroad, had satellite phone facilities. By the time our aircraft landed in Delhi, it was around 7:00 pm, a full hour and 40 minutes since the hijacking of IC 814. After disembarking from the aircraft in the VIP bay of Palam Technical Area, we were surprised to find National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra waiting at the foot of the ladder. He led Mr Vajpayee aside and gave him the news. They got into the Prime Ministers car and it sped out of the Technical Area. Some of us followed Mr. Vajpayee to Race Course Road, as was the normal routine. On our way to the Prime Ministers residence, colleagues in the PMO provided us with the basic details. The Kathmandu-Delhi flight had been commandeered by five hijackers (later identified as Ibrahim Athar, resident of Bahawalpur, Shahid Akhtar Sayed, Gulshan Iqbal, resident of Karachi, Sunny Ahmed Qazi,

resident of Defence Area, Karachi, Mistri Zahoor Ibrahim, resident of Akhtar Colony, Karachi, and Shakir, resident of Sukkur City) at 5:20 pm; there were 189 passengers and crew members on board; and that the aircraft was heading towards Lahore. At the Prime Ministers residence, senior Ministers and Secretaries had already been summoned for an emergency meeting. Mr Mishra left for the crisis control room that had been set up at Rajiv Bhavan. In between meetings, Mr Vajpayee instructed his personal staff to cancel all celebrations planned for December 25, his birthday. The Cabinet Committee on Security met late into the night as our long vigil began. Meanwhile, we were informed that the pilot of IC 814 had been denied permission to land at Lahore airport. With fuel running low, he was heading for Amritsar. Officials at Raja Sansi Airport were immediately alerted and told to prevent the plane from taking off after it had landed there. The hijacked plane landed at Amritsar and remained parked on the tarmac for nearly 45 minutes. The hijackers demanded that the aircraft be refuelled. The airport officials ran around like so many headless chickens, totally clueless about what was to be done in a crisis situation. Desperate calls were made to the officials at Raja Sansi Airport to somehow stall the refuelling and prevent the plane from taking off. The officials just failed to respond with alacrity. At one point, an exasperated Jaswant Singh, if memory serves me right, grabbed the phone and pleaded with an official, Just drive a heavy vehicle, a fuel truck or a road roller or whatever you have, onto the runway and park it there. But all this was to no avail. The National Security Guards, whose job it is to deal with hostage situations, were alerted immediately after news first came in of IC 814 being hijacked; they were reportedly asked to stand by for any emergency. The Home Ministry was again alerted when it became obvious that after being denied permission to land at Lahore, the pilot was heading towards Amritsar. Yet, despite IC 814 remaining parked at Amritsar for three-quarters of an hour, the NSG commandos failed to reach the aircraft. There are two versions as to why the NSG didnt show up: First, they were waiting for an aircraft to ferry them from Delhi to Amritsar; second, they were caught in a traffic jam between Manesar and Delhi airport. The real story was never known! The hijackers, anticipating commando action, first stabbed a passenger, Rupin Katyal (he had gone to Kathmandu with his newly wedded wife for their honeymoon; had they not extended their stay by a couple of days, they wouldnt have been on the ill-fated flight) to show that they meant business, and then forced the pilot to take off from Amritsar. With almost empty fuel tanks, the pilot had no other option but to make another attempt to land at Lahore airport. Once again he was denied permission and all the lights, including those on the runway, were switched off. He nonetheless went ahead and landed at Lahore airport, showing remarkable skill and courage. Mr Jaswant Singh spoke to the Pakistani Foreign Minister and pleaded with him to prevent the aircraft from taking off again. But the Pakistanis would have nothing of it (they wanted to distance themselves from the hijacking so that they could claim later that there was no Pakistan connection) and wanted IC 814 off their soil and out of their airspace as soon as possible. So, they refuelled the aircraft after which the hijackers forced the pilot to head for Dubai. At Dubai, too, officials were reluctant to allow the aircraft to land. It required all the persuasive skills of Mr Jaswant Singh and our then Ambassador to UAE, Mr KC Singh, to secure landing permission. There was some negotiation with the hijackers through UAE officials and they allowed 13 women and 11 children to disembark. Rupin Katyal had by then bled to death. His body was offloaded. His widow remained a hostage till the end. On the morning of December 25, the aircraft left Dubai and headed towards Afghanistan. It landed at Kandahar Airport, which had one serviceable runway, a sort of ATC and a couple of shanties. The rest of the airport was in a shambles, without power and water supply, a trophy commemorating the Talibans rule.

On Christmas eve, after news of the hijacking broke, there was stunned all-round silence. But by noon on December 25, orchestrated protests outside the Prime Ministers residence began, with women beating their chests and tearing their clothes. The crowd swelled by the hour as the day progressed. Ms Brinda Karat came to commiserate with the relatives of the hostages who were camping outside the main gate of 7, Race Course Road. In fact, she became a regular visitor over the next few days. There was a steady clamour that the Government should pay any price to bring the hostages back home, safe and sound. This continued till December 30. One evening, the Prime Minister asked his staff to let the families come in so that they could be told about the Governments efforts to secure the hostages release. By then negotiations had begun and Mullah Omar had got into the act through his Foreign Minister, Muttavakil. The hijackers wanted 36 terrorists, held in various Indian jails, to be freed or else they would blow up the aircraft with the hostages. No senior Minister in the CCS was willing to meet the families. Mr Jaswant Singh volunteered to do so. He asked me to accompany him to the canopy under which the families had gathered. Once there, we were literally mobbed. He tried to explain the situation but was shouted down. We want our relatives back. What difference does it make to us what you have to give the hijackers? a man shouted. We dont care if you have to give away Kashmir, a woman screamed and others took up the refrain, chanting: Kashmir de do, kuchh bhi de do, hamare logon ko ghar wapas lao. Another woman sobbed, Mera beta hai mera beta and made a great show of fainting of grief. To his credit, Mr Jaswant Singh made bold to suggest that the Government had to keep the nations interest in mind, that we could not be seen to be giving in to the hijackers, or words to that effect, in chaste Hindi. That fetched him abuse and rebuke. Bhaand me jaaye desh aur bhaand me jaaye desh ka hit. (To hell with the country and national interest), many in the crowd shouted back. Stumped by the response, Mr Jaswant Singh could merely promise that the Government would do everything possible. I do not remember the exact date, but sometime during the crisis, Mr Jaswant Singh was asked to hold a Press conference to brief the media. While the briefing was on at the Press Information Bureau hall in Shastri Bhavan, some families of the hostages barged in and started shouting slogans. They were led by one Sanjiv Chibber, who, I was later told, was a noted surgeon: He claimed six of his relatives were among the hostages. Dr Chibber wanted all 36 terrorists named by the hijackers to be released immediately. He reminded everybody in the hall that in the past terrorists had been released from prison to secure the freedom of Ms Rubayya Sayeed, daughter of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, while he was Home Minister in VP Singhs Government. Why cant you release the terrorists now when our relatives are being held hostage? he demanded. And then we heard the familiar refrain: Give away Kashmir, give them anything they want, we dont give a damn. On another evening, there was a surprise visitor at the PMO: The widow of Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, whose plane was shot down during the Kargil war. She insisted that she should be taken to meet the relatives of the hostages. At Race Course Road, she spoke to mediapersons and the hostages relatives, explaining why India must not be seen giving in to the hijackers, that it was a question of national honour, and gave her own example of fortitude in the face of adversity. She has become a widow, now she wants others to become widows. Who is she to lecture us? Yeh kahan se aayi? someone shouted from the crowd. Others heckled her. The young widow stood her ground, displaying great dignity and courage. As the mood turned increasingly ugly, she had to be led away. Similar appeals were made by others who had lost their sons, husbands and fathers in the Kargil war that summer. Col Virendra Thapar, whose son Lt Vijayant Thapar was martyred in the war, made a fervent appeal for people to stand united against the hijackers. It fell on deaf ears. The media made out that the overwhelming majority of Indians were with the relatives of the hostages and shared their view that no price was too big to secure the hostages freedom. The Congress kept on slyly insisting, We are with the Government and will support whatever it does for a resolution of the crisis and to ensure the safety of the hostages. But the Government must explain its failure. Harkishen Singh Surjeet and other Opposition politicians issued similar ambiguous statements.

By December 28, the Governments negotiators had struck a deal with the hijackers: They would free the hostages in exchange of three dreaded terrorists Maulana Masood Azhar, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Ahmed Omar Sheikh facing various charges of terrorism. The CCS met frequently, several times a day, and discussed the entire process threadbare. The Home Minister, the Defence Minister and the Foreign Minister, apart from the National Security Adviser and the Prime Minister, were present at every meeting. The deal was further fine-tuned, the Home Ministry completed the necessary paper work, and two Indian Airlines aircraft were placed on standby to ferry the terrorists to Kandahar and fetch the hostages. On December 31, the two aircraft left Delhi airport early in the morning. Mr Jaswant Singh was on board one of them. Did his ministerial colleagues know that he would travel to Kandahar? More important, was the Prime Minister aware of it? The answer is both yes and no. Mr Jaswant Singh had mentioned his decision to go to Kandahar to personally oversee the release of hostages and to ensure there was no last-minute problem. He was honour-bound to do so, he is believed to have said, since he had promised the relatives of the hostages that no harm would come their way. It is possible that nobody thought he was serious about his plan. It is equally possible that others turned on him when the popular mood and the Congress turned against the Government for its abject surrender. On New Years eve, the hostages were flown back to Delhi. By New Years day, the Government was under attack for giving in to the hijackers demand! Since then, this shameful surrender is held against the NDA and Mr Jaswant Singh is painted as the villain of the piece. Could the Kandahar episode have ended any other way? Were an Indian aircraft to be hijacked again, would we respond any differently? Not really. As a nation we do not have the guts to stand up to terrorism. We cannot take hits and suffer casualties. We start counting our dead even before a battle has been won or lost. We make a great show of honouring those who die on the battlefield and lionise brave hearts of history, but we do not want our children to follow in their footsteps. We are, if truth be told, a nation of cowards who dont have the courage to admit their weakness but are happy to blame a well-meaning politician who, perhaps, takes his regimental motto of Izzat aur Iqbal rather too seriously. End Kandahar decision wont have been easy: Chidambaram NDTV Correspondent, Thursday, January 22, 2009 (New Delhi) Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday that there is no set formula for dealing with terrorists. When asked if India should have a policy not to negotiate with terrorists, he said that while this worked in principle, in reality, when the human element came into play, he was unsure of how he would deal with the crisis. I do not know how I would have reacted if 150 families came to my door and pleaded that their loved ones in that aircraft must be saved. It is easy to criticise but if one is in that position, it is a very difficult decision, he said at the NDTVs Indian of the Year Awards function in New Delhi on Wednesday night. The NDA governments decision to release dreaded terrorists in exchange for hostages in the Kandahar hijack 10 years ago had come under attack from several quarters but Home Minister P Chidambaram is not sure saying it is a very difficult decision. The decision of the Vajpayee government to release three dreaded terrorists including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar in December, 1999 received a lot of flak from various political parties including the Congress, more so because the then external affairs minister Jaswant Singh accompanied them (terrorists) to Kandahar. Azhars name has subsequently figured in the December 2001 terror attack on Parliament and the attack outside Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in Srinagar in the same month. (With PTI inputs)