A lot of significance is being attached to the visit of Barack Obama to the city of Mumbai but for former Commissioner of Police of this city the visit is nothing more than a symbolic one.
M N Singh, former Commissioner of this city says that the visit per se has no particular significance to the security of the city. It is more symbolic I would say. Yes the Obama administration has made an announcement regarding sanctions on the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, JeM and strangely towards Azam Cheema an individual. The reason I say strangely is because it is unheard of that sanctions can be issued against an individual.
First of all I don’t understand what sanctions against an individual means. Moreover this reaction has come in extremely late. India has been speaking about this man and these outfits since a long time. The 26/11 attack is two years old now and sactions after such a long time really makes no sense. With regards to Cheema, this man has been on the wanted list and has been declared a terrorist by the UN. So a saction at this point of time really makes no sense to me. According to me if Obama is really interested in fighting terrorism and wants to ensure world peace then I guess the sanctions should have been against Pakistan and not against just individuals and outfits. Pakistan is the one exporting terror and sheltering these people and outfits and hence a sanction against that country would have made the most sense according to me. I would call this a hesitant and belated decision by Obama. It has been done just in the view of his India visit and he is trying to please us. Apart from that there is nothing else that I see. The action over all on terrorism by the Americans is according to me too little.
His visit to Mumbai has per se no particular signifance where the city is concerned. I would term the visit as a symbolic one. He is coming here to express solidarity with those who have lost their lives. Over all it seems to me that this is more of a business visit and there is nothing from the security point of view that we can expect at least during his visit to Mumbai. These are matters which he cannot discuss with the state government and would deal I suppose with the Union Government in New Delhi.
There is a lot of hype around this visit and I guess his stay in the city will be around that factor alone. I feel that his visit to the Taj and the memorials may send across a message that they are against terrorism. But the point is whether that is sufficient since it is time to act and not issue statements alone. Overall just a symbolic visit aimed at larger business interests for the Uinted states of America.