The tryst to acquire new ways of knowledge of society is not new to human
conscience. Separation and amalgamation of different disciplines is common
practice to impart knowledge to new comers. It was there in Arthashastra, where
Kautilya amalgamated all the spectrum of society, such as economy, polity,
foreign relation, administration, law, to provide a fool proof ways to run a
kingdom. Similarly, modern education system separates all those disciplines to
specialize in each.
We say that law is the command issued by a sovereign, but
this command too depends on other obligation of a sovereign. For this the
sovereign have to go into other aspects of a particular society. When the law
makers construct a law in accordance with the societal demands, they not only
address what's and how's, but also the why's when's. To make it more clear, an
example is essential here. Terrorism is a new threat to world peace, which have
sheeted almost all the major countries.
In these circumstances, the first duty
of a sovereign is curb terrorism by introducing new laws. But, making laws to
curb terrorism is not enough. Terrorism increases not due to radical mentality
but also due to terror funding and state sponsored terrorism and also due to
publicity. Thanks to mass media. States sponsored terrorism or terror funding is
the consequence of international competition.
International competition takes
place because of asymmetrical development of all the world countries.
Asymmetrical development is due to historical reasons. So this is practically a
vicious cycle. What I will show in my very project is the linkages of these
various issues. This works simultaneously, impacting each other, complexing the
struggle to achieve perpetual world peace.
Although the term 'Terrorism
' is not subject to a universally agreed definition,
it can be broadly understood as a method of coercion that utilizes or threatens
to utilize violence in order to spread fear and thereby attain political and
ideological goals. According to the classic terrorist "triangle", A attacks B,
to convince or coerce C to change its position regarding some action or policy
desired by A.
The attack is directed against the innocent victims to put
pressure on third parties such as governments to change their policy and
position. On the other hand, State sponsored terrorism is a tool employed by the
government against its own citizens, against factions within the government or
against foreign governments or groups. With a rank of 7 in the Global terrorism
index of 2019, India is suffering from both form of terrorism.
international scenario Pakistan's anti-India has the tacit support of China.
China, in conjunction with Pakistan, is actively supporting and arming
insurgencies within India. The Chinese 'string of pearls 'strategy is a reality
but more importantly, this is being reinforced with Islamic radicalism in
conjunction with Pakistan's proxies. Pakistan has been waging an asymmetric war
against India for more than two decades. Internally the threat of terrorism is
mainly coming from the Maoists group attacks.
The Maoists insurgency is the
biggest threat to India's internal security. In 2018, India continued to face a
diverse set of terrorism threats, from the ongoing territorial disputes in
Kashmir, aSikh separatist movement in the northern state of Punjab to the
secessionist movement in the north –eastern state of Assam. Moreover, a violent
Maoist inspired left-wing insurgency has re-emerged across central India.
source: Global Terrorism Index,2019 9(Fig 1)
On the basis of this present scenario this paper mainly focuses on the mayhem
created in the economic and legal set up of the country and the strategic
options for India to combat the menace using the Game theory models.
An Economic Perspective Of Terrorism In India
There is a complex type of relationship between terrorism and economic
performance. On the one hand, terrorism may affect the economic growth
negatively, and on the other hand, strong economic performance may generate less
terrorism. Frey and Luechinger (2003) suggested that terrorism problem may be
solved by increasing the opportunity costs of terrorism.
When there is economic
prosperity, then the potential terrorist groups will have additional economic
alternative such as jobs, employment opportunities, and reduction in poverty and
relative deprivation and this will further increase the opportunity costs of
terrorism. It is quite obvious that the incidents of terrorism are much higher
in the developed countries than in the developing country.
According to the
Global Terrorism Index (which measures the direct and indirect impact of
terrorism, including its effects on lives lost, injuries, property damage and the
psychological after effects. it is a composite score that ranks countries
according to the impact of terrorism from 0(no impact) to 10 (highest impact). Fig
2 shows that, the index averaged 7.62 from 2002 to 2018.which clearly depicts
that India is vulnerable to the terror attacks which is a cause of economic
slowdown in the country.
If we study the GDP of the Indian economy during the
same period then according to Fig 3 there is a negative relationship between GDP
growth rate and the terrorism index, though not static but it is quite clear
that, as income level and job opportunity lowers the incidents of terrorism
Economic theory postulates that terrorism incidents and terrorist attacks can
reduce economic growth and generate economic performance. The rational choice
theory explains that the main goal of the terrorists is to destabilise the
economy. There are two economic agents, one is government and other is terrorist
On one side from rational perspective, the government can weigh the
costs of accepting demands of terrorists and the costs of economic damage in
case of not fulfilling the terrorist demands. So, if the terrorist are going for
the terrorist activities, it means that economic damage due to terrorism becomes
comparatively less costly as compared to the acceptance of terrorist demands (Sandler
and Enders 2008). The other economic theory "immiserizing modernization theory"
elucidates that economic performance and terrorism have two way connections, if
the benefits of economic performance could not be shifted through trickle-down
effect to poor people of the economy.
The poor economic performance encourages
income inequality, and therefore poverty prevails in the economy. The increase
in the level of poverty diminishes the opportunity cost of terrorism which favours the poor masses to go for terrorism. This theory describes the economic
performance and the vicious cycle of terrorism (shahbaz 2013) . The relative
deprivation in the people compels people for doing such terrorist attacks.
So from the above data and theories we can see that, Terrorism do have a
negative impact on the economy and the cocktail of unemployed youth, illiteracy,
availability of drugs and weapons is a readymade prescription for terrorism,
particularly in the developing countries where existing terrorist organisations
lure the youth on the mere promise of employment.
Legal Perspective Of Terrorism In India
In 1994 the United Nations General Assembly established that terrorism was
"criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomever committed"..."what ever
the considerations of a
political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature
that may be invoked to justify them". By defining terrorism as a crime rather
than as an international security issue, the General Assembly has chosen a
criminal law approach rather than a war model of fighting terrorism.
General Assembly categorized international terrorism in 1994 in terms of a
criminal justice model as a serious crime, the United Nations Security Council
categorized it, on 12th September 2001, in resolution 1368,'like any act of
international terrorism, as a threat to international peace and security,"
thereby applying a security rather than a crime model to such acts. It is widely
accepted that a number of countries are strongly supporting the Security Council
approach while other members of the International community feel more
comfortable with General Assembly method.
It is often argued that, it would be
more appropriate to prevent new terrorist attacks from happening rather than to
punish the terrorist for the offences already committed. On the Basis of this
anew phrase has emerged in the international legal arena i.e. proactive law
enforcement. It is used to convey a contrast with reactive law enforcement.
Proactive law enforcement emphasizes preventing and interrupting crime, rather
than reacting to crimes already committed, and its novelty is often overstated.
Nevertheless, the label "proactive "is now used for almost every initiative to
reduce crime. The goal of proactive enforcement is to proactively integrate
substantive and procedural mechanisms to reduce the incidence and severity of
terrorist violence and to do so within the strict constraints and protections of
the civilian criminal justice system and the rule of law. Thus, countering
terrorism through penal prevention would mean criminalizing acts that are
committed before any terrorist acts take place.
And indeed in recent years, the
international community has moved in this direction. Most importantly there were
efforts to criminalize recruitment, training, supplying weapons to, support,
financing, conspiracy, incitement, and glorification of terrorism.
resolution 1373(2001) decides that all states shall:
- Prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts; decides also that
all states shall:
- Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or
persons involved in terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of
members of terrorist groups and eliminating the supply of weapons to
- Take the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts,
including by provision of early warning to other states by exchange of
- Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support or commit terrorist
acts, or provide safe havens;
- prevent those who finance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts
from using their respective territories for those purposes against other
states or their citizens;
- Ensure that any person who participates in the financing,planning,preparation
or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts is brought
to justice and ensure that, in addition to any other measures against them,
such terrorist acts are established as serious criminal offences in domestic
laws and regulations and that the punishment duly reflects the seriousness
of such terrorist acts;
Ideally these provisions of the Resolution should be
incorporated into criminal codes of the countries in order to ensure that they
become separate criminal offences punishable under national laws.
The UNSC in its Resolution 1624(2005) further expanded this list of offences to
incitement when it decided to "calls upon all states to adopt such measures as
may be necessary and appropriate and in accordance with their obligations under
international law to:
- Prohibit by law incitement to commit a terrorist act or acts;
- Prevent such conduct;
- Deny safe haven to any persons with respect to whom there is credible
and relevant information giving serious reasons for considering that they
have been guilty of such conduct.
Though internationally this scenario prevails; Indian anti-terrorism laws lags
behind which is mainly traditional in its approach. In India, for years,
adequate attention was not paid to enactment of specific enabling domestic
legislations that could effectively deny operating space and maneuverability to
terrorist groups and their support structures that would deter them from
executing any acts of terror.
In the earlier stages, incidents of terrorism in
India were generally dealt with as law and order issues and therefore
investigation and prosecution in such cases largely followed the penal
provisions enshrined in major laws such as the IPC, Indian Explosives Act, Indian
Arms act, and such others, while procedurally, the provisions of the Criminal
Procedure Code were followed.
Over the years, as acts of terror became more
frequent, intense and geographically widespread, aided and abated by external
forces, the inadequacy of the general laws of the country as well as the
traditional approach of treating them get exposed. Need for special enactments
for counter-terrorism was observed.
Now if the country is to tackle the menace of terrorism effectively, then
national security must get precedence over all other considerations including
those related to federalism. An effective Counter terror infrastructure needs to
rest on a 'tripod' which must incorporate three main elements- an omnibus law
governing all aspects of terrorism; a single investigative agency to
single-minded pursuit of terrorism cases in a time-bound manner and an agency to collect,analyse
and disseminate intelligence inputs relating to terrorism. So, in a nutshell:
- The reactive adhoc approach of India towards counter terrorism should be
changed and the evolution of its statutory approach from adhocism to zero
tolerance will be appropriate
- The language and structure of Counter terrorism efforts as well as the
anti-terror statutes reflects the legal structure of 1980s, which is not
adequate to effectively deal with the terrorism which has transformed with
the evolution of technology in various field.
- The transnational nature of the terrorism and its rapid utilization of
technology not only make it a country specific challenge, but also a global
threat. Hence, to effectively with the new aspects of terrorism in the field
of cyber, weapon technology, recruitment and financing a timely adoption of
legal measures is the need of the hour.
- Hence it is high time for India to learn from its past experiences and
underscore a grave need of in-depth analysis of execution and impacts of
various provisions of counter terror legislations which has caused
Game Theory: An Effective Tool To Combat The Mayhem
Over the last two decades, a small group of analysts in economics and political
science have applied game theory to study terrorism, which involves the
premeditated use or threat of use of violence or force on the part of terrorists
to achieve a political objective through intimidation or fear.
For example Sandler et al. (1983) present some rational-actor models that depict the
negotiation process between terrorists and government policymakers for incidents
where hostages or property are seized and demands are issued. In their model,
terrorists 'valuation of likely concession to be granted by a government is
based on a probability distribution, conditioned on past governmental
concessions. Their analysis illustrates that the terrorists 'choices and actions
are influenced by those of the government and vice versa.
A strategy is a complete algorithm for playing the game, telling a player what
to do for every possible situation throughout the game. The game theory
basically helps to model strategic behavior by the agents who understand that
their actions affect the actions of other agents. Today game theory is applied
in wide range of areas like military strategy, international relations,
political science, history, sports, crime, theology, business, trade and
Although much work is needed to be done before a model could be applied in
decision making, but its importance and applicability can be best understood by
the following paragraph.
"It should be emphasized at the outset that we are not seeking a magic formula
to solve difficult planning situations. Such a result is far in the future, if
it can be deducted at all. Neither do we offer hope of simplifying the decision
process. If anything, considering an estimate from the game theory point of view
requires a higher degree of analysis and logical thought than does the present
standard planning doctrine. But it is hoped an understanding of what game theory
is and the type of reasoning behind it will aid the commander in marshalling his
own abilities to the maximum when faced with a difficult planning situation." (Beebee, 1957)
- India vs. Pakistan ( Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma)
Here both the countries have a set of strategy i.e. whether to attack the other
country or not. If both countries attack each other, both of them pay the heavy
price of war. If one attacks while the other chooses to remain peaceful, then
the aggressive country wins the war. The best scenario, however, would be when
both countries choose peace. The following payoff matrix depicts the same story
for the two players i.e. India and Pakistan.
Fig 1: Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma
The stable solution of a game can be found by finding its Nash equilibrium (NE).
"Nash equilibrium is a concept of game theory where the optimal outcome of a
game is one where no player has an incentive to deviate from his chosen strategy
after considering an opponent's choice. Overall, an individual can receive no
incremental benefit from changing actions, assuming other players remain
constant in their strategies. The Nash equilibrium of this game is (Attack,
Attack). This is also evident from the recent situations of the Kashmir region,
which has always been in a tensed situation.
However, in this game the Nash equilibrium is not the Pareto Optimal
situation.Pareto optimal solution is the one which is a Win -Win for both. At
this solution point it is not possible for any player to be better off without
making the other player worse off. Therefore, the nations can cooperate and
choose not to attack each other to reach the Pareto optimal solution i.e. (Not
Attack, Not Attack).
Appropriate binding agreements (various accords and UN resolutions) can ensure
peace in the region by making them stick to the mutual cooperation point.
Indeed, such agreements had been signed by both the nations from time to time to
ensure peace by keeping them at (Not attack, Not attack). So it seems
appropriate to study their long-run relationship through Iterated Prisoner's
The declaration of a player's (nation's) doctrine or foreign policy is a way to
communicate with all the other players (nations) by revealing one's own
strategies and preferences (and therefore payoffs). This shapes the beliefs of
other nations and thus enables them to form their own set of strategies against
After all the players form their strategies against each other and reveal them
(declaring their foreign policies), then the players (nations) may decide their
point of operation. By cooperating with each other they may sustain at the
Pareto optimal point, thus win-win for both of the players (nations). Because
players (nations) know each other's strategies and payoffs, so in the absence of
formal binding agreements, both the players (nations) are rendered to mutually
cooperate since the other player (nation) would then know the way punish (be
stringent) the opposite player. This reduces the risk of any one of them to
Therefore it can be now understood that a nation's ability to achieve its
objective depends on the actions of other nations states, and the outcomes
depend upon the strategic interaction amongst these nations (Stephen J Majeski
1995). However, declaration of doctrine by the nation is a necessary but not a
sufficient condition for smooth functioning.
Along with declaration, adhering to the declared policy is equally important or
otherwise, the declared policy would be considered a sham. Nonadherence to their
own declared policy instigates feelings of distrust, creates suspicions about
opponents' cooperation in the future and therefore brings back the component of
uncertainty. And in the condition of uncertainty, each nation has to make
choices independently without knowledge of the choice of other nation.
Decision making in such an environment can be understood through Bayesian games.
The Bayesian game between India-Pakistan related to the insurgency in Kashmir
has been described in the following paragraph. Suppose, Pakistan while deciding
to support insurgents to infiltrate into Kashmir is uncertain about India's
It assumes that India will remain amicable with probability p, with probability
1-p it would turn aggressive and conduct counterterrorist attacks. Based on its
experiences, interactions with India and Indian counter- terrorism policies
Pakistan will have a belief, which it would translate appropriately into the
numerical value for p. Now, Pakistan has the following strategies - to support
the insurgents (SI) or not support the insurgents (NSI).
While India's strategies will be - harsh response or attack (A) or soft response
or not attack (NA). The difference between harsh and soft response has been
incorporated by the payoffs in the described game Figure 2.
Finding an optimal strategy for India is straightforward to derive. If India is
non-aggressive, then it will choose a soft response (NA) irrespective of whether
Pakistan sends or does not send insurgents. However, if India is aggressive then
it will respond softly (NA) if Pakistan does not send insurgents but will give a
brutal response if Pakistan sends insurgents. Pakistan's decision to send
insurgents given this behaivior of India then depends on its expected payoff.
Remember we assume that both nations act rationally. Therefore, The expected
payoff of Pakistan for NSI:
= 30 + (1 − 0)
= 20 + 1
The expected payoff of Pakistan for SI:
=40 + 0(1 − 0) → 40
For Pakistan to not send insurgents, expected payoff from NSI > expected payoff
from SI, or
20 + 1 > 40 → 0 < 0.5
It has been argued that the counter-terrorism measures of India lack appropriate
response. "There is no doctrine and most responses are knee-jerk (Asthana
2010)." Some have even said that India's responses have been ludicrously shy and
episodic (Asthana 2010)."
"Avoiding a hard line approach to counterterrorism responses, India has never
used artillery or other heavy weapons against the terrorists that would lead to
disproportionate use of force and collateral damage" (Kiran 2008). Even the UN
2007 review faults India for being soft in counterterrorism policy. Due to this
Pakistan's numerically assigned value to p is much higher (p > 0.5).
Note that the numerical value of p depends on Pakistan's expectations of India's
response. The recent declarations of "New India" aim at harsh counterterrorism
response. But as discussed earlier, a mere declaration of policy might not have
enough impact on the beliefs of other players (nations). They might only
consider it as rhetoric. Therefore, a harsh action against counter-terrorism was
very much required. This would then make other players (nations) alter the
numerical value to p, which would subsequently make insurgents and their
sponsor's think twice before acting.
In the game described, when a player's (nations) expectations about India's hard
response for supporting illicit activities in India is high enough to make a
numerical value of p < 0.5, then the player will not act against India. A
befitting reply post the terrorist attack in Pulwama might aid India in
achieving this objective and be beneficial to India and the region in the long
run. The policies of austere operations and no compromises against terrorism by
nations like the United States, United Kingdom and Israel are based on the same
The Structure of Terror Despite their diversity in motive, sophistication, and
strength, terrorist organizations share a basic structure as depicted in figure
1. At the base, underlying conditions such as poverty, corruption, religious
conflict and ethnic strife create opportunities for terrorists to exploit. Some
of these conditions are real and some manufactured.
Terrorists use these conditions to justify their actions and expand their
support. The belief that terror is a legitimate means to address such conditions
and effect political change is a fundamental problem enabling terrorism to
develop and grow. The international environment defines the boundaries within
which terrorists' strategies take shape.
As a result of freer, more open borders this environment unwittingly provides
access to havens, capabilities, and other support to terrorists. But access
alone is not enough. Terrorists must have a physical base from which to operate.
Whether through ignorance, inability, or intent, states around the world still
offer havens-both physical (e.g., safe houses, training grounds) and virtual
(e.g., reliable communication and financial networks)—that terrorists need to
plan, organize, train, and conduct their operations.
Once entrenched in a safe operating environment, the organization can begin to
solidify and expand. The terrorist organization's structure, membership,
resources, and security determine its capabilities and reach. At the top of the
structure, the terrorist leadership provides the overall direction and strategy
that links all these factors and thereby breathes life into a terror campaign.
The leadership becomes the catalyst for terrorist action. The loss of the
leadership can cause many organizations to collapse. Some groups, however, are
more resilient and can promote new leadership should the original fall or fail.
(Source: National Strategy For Combating Terrorism).
So, on a concluding remark we need to deal with the underlying factors of
terrorism first to combat terrorism and moreover, India should regulate its
legal framework in a proactive manner for its counter-terrorism approach. Game
theoretic approach for selecting an appropriate policy and strategy framing can
be used for more efficiency. The trans-national nature of terrorism and its ever
expanding horizon is becoming a serious threat for the whole world, as India is
situated at the epicentre of terrorism proper policy formulation and regulation
should be enacted on a stringent basis.
- Citation: Pradeep, Siddhartha (2019): Game theory, Strategies and the
convoluted triangle - India, Pakistan, Kashmir, ZBW – Leibniz Information
Centre for Economics, Kiel, Hamburg.
- Jurisprudence of Anti-Terrorism Laws - An Indian Perspective; Ramanand
- National Strategy For Combating Terrorism.
- Global Terrorism Index,2019
- Terrorism and India: an economic perspective Alam Khan1 • Mario Arturo
Ruiz Estrada1 • Zarinah Yusof1
- Terrorism and Game Theory: From the Terrorists ' Point of View Kevin Chlebik Pepperdine University
- Terrorism and Game Theory By Todd Sandler School of International
Relations University of Southern California And Daniel G. Arce M. Department
of Economics Rhodes College
- Strategic Options Against State-Sponsored Terrorism Prakash Katoch
- Countering Terrorism:New International Criminal Law Perspectives-Jean