IN THE FACE OF TERRORISM

On the 13th of July Mumbai experienced another attack from the terrorists. As of now, no specific perpetrator has been identified. However, given the materials used in making the bomb and the way the bombs were synchronized to explode, some Jihadi group’s hands seem to be behind the explosion and a group called Indian Mujahid, at this point, seems to be a more likely executor. The investigators are also looking at other groups and other suspected individuals. It is a given that in a vast country like India the police cannot protect every nook and cranny or every building or every street. However, a tragic incident like what happened in Mumbai does not happen in isolation. There remains a continuous history behind it.

Any analyst can see that right now, India and Pakistan are engaged in negotiations that may lead to breaking logjams on many issues including Kashmir. There are groups in Pakistan who do not support such negotiation. By exploding a bomb in the heart of India they might be trying to send a message or working to drive wedges between the two neighbors. Inside Pakistan various groups are fighting with each other. For example, the port city of Karachi has recently become a war zone. The people of Baluchistan see Punjabis as oppressors and do not want them in their area. Yet, many in the Pakistani establishment tend to think that India is instigating these and other communal but homegrown conflicts. Therefore, India needs to be taught a lesson. This is nothing new. One could easily bypass this misconception to reach at the truth.

Since the death of Osama bin Laden, the relationship between Pakistan and the US has deteriorated drastically. Their “partnership” is in such a rut that the US has blocked its payment and the Pakistanis are not sure that they can afford to forego the money. On the top of it, Pakistan is being accused of peddling influence to sway the American political process in its favor. Through its agents Pakistan has been giving money to politicians. This is an illegal act. Pakistan’s long standing influence peddling in the United States has been going on for years. The Pakistani establishment is convinced that it is India that has brought such activities to the surface.

The current level of improved relationship between the US and India has become enough head ache for Pakistan. On the one hand Pakistan is being ditched by its long standing “friend and partner” the United States. Its relationship withChina on the other hand seems to be moving slowly because China is being cautious. China does not want to get sucked in. Together, all of these incidents may encourage various pro-Pakistani groups to keep India off-guard. Hence the attack in Mumbai, India’s economic nerve center. Today, multitudes of problems are facing the country. Lingering threats from Jihadi elements are not going to vanish anytime soon. Therefore, the threat of terrorism cannot be diminished overnight. The Government of India needs to have a long range plan to tackle the terrorist issue. Repeated attacks on Mumbai should be seen as a wakeup call. First of all, in the way of prevention, the Government needs to use its citizens as a basic tool. Secondly, the police have to be adequately trained and their relationship with the citizenry needs to be improved in all directions. The kind of mentality the police in India have today is in most cases out of date and counterproductive. Above all else, India needs to continue to have a dialogue with Pakistan. Obviously, Pakistan’s survival is at stake because of the conflicts it has with itself. Its failure as a viable state has become increasingly clear by the Pakistani politicians as well as the world at large. An unstable and disintegrating Pakistan would not deliver any benefit for India. Chaos next door would hinder India’s economic development and national progress. Therefore, for its own self- interest India has no choice but to show self restraint while dealing with its neighbor. Rogue groups in the name of Jihad are running wild all over Pakistan’s landscape. Pakistan finds itself tragically trapped. In a sense, it is reaping the fruit of hatred and animosity it planted in its national psyche. Terrorist attacks on India have become a by- product only. All we can do is watch and wait cautiously while remaining vigilant at all times.



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