The India – Pakistan Relationship – Do We Want War ?
Kishor Jagirdar | December 14, 2008 at 12:53 amby
5416 views | 4 Recommendations | 17 comments
The INDIA – PAKISTAN Relationship – A proactive perspective in turbulent times of jihad and terrorism.
“There are some Islamic elements that are stateless and act independently based on their own myopic concepts of politics and has repeatedly brought about misgivings between the Islamic and non Islamic nations. They seem to have the objective of initiating a perpetual conflict between the Islamic world which doesn’t have the nuclear power and the non Islamic world that has the nuclear power. The Islamic world has to unite and take a stand on this issue more strongly than the non Islamic world as this implicates them into destruction of not their own making” – said Mr. Ramjethmalani a senior Indian parliamentarian while being interviewed by the Pakistani media on the 27th November08 ,while the struggle with the Mumbai terror attackers was still going on .
To understand this we must look deeper into the root cause.
India has faced terrorism on its soil from the pre Independence era. The communal knife had sliced the subcontinent so deeply that it resulted in the partition. It was like two brothers who were so filled with hatred and pain that they refused to look into the eye of facts and allowed themselves to be overtaken by the tide of the wrath of communal dissent .Some fractions of the society didn’t opt to be just bystanders and wanted to make someone pay for the hurt and loss of lives and they were the ones who first raised the demons of terrorism. Be it the RSS, the Hindu Mahasabha or the multiple Sikh fractions or the Muslim league bred youth wing, they all were in some way or the other responsible to the massacre that took the toll of more than 1 million human lives on both sides and displaced more than 10 times the figure of human population which was the largest in modern history.
Since then India has faced terrorism in many instances across all sides of its border from last 60 years. Whether it was state engineered from across the border or non state entities, blood of the innocents has been spilt on the Indian soil endlessly. Besides perpetual isolated and low intensity fighting, this has even caused three major conflict and war with India and Pakistan. The chaos in the Pakistani administration and the lack of a strong democratic set the Military has devised and led their own parallel foreign policy and the Pakistan government was too weak to control these elements, let it be the ISI or the various militant groups they spawned to further their own political interest in Afghanistan with the strong backing of the then US administration as an ally against the then USSR.
Pakistan in the last 20 years has been in the state of constant denial of the involvement of any Pakistani elements in the Kashmir, Sikh or the ULFA militancy .They wanted the world to believe that these were home grown militancy from the Indian own unrest and they have no connection with them even in the face of evidences that were shared between the two nations intelligence agencies from time to time.
Even today, Its hard to explain the relationship between the two nations during the Kargil conflict in 1999 when on one hand the two premiers of the nations were embracing each other at the Wagha border and usher a new era of peace and friendship, on the other hand the ISI backed infiltrators were busy killing Indian army in cold blood and capturing the Kargil territory .The dichotomy is evident by this episode where rogue elements in the state machinery were acting on their own without any respect to the government machinery.
Pakistan may have made tremendous success using their Jihad strategy in Afghanistan. To make this a success and install Taliban in Afghanistan they were supported by millions of USD, apart from the arms and ammunition supply. Many country side settlements across the porous border of Pakistan and Afghanistan people have taken to manufacturing fire arms and AK – 56 kind of arms as a cottage industry due to abject poverty. Thousands of youth from the poor tribal belts were recruited for the Jihad and trained at the secret camps against the aggressors namely USSR.
This gun culture and violence came a full circle after the USSR collapsed and the volatile situation in Afghanistan was contained by the US aggression .Now a generation of their highly sophisticated and war veterans in the Jihad camps were left with no sense purpose and it was in the best interest of Pakistan that ISI had to divert them into allied missions and campaigns in India ,China, and elsewhere in the name of Islam as they have to be contained , least they become a menace within Pakistan and cause anarchy.
The evidence of it is seen in the by commando action by Pervez Musharraf administration storming of the mosque in Karachi and the J.W Marriot episode. This reached a crescendo with the assassination of the charismatic leader Mrs. Benzir Bhutto.
Terror training schools, teaching hundreds of new and young recruits in suicide missions and the use of sophisticated weapons, have been active in many parts of Pakistan, including Punjab, the North West Frontier Province, Waziristan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Different terrorist groups, including the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, often with the help of former Pakistan army soldiers, run these schools or camps. The syllabus, the training and indoctrination are far more sophisticated than the pre-9/11 training camps.
Herald, a widely read English monthly published by the Dawn group of publications, reported in June 2006 about the fresh recruitment drive launched by the terrorist groups and the sprouting of training camps.
According to the several UNI reports , at least three major jihadi groups maintain their liaison and recruitment offices in the Timergara area of Lower Dir district. These include the Hizb-ul Mujahideen, Al Badr Mujahideen, now re-named as Al Suffa Foundation, and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, renamed as Jamaat-ud-Dawa.
Other jihadi organisations that have either offices or training camps in the Timergara and Warai areas of Dir include the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which now calls itself Al Rahman Trust, the Harkat-ul-Ansar, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and a Kashmiri group called the Pasban Millat.
Herald reported the presence of more than a thousand trained militants in three camps in the Hazara region of NWFP alone.
At about the same time, Afghan national television reported (October 5, 2006) that the Lashkar was forming suicide-bombing squads to help the Taliban fight the NATO forces and was recruiting Afghan refugees to take up arms against the Afghan government and the NATO forces.
Citing a known case of recruitment, the report said the Lashkar recruits went to the Ahl-e-hadith mosque in the Jalozai refugee camp in Peshawar where the youth were promised training and money if they agreed to join jihad.
The first terrorist leader to acknowledge this development was Jaish-e-Mohammad's Masood Azhar who wrote in his weekly column in an obscure but popular pro-Al Qaeda Urdu weekly, al Qalam, (December 2006) that 'the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad are working actively in Kashmir and they are giving the Hindus a tough time'.
He said the 'mujahideen in Kashmir were coming from Dir, North West Frontier Province and it was not possible for Musharraf to stop them'. Upper Dir is one of the northern most districts in the NWFP and borders Chitral, Swat and Malakand districts of the NWFP, in addition to Bajaur Agency in FATA.
Though India has from time to time shown evidence on the Pakistani link to the terror strikes in Kashmir from 1989, the Khalistan movement , 1993 Mumbai blast , the Kargil war or the Parliament attack in 2002 Pakistan did very little or nothing in taking cognizance against these militant camps. In fact most of the Pakistani media until the Mumbai attack on the 26th November 2008 were misleading the Pakistani people that there was virtually no connection to the bloodshed in India and projected the whole scenario as an internal conflict of India, as seen on the video footage below
But things have changed now .Growing evidence of the terrorists coming from Pakistan training camps and having their home roots from Pakistani homes has prompted US which has taken the Mumbai attack episode seriously along with UK and collectively hauled up the Pakistani administration to act or face serious consequence .Especially the lone terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab caught alive and his connection being established to Faridkot which was substantiated by his father also accepting him as his son in front of the media .This has embarrassed the government in Pakistan and has been left with no space to maneuver any diplomatic solace.
The unanimous resolution of the UNSC on the terror links with terror outfits using Pakistani soil and the inaction of Pakistani government to tackle the situation sparks a change in the in the mindset of the world community as well from mere lip service of condolence to standing up to fight against this new phenomenon of menace. Even China, an ardent supporter of Pakistan has now changed its stand on this issue. Besides the Indian citizens have shown their impatience and anger which cannot be assuaged by anything less than final resolution to this issue.
Despite the rebuke from the world communities Pakistan has to examine its own realities and cannot be forced into a situation that is on one hand threatened by military actions on the terror camps by India apart from the arm twisting by the USA and on the other hand full scale provocation from its own rogue elements in the administration and military who are powerful people and can destabilize the government itself.
After a long period of time the People of Pakistan have been given a chance to express themselves politically and the new government is a very good development for India as well. The Indian administration can go a long way in preserving the interest of the Pakistani Democracy and still be assertive in the demand for change with a resolution that has long dogged the country. These calls for collective action and not indulge in unilateral actions.
The pace at which the Pakistani governments need to take action has to be slow and measured with phased approach to the core problem. They have to uproot the elements from the grassroots level. By first capturing the leaders of all these set ups and putting them to trial on their soil first. This will calm down the anger of the Pakistani citizens and focus their energy into zeroing on the root causes of these terror elements.
a) Improving their employment opportunities and microfinance schemes across the borders and country sides on the lines of Indian model.
b) Strengthen the economy and the financial systems that will not allow the funding of terror activities
c) Striking at will on the terror camps and apprehending the youth indoctrinated. They must be brought to the main stream by appropriate measures.
d) Take severe disciplinary action on those found to be linked with terror groups in the intelligence agencies, bureaucracy or military.
e) Combing and monitoring the borders to jointly stop infiltration of any terror elements. Joint covert actions.
d)The entire state of Pakistan has to be encircled with the combined forces of INDIA, Pakistan army and US forces to seal any attempt of the elements disappearing into the tribal belts fearing action.
Economically the country is nearing bankruptcy and all its allies including US and China have turned down financial assistance to bail them out in the last November 2008. They have no strength to wage a war or sustain it in this recession with the World Bank as their only savior
In India you have 150-200 million people who live by European standards and one billion who live in sheer poverty. Not to say that Muslims are necessarily poor, just as there are poor Hindus also, but this exposes a number of fault lines behind the Indian miracle.
Overlooking these factors India may unwittingly cause greater harm to its own interest by provoking more terror strikes on its own soil and endangering its people across all the cities .Again this can increase the risk of terror strikes within Pakistan and endanger the government with anarchy .With the war against Taliban and Al-Qaeda on one hand Pakistan cannot open another front on its eastern borders with India. This will allow the rogue elements to have a free will with their nefarious activities. Even the danger of nuclear weapons and bio-chemical warheads being pillaged by these forces in the absence of a government in Pakistan and holding the entire region of Indian peninsular to ransom cannot be ruled out. This has all the elements of sparking a third world war which can be the nemesis of the world.
What India must ask itself, if this is what it wants by becoming aggressive?
On the other hand within India terror strikes have created a breed of militant elements within the fractions of the fundamental and extremist outfits. Victims of terror become perpetrators giving birth to more terrorist, as people are hurt and pained and sometimes they want to hold some one accountable. This is evident from the Malegoan blast and its subsequent probe that has brought out skeletons from the closet, linking Indian ex-army people in taking vigilant actions. This means there is another set of movement that is emerging and outfits getting created on the Indian soil by its own people and taking a serious terror group identity that will show its anger on the minority communities further aggravating the agony of the people in India and Pakistan .
The question India needs to ponder is whether both India and Pakistan are heading into a Palestine kind of perpetual conflict that will reset the clock of progress in both the countries economically and socially. This is like playing into the hands of the militants and their schemes. By raking up the tension and bringing India into the battlefield, the attackers aim to turn Pakistan away from the Taliban and focus on tension with India. This would then defuse the pressure on the militants who find themselves cornered by the combined forces of US marines and Pakistan army.
Both the nations have to unite and take a joint stand supported by the citizens to stand up and throw these miscreants and violence mongers out of the sub continent and bring them to justice so that no more blood is spilled and the people of both the nations focus all the anger and energy into harnessing it for peace and harmony creation. Both cannot effort to go to war and nuclear conflict. India is poised to become an economic super power and cannot effort to roll back in its economic growth apart from weathering the long hauled recession
Most Recommended Comment
CypressoThese members have powered this story: