No jihadi training camps in Pakistan. And cows fly.
Only a few months ago, Dr Manmohan Singh, India’s good natured prime minister, went so far as to declare that the India-Pakistan peace process was ‘irreversible’. If the doubters in Pakistan wanted any further affirmation of Indian intentions, this was it. For several months now, the Indian government has downplayed Pakistani involvement in terrorist attacks in India. Even when after the Pakistani government’s flagrant violation of the terms of the Kashmir bus service, the Indian government did not raise much of a fuss. Gen Musharraf’s government had received more benefit of the doubt than it ever deserved.
But it wants more. After fresh reports of terrorist training camps on its territory being prepared for fresh operations, the Pakistani government did the usual — it denied their existence. And it went further, claiming that such ‘allegations’ would not help carry the peace process forward. This only reinforces the belief that the Pakistani government will go along with peace-processes only as far as its agenda over Kashmir is concerned, any mention of cross-border terrorism, and the entire peace process falls into jeopardy.
According to Musharraf the question of Kashmir can be settled in a day. It is telling that he has never given any timetable for the dismantling of jihadi camps in Pakistan.
Denying their existence is not just unbelievable, it speaks of a fundamental lack of sincerity on Pakistan’s part. The terrorist attacks at Ayodhya were no trifling matter. That India did not descend into a morass of communal rioting points to how far India has come along in recent years. Sanity prevailed, yet the provocation was clearly intended to destabilise India on a national scale. If Gen Musharraf was indeed a genuine partner for peace, his government would not have been so dismissive about the involvement of Lashkar-e-Toiba, a Pakistan-based jihadi organisations.
The attacks in London are a wake-up call for India as they are for Britain and the United States. It should now be clear that the policy of mollycoddling Pakistan’s military dictatorship is only marginally successful in preventing terror attacks. Jihadi training camps, organisations and their infrastructure have to go. Musharraf has received a little too much payment in advance — it is time for him to deliver the goods. The Daily Times reports that India has threatened to walk out of the peace talks if the jihadi infrastructure is not dismantled. Well, better late than never.