No changes in Pakistan’s house rules
After months of closing one eye to Pakistan’s continued sponsorship of terrorism in India, it comes as a relief to note that the Indian government has resolved to tell the truth. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was quite explicit in his Independence Day speech.
If violence continues, then our response too will be hard. I am aware that the Government of Pakistan has put some checks on the activities of terrorists from its soil. However, it is not possible to achieve success through half-hearted efforts. It is necessary that the entire infrastructure of terrorism is totally dismantled.
In the context of terrorism and extremism, development and security have an intrinsic relationship. We have managed to face extremism successfully through a democratic process. However, it is imperative that a democratic government should be able to differentiate between the genuine problems of people and the designs of terrorists. [Rediff]
Across the border in Islamabad, Gen Musharraf was back to singing his usual tunes — Pakistan will conveniently find itself unable to control the extremists fully until Kashmir is ‘settled’, obviously to their satisfaction.
â€œI see the sincerity of the Indian leadership. But if we can move faster towards a resolution of Kashmir, my hands will be stronger to deal with extremism,â€ he said in an interview to the Daily Telegraph on Saturday.
â€œI have told the Indians we can only control extremists to a degree. But there will be nowhere for the extremists to go once there is a settlement on Kashmir,â€ the president said.[Dawn]
It does not require too powerful an imagination to note that despite all his protestations (and those of the Indian government) Pakistan is forcing India to negotiate with a jihadi gun pointed to its head.
Dr Manmohan Singh’s government has taken the first, and correct, step by bringing Musharraf’s failed promises on cross-border terrorism into focus. It must now follow through — the peace process is a peace process as long as there is peace during the process. It may be necessary to remind Gen Musharraf that the whole reason why India is talking to him is because it has decided to accept his word that he is part of the solution. If he is unable or unwilling to keep his promises, there is little point in engaging him in anything more than polite conversation (ideally, from a safe distance).