A process pointless without peace
Praveen Swami has a very perceptive analysis of why the Lashkar-e-Taiba represents the ‘principal terrorist threat’ to India today.
Understanding the Lashkar position requires an engagement with its core position: that the jihad in Jammu and Kashmir is not a battle over territory, but a part of an irreducible conflict between Islam and unbelief. Committed to the eventual creation of a caliphate that would rule over all the world’s Muslims, the Lashkar asserts that a jihad-without-end must continue “until Islam, as a way of life, dominates the whole world and until Allah’s law is enforced everywhere in the world.” As the noted scholar of Islam Yoginder Sikand perceptively pointed out, the Lashkar’s vision of Islam is one that leads it to represent the Quran itself as a manifesto for jihad. [The Hindu]
In Swami’s view, Musharraf is unlikely to change course and dismantle the Markaz Dawa wal’Irshad (Jamaat-ud-Daawah) calculating correctly that the Bush administration and the United States have far too many things on their plate. Indeed, as the Indian Express pointed out today, India cannot allow the ‘peace process’ and Kashmir-centric initiatives to come in the way of the issue of cross-border terrorism, directed from Pakistan, against India. It makes little sense for India to engage Musharraf as a genuine partner in the peace process if all it gets are terrorist attacks and diplomatic crocodile’s tears.
Abdul Karim Tunda, the Lashkar founding father in India, has been spotted more than once at the Jamaat ud-Dawa campus at Muridke, near Lahore. If Pakistan is serious about ending the Lashkar’s war against India, it could start by handing him over for trial.[The Hindu]
Musharraf’s claims to act against jihadis if presented with evidence is not very different from Mullah Omar’s stance after the September 11 attacks. He too wanted proof that Osama bin Laden was responsible. The Bush administration did not waste time trying to satisfy the Taliban. The Indian government would do well to follow this example. It must compel Musharraf to put his money where is mouth is — and deliver on the promises he made in January 2002, after New Delhi was last attacked.