Supporting cross-border terrorism, since 1947

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.

“I 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,” he said in an interview to the Daily Telegraph on Saturday.

“I 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,” 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).

3 thoughts on “Supporting cross-border terrorism, since 1947”

  1. I hear you Nitin

    But the sad part is, everyone is too disillusioned with this whole business. I mean, since how long is this farce going on. Ages! Musharraf combating extremesism – the idea is ridiculously funny.

    Pakistani police routinely arrests these extremists and routinely releases them on bail within 48 hours. Doesn’t anyone still get it? I wonder how long will the world willingly let Pakistan fool it.

    Unless something radical or totally unexpected happens, the status quo will remain. And remain forever at that.

  2. Vulturo,

    I disagree that the situation is doomed to stay the way it is.
    The maps of India and Pakistan from 1947 and 2005 will prove that the secular republic has not only stayed intact, it has actually increased it’s land area (Goa, Sikkim for example) and has visions of becoming a world power. The Land of the Pure(itans), on the other hand, has been reduced to half it’s former glory, and shows no signs of changing direction.

    Pakistan’s only identity is “not-India”. It does not have an basis beyond that. Further, it has consistently thrown up men and women of straw (mostly in uniform), when the situation demanded a Vallabh Patel or a Nehru. Taken together, they are fighting to define a tenable ideology, as much as they believe they are warding off Big Brother in their East. Given the state of their current leadership, and their propensity (or lack of it) to build lasting institutions, I would bet on India’s prospects of just staying the course till them implode under their own contradictions.

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