Archive for December, 2008

Dynamics of mutual destruction

December 27th, 2008

The Mumbai attack must be conclusively investigated so that it does not go into history surrounded by mystery. Since India has hurled unsubstantiated allegations against Pakistan, Mumbai must be jointly investigated.

Pakistan and India can trigger the dynamics of mutual destruction and perish simultaneously. India will perish too if Pakistan is harmed in any manner through machinations. The Indians must not forget what happened to the USSR and Yugoslavia.

India’s population of 1.13 billion people has more than 2000 ethnic groups and consists of all major religions. Two thirty-one out of 608 Indian districts are hit by terrorist activity or insurgency. The 13.4 percent Muslims living there make India home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world. These and other diverse elements of nationhood which should become India’s strength will become its vulnerability if it ever initiates or abets any harm to Pakistan’s integrity.

While India can boast of a huge military establishment, nuclear military capability, and satellites in orbit it also has the world’s largest number of people under the poverty line. In 2007, 236 million people–i.e., 76 million more than Pakistan’s population and nearly 25 percent of India’s population–lived on less than half-a-US-dollar a day.

The two countries can move forward only when neither needs to spend heavily on military preparedness. The other path–i.e., leaving the Kashmir issue unresolved and confrontation with Pakistan–will be disastrous for India too.
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The Mumbai enigma

December 20th, 2008

On Nov 26, an enigma began unfolding in Mumbai. It emerged that 12 gunmen armed with AK-47 assault rifles ransacked Mumbai for three days killing 188 people (unverified), including a few Israelis and other westerners. Security forces suffered 14 casualties. One terrorist, Kasab, who appeared to have been focused by the cameras, was arrested while all others were killed.

Why did the terrorists not carry any shoulder-fired rockets/grenades and explosives to Mumbai? The attackers, if they had no love lost for India, ought to have planned for maximum destruction during the attack. Or was the attack not meant to cause extensive damage?

Three of the 14 personnel killed were those who had proved that a serving Indian Army colonel, in collusion with Hindu militant groups, had actually bombed and burned Pakistanis alive inside the Samjhauta Express in 2007. While the father of Karkare, the senior-most Anti-Terrorist Squad officer, refused to receive condolences on behalf of the State of India and his widow refused to receive any monetary award. Did they conclusively believe that Karkare and his companions were assassinated for absolving Pakistan of complicity in the Samjhauta Express massacre in which 68 Pakistanis lost their lives? If this was somehow true, as it can be because of a very plausible State motive existing, then what was actually happening in Mumbai on 26 November 2008? Was there the linkage between the terrorists and the State forces? Is this why rocket launchers and explosives were not carried by the attackers, in order to contain destruction? Questions like these seek credible answers. The suspicious killing of Karkare and his colleagues has caused a rumpus even in the Indian Parliament.
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A terror-free world?

December 15th, 2008

The world’s sanity and equilibrium should be restored through an equitable new world order. Let’s take a bird’s eye view of the world we hope will become terror-free. Impoverished Pakistan and India are militarily nuclear powers and maintain two of the world’s five largest standing armed forces. They have fought three wars over the last six decades. The animosities thus caused have denied normalcy and prosperity to the people of South Asia. Tensions are up once again because of the atrocious attack in Mumbai. Ironically, while Mumbai is shell shocked, the Indians are extremely busy in enhancing their covert activity in Afghanistan aimed at fueling the insurgency and bloodshed now raging in Pakistan’s northwest. The Peshawar blast of Dec 5 is a horrible example of that covert Indian activity in Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, wars have been imposed on that nation by the past and present super powers. Iran and Iraq fought a ten-year war that was kept fueled by the world powers. The Middle East is in a state of perpetual war because the Palestine problem is deliberately left unresolved and Israel continues to occupy Palestinian lands and the Golan Heights. Sri Lanka has been fighting the Tamil Tigers for years and it is not a secret that the Tamil Tigers have thrived on all kinds of support from India, including military. While India supports terrorism in Sri Lanka and Pakistan it complains about it in Indian-held Kashmir. India has its own assorted crop of homegrown terrorists and insurgents and needs to look inwards and resolve its internal issues rather than meddle in the affairs of all its neighbours.

North Korea’s isolation makes it a potential hotspot. Chechnya has seen intense fighting. A war to get Taiwan reunited with mainland China has been averted only due to the collective wisdom and farsightedness of the Chinese leadership.
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Pressure Mounts For Pakistan To Act After Mumbai – NPR

December 12th, 2008

India and the U.S. are pointing to Pakistan in assigning blame for last month’s attacks in Mumbai. The Indian government says the 10 suspected attackers came from Pakistan and had support from militant groups based there. Over the past week, Islamabad has taken steps to satisfy demands for action.

The Mumbai attacks, while a horrific shock for India, have also had a profound impact in Pakistan. The country’s new and weak civilian government is being pushed hard by India and the U.S. to round up militants believed to be behind the attacks and to close down their camps.

Shuja Nawaz, author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within, says the country needs to rein in its militant groups, something governments in Pakistan have tried to do without success. Nawaz says India needs to look inward as well, and that Pakistan is wrongly bearing the brunt of the blame.
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