Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Infiltration Situation: The core issue in Indo-Pak Relations

As you are all aware, Minister Pranab Mukherjee has indicated that there has not been satisfactory progress towards reducing infiltration of terrorists into India.

I mentioned earlier that Pakistan has deliberately and repeatedly tried to fashion its sense of national identity through its hostility towards India.

Pakistan has thus cultivated a habit of providing a home to anti-India terrorists and creating ways for them to secretly enter India. It is finding it hard to kick this habit despite the fact that the psychopaths they have collected under their roof in this process are now tearing Pakistan to shreds and undermining its relations with Pakistan's greatest mentor, America.

The NDA government had repeatedly mentioned that infiltration of terrorists was the key problem in India-Pakistan relations, and it had largely stuck to the stand that ending cross border terrorism was to be the cornerstone of India's policy towards Pakistan. Towards the end of the NDA tenure, the Musharraf regime finally undertook some measures to control infiltration into India.

The UPA inherited this general policy direction and the present government has patiently executed a policy of peace despite growing evidence that General Musharraf is becoming lax in controlling anti-India elements in Pakistan. It was this sense of patience that the Government drew upon in the face of terrorist attacks inspired by Pakistani backed networks in Bangladesh.
There is growing criticism of the government's handling of Pakistan, and with terrorist attacks occuring in India, not just Kashmir, people are beginning to question whether such the patience the government displays with Pakistan is really a virtuous thing. It has certainly been quite an act of patience to sit through the attacks on Mumbai and Ayodhya. The recent attack on Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, strains the a weary mind...

One is only too well aware that India is not the only country that has deep concerns about Pakistan's attitude towards cross border terrorism and the inability of the Musharraf regime to act satisfactorily against it.

The Joint Counter Terrorism Mechanism as you all know was set up to address such concerns, but I for one am not entirely convinced that it can be used to communicate to everyone in Pakistan that supporting attacks that damage the communal fabric of India is not the way to go.

There is much soul searching that will occur in Pakistan soon and it is understandable at such a time for people to start asking themselves what exactly being "Pakistani" is all about, but Pakistan's search for a national identity need not draw on a hostility towards India, especially when there is no guarentee that any (or even) Pakistanis can hold off India's reciprocating such an act of kindness.

Please understand, it simply does not make sense to bite of more than you can chew.

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