For almost a week now, I’ve been enduring (along with all of you) the absolutely sensationalist coverage of the Mumbai terror strikes, in Indian television media. As if that’s not enough, I keep on finding American takes on it.
It’s amazing, how single minded the US perception of the problem is. First of all, the only reason they’re bothered (as I wrote here), is that it upsets their war plans against Afghanistan… oops, was it against terror? Yeah right. I keep on forgetting.
Look at the finality of the vision — look at how it starts with a declaration, not of a possibility, but a certainty.
No matter, Islamist terrorists have been bleeding India for years now, before Zardari, hell even before Mushy. Before Afgan war, before 9/11… “Undermine rapproachment” is the explanation of it all? Really?
How about this then? The Al-Qaeda wanted to undermine Iraq’s modernist government, and that’s why they attacked US? And US “fell” into their trap? Sounds so much believable, no?
Instead of rallying behind Singh’s government, the BJP has instead called for its resignation and accused Singh of being soft on terror. These tactics may well backfire, but based on the BJP’s history of populist, anti-Muslim rhetoric, we should be concerned about its return to power.
Yes, BJP’s behavior is disgusting, given its timing. But for all it’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, Mushy was given recognition and grand welcome in BJP’s regime. I can understand some third-rate Pakistani newspaper making such blanketly idiotic statements, but sadly, the mainstream US perception seems so colored by its (short term) political interests.
Cranking up the pressure on Pakistan may fit the public mood in India — and it may be smart politics for Singh and his ruling Congress Party — but it is folly as policy.
This, when there is zero International pressure on Pakistan to clean up its act (what act? you ask)? What options does India have? To wait for American war with Afganistan to end, by when Pakistan will be able to concentrate more on co-operating with India? That, I guess would not be a folly?
Who benefits in Pakistan when tensions with India rise? Precisely the anti-democratic hardliners in the military and intelligence services, and the Islamic hardliners who are their sometime allies, that India should want to see marginalized.
Well India have been wanting to see them marginalized for fifty years now. Or sixty? Well we’ve lost count. Why will it suddenly happen in the near future? Given the short-sighted foreign policy that US has specialized in, in the past, and present? This myth of a Pakistan that is suddenly going to transform into a democratic state, and marginalize its rouge elements (including ISI and army!), is the figment of western imagination.
As one South Asia analyst told Reuters, “The forces that are threatening the West, the forces that are threatening the civilian democracy in Pakistan and the forces who are acting against India are all interlinked to each other.”
What an insightful comment! Only the tense is the problem. And that tense betrays a lot: yes. They “have been” interlinked, all this while. Only now, post 9/11, there is even an accpetance of that.
If you can’t help us, leave us alone with our follies.