Continued from Part - I
In this world today, the terrorism is, without a doubt, the biggest threat to the peaceful living and progress of the humanity and international community. There is a saying you cannot choose your neighbor and neighborhood. The secular and democratic India shares this destiny with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Ironically, two countries were carved out from one geographic entity the British India in the South-Asian subcontinent at the time of independence from British in August, 1947 on the analogy that Hindus and Muslims are two different nation and cannot live together.
Many events following the independence proved erroneousness and futility of the two nation theory. Ironically, the decades of discrimination and persecution of Hindus and other minorities in Islamic Pakistan led to the reduction of their population to almost negligible or naught while in secular and democratic India today Muslim population is almost as much as in Pakistan. The latest case in point was the events of 1971 leading to the worst ever genocide of Bengalis in the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) culminating in the Indo-Pakistan War and leading to the emergence of Bangla Desh as a sovereign nation.
During March to December, 1971, West Pakistani Muslim army massacred (some put this estimate to nearly 3 millions) Bengali-speaking Muslims and Hindus and this genocide came to a halt only after under the pressure of more than 10 million refugees, India invaded the East-Pakistan and liberated it from the military dictator regime of the West Pakistan. Just to put this record straight, all this happened when during the general elections in December, 1970, East Pakistan based Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led Awami League won absolute majority in the Pakistan National Assembly in the first ever democratic elections held in the history of Pakistan under the Military Regime of General Yahya Khan and then he was denied due share in power by the Military Dictator under the influence of West Pakistan’s Zulfikar Ali Bhutto led Pakistan People’s Party. Interestingly, this was still a cold war era and in otherwise truly democratic USA, while the US public sentiments were in favour of the people in Bangla Desh, American President Nixon led Administration, instead of supporting the democratic process, actually supported dictatorship in West Pakistan with money and weapons. In fact, during the war, the US had gone to the extent of dispatching its 7th Naval fleet under the flagship Interprise in the Indian Ocean to pressurize India, and reportedly had gone to the extent of inciting China to attack India to relieve pressure on Pakistan.
The reported slaughter of nearly three million people in the then East Pakistan is perhaps one of the worst ever genocides in human history. Lt. General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, commanding the Pakistani Eastern Command, who surrendered to the Indian Armed Forces on 16th December 1971, in his book ‘The Betrayal of East Pakistan’ later wrote:
“On the night of March 25-26, 1971, General Tikka Khan (Pakistani Eastern Command) turned the peaceful night into a time of wailing, crying and burning…. The military action was a display of stark cruelty, more merciless than the massacres at Bukhara and Baghdad by Changez Khan and Halaku Khan, or at Jallianwala Bagh by the British General Dyer.”
Obviously, Pakistan could never reconcile with this humiliating defeat and dismemberment by their arch-rival India in the Sub-Continent despite the fact this outcome was her own creation and obvious nemesis. As post war development, India unconditionally released over 90,000 POWs, the entire territory captured on the western front and a host of other concessions under the Shimla Agreement to ease tension and normalize relations with Pakistan while natural course of action could have been to handover POWs for the trial by the new Government of Bangla Desh for their war crimes. India made every effort to assuage acrimony of the past but, it’s obvious, it never worked. The war of 1971 also convincingly established that Pakistan was no match for India in any conventional face-off. All this only strengthened the resolve of Pakistan to take revenge by fomenting continuous trouble in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the later years.
Genesis of Terrorism
The history of Pakistan supported insurgency and terrorism in India and Afghanistan can be traced back from the year 1979, when US led Western Forces were trying to counter and expel USSR (now Russia) from Afghanistan. United States then perceived Pakistan as a potential ally which could provide base and other necessary logistics for their operational ease in return of aid with money and weapons. This was also the time when US and allies were encouraging and actively assisting various Mujaheedin groups in Afghanistan with money, weapons and training to fight Soviet backed Afghan government forces. Rest is a part of history now as to how funds and weapons received from the Western sources were actually diverted to recruit, train, and arm misguided youthin 1980s and beyond to sponsor terrorism and insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir in the following years. Over the years, Pakistan ISI and Army actively supported and coordinated insurgency and terrorism in India and Afghanistan which has grown to the extent of being beyond the control of their mentors. Terror machinery created over a period of time is now threatening Pakistan as much as its neighbours, mainly India and Afghanistan.
Terrorism Network and Subversive Activities
The very creation of Pakistan was on account of religious bigotry and intolerance leading to bloodshed and death of millions on both sides of the border. The state of Jammu and Kashmir remained in the centre stage of conflict between two nations ever since the independence. During 1980s and afterwards, the ISI and Pakistan army, in their war of attrition against India, through overt and covert means drafted a large number of unemployed and misguided youth for the said Jihad besides engaging several Islamic militants of Pashtun, Arabic and Central Asian regions to export terror in Jammu and Kashmir. During the last about twenty-five years, there has been countless terrorist attacks in Jammu & Kashmir and elsewhere in India by Pakistan supported terrorist groups. A lot has been written, discussed and debatedin the international foray about the role of Pakistan army and ISI in the past in giving active support and patronage to militants and various terror outfits. Pakistan’s Taliban connection needs no alibi and is well documented and known for long. Terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, operating from the Pakistani soil, has gained notoriety at international level and is responsible for numerous terror attacks in Kashmir and elsewhere in India.
Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of 26th November, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, and score of other terrorists wanted in India for various terror crimes are freely living and moving in Pakistan. Dawood Ibrahim, popularly known as D-Company, who allegedly coordinated Mumbai Serial Blasts in 1993, is stated to have created his empire in Karachi and Dubai and comfortably living there under State patronage. Mumbai bombings in 1993 had led to about 350 deaths and 1,200 injuries on a single day. Recently, an anti-terrorist court has granted bail to the co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and coordinator of terrorist operations of 26/11 Mumbai attacks Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi allegedly due to lack of evidence or deficient evidence, while Ajmal Kasab, the only terrorist caught alive and confessed to his interrogators that Lakhvi was one who recruited terrorists for Mumbai attack, has been convicted and sentenced to death way back. Under the intense diplomatic pressure from India, he has again been arrested on other charges but it is difficult to say how long he will stay in jail and whether Pakistan government will pursue his case with due seriousness.
There have been numerous major terror attacks but during the recent years, two such terrorist attacks virtually pushed India almost on the brink of another war with Pakistan. First such incident had occurred on 13th December, 2001when five terrorists infiltrated the Indian Parliament House in a car with forged Home Ministry and Parliament levels, while both the houses of the Parliament were on and several ministers, members of parliament and senior government officials were present inside the building. In the ensuing battle that followed, this attack left about a dozen people dead and several injured. Subsequent investigations established that the attack was the result of a conspiracy by Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed with links in Pakistan. The incident led to a major India–Pakistan standoff in the form of border tensions and massive build up of troops on either side of the international border and along the Line of Control in Kashmir region in early 2002, and only after a great deal of military and diplomatic maneuvers the escalation could be eased.
The other incident was a heinous terror attack carried out in Mumbai in the form of shootings and bombings from 26th to 29th November, 2008 by Pakistani terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba. This attack left about 166 people dead, including some foreign nationals, and over 300 wounded. The only terrorist who was caught alive namely Ajmal Kasab, during interrogation confessed terrorists’ link with the master minds in the terrorist outfit in Pakistan and alleged complicity of Pakistan’s ISI.
Despite Pakistan always being in denial mode, several terrorists and offenders wanted by the Indian law agencies and security forces have been allegedly living in hide outs in Pakistan. In this context, the most striking illustration could be that of Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of global terrorist group Al-Qaeda, wanted by the American government for the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. leading to death of about 3,000 people and billions dollar of property and infrastructure damage. He was hiding in Abbottabad cantonment of Pakistan for years before US Navy SEALs apprehended and killed him in an operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, on 2nd May, 2011. Whatever compulsion US government had in exercising restraints over Pakistani claims due to political and diplomatic reasons but it would be beyond any sane and rational mind’s imagination that a three storied house built in a massive compound with high security wall near Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad cantonment would not attract attention of the civil and military establishment of the Pakistan government for so long, and that they would be unaware of the owner or occupant and his suspicious activities..
Separatist Movement in Kashmir
Pakistan indulges in a proactive propaganda and disinformation, nationally and internationally, branding insurgents and terrorists active in Jammu and Kashmir as freedom fighters. According to Pakistani propaganda, the Kashmiri insurgency indicates that the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain within India, meaning thereby that either Kashmir would want to stay with Pakistan or independent.
The ground reality is that Pakistan military and ISI are actively engaged in promoting insurgency and terrorism in the Indian Territory across the border, particularly from the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir by providing Muslim youth from various countries with training, ammunition, financial and doctrinal assistance. It is also true that some poor, unemployed and religious Kashmiri Muslim youth too fall easy prey and are misled to join the coercive and subversive activities giving it the colour of freedom struggle. Besides,some pro-Pakistan separatist groups too are active in the Kashmir valley.
While insurgents / terrorists get massive covert support from the military and ISI, the separatist leaders get overt political and moral support for their movement from the Government of Pakistan. During the past 25 years or so, thousands of innocent civilians including women and children along with the security personnel as also terrorists have been killed and property destroyed in Jammu and Kashmir. During August, 2014, foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan resumed after a hiatus of almost two years was cancelled by India, after Pakistan, despite a clear warning, chose to hold consultation with the separatist leaders of Kashmir valley just before the scheduled meeting.
Major Terror Incidents in India Caused by Pakistan Supported Groups
There has been countless incidents of terror attacks during the past twenty-five years and some of the major incidents are indicated below:
A series of bomb blasts took place in Mumbai on the 12th March, 1993 killing more than 350 and injuring about 1,200 people. Dawood Ibrahim, the notorious don, is believed to be behind these attacks carried out in retaliation for the demolition of a disputed mosque structure in northern India in December 1992. There are enough evidence to believe that the don is comfortably living in Karachi under the state patronage ever since.
On 1st October, 2001, the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly in Srinagar was hit by a car bomb and three suicide bombers killing 38 people. According to subsequent reports, Pakistan backed terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed was behind this attack.
The Indian Parliament in New Delhi was attacked by five terrorists leading to the death of about a dozen people including cops and staffers on 13th December, 2001. The government sources blamed terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed for the attack.
In a terrorist attack at the Akshardham temple at Gandhinagar, Gujarat on 24th September, 2002, 31 people were dead.
In a bombing incident on a commuter train in Mumbai on 13th March, 2003, 11 people were dead, while another incident of bombings in Mumbai on 25th August, 2003 led to the death of 54 people and 244 injured. The Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind this attack and three persons including a woman were convicted and sentenced to death in 2009.
Serial bomb explosions in a busy market only days before the festival of Diwali in Delhi on 29th October, 2005 killed at least 62 people injuring another 210 people including women and children. The terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba was accused for this attack.
On 11th July, 2006, an incident of train bombing in Mumbai Suburban Railway took a death toll of 209 people and over 700 were injured. The bombs set off in pressure cookers on trains exploded in short span of less than 15 minutes causing havoc on commuters. Earlier in the same year in March, over 28 deaths were reported from bombings in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. A lesser known terrorist group Lashkar-e-Kahar, possibly linked with Lashkar-e-Taiba, claimed responsibility for these attacks.
On 18th February, 2007, bombs were planted in two carriages of Samjhauta Express which exploded near Panipat, Haryana and killed 68 people. These causalities included Pakistani and Indian civilians and military personnel detailed on security duties on the train.Allegations and counter-allegations were made against Lashkar-e-Taiba and a Hindu outfit for the attack.
On 7th September, 2011, a bomb blast outside the High Court in Delhi led to the killing of 17 people and injury of 76 and reportedly Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami took responsibility for this attack.
Simultaneous explosions at the court premises in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi cities of Uttar Pradesh on 24th November, 2007 led to the death of 21 people.
On 13th May, 2008, bombing incidents in Jaipur, Rajasthan killed 63 people. During the same year, bombings in Ahmedabad resulted in 29 casualties and blasts in Delhi on 13th September killed 21 people. A terrorist group calling itself ‘Indian Mujahideen’ claimed responsibility for this attack.
Another much publicized and notorious terrorist attack was carried out in Mumbai from 26th to 29th November, 2008 by Pakistani terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba. This attack left at least 164 dead and 308 wounded. The only terrorist Ajmal Kasab caught alive was convicted and sentenced to death.
Recently, during one of the live debates on a reputed private news channel, an Indian expert on Defence matters put death toll on account of terror attacks in India to around 80,000. As per South Asia Terrorism Portal, from 1994 to 2014 there has been 63,986 deaths in various parts of India on account of terrorism. Of this casualty figure, 24,482 were civilians, 9,534 security forces personnel and 29,970 terrorists. In the Jammu and Kashmir alone, there has been more than 435 major terrorist incidents since 1990 and the reported death toll from 1988 to 2014 is 43,704, of which 14,704 were civilians, 6,145 security forces personnel and 22,855 terrorists. These figures may vary from different sources due to various reasons but the case in point is that the country has paid and still paying a very heavy price in terms of loss of life, property and exchequer for maintaining the integrity and safety of the nation.
Terrorist Outfits in Jammu and Kashmir
Several terrorist organizations, extremist and separatist groups are operating and engaged in terror, sabotage and subversive activities in India. There are more than 30 known major and minor terrorist outfits which have been engaged in terrorist activities at some or the other point of time. Some of the more dangerous and influential outfits known for their notoriety and savagery are Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (erstwhile Harkat-ul-Ansar), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Jabbar, Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami, Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Omar and Al Badr.
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT): It was founded by Hafez Saeed in 1990 with Abdullah Azzam as co-founder, who was once upon a time teacher and mentor of Osam bin Laden. LeT is perhaps the largest, most active and deadliest terrorist outfit in South Asia, mainly operating against India from the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Pakistan. LeT has been accused as major force behind 2001 Parliament attack, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and several other incidents. It has been banned as a terrorist organization by India, USA, UK and European Union. Hafiz Saeed is operating from Pakistani soil and openly induces and threatens to wage war (Jihad) against India. Even in the recent massacre of children in an Army Public School in Peshawar in December, 2014 while Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) publicly took responsibility for the terror attack, Hafez Sayeed was seen publicly giving inflammatory speech holding India responsible for the attack.
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM): After December, 1999 release from an Indian prison in exchange of passengers of the Indian Airlines fight IC 814 held hostage at Kandhar, Maulana Masood Azhar founded Jaish-e-Mohammed. Main objective of the outfit is to separate Kashmir from India, one of the most active and notorious terror outfits and it has carried out numerous terror attacks in Kashmir and elsewhere in India, including 2001 Indian Parliament attack since its formation. It is formally banned even in Pakistan besides India, USA and some other western countries.
Hizb-ul-Mujahideen: It is a Kashmiri separatist terrorist outfit which was founded by Ahsan Dar in 1985. Currently it is headed by Sayeed Salahudeen, stated supreme commander of the group, who is located in Pakistan. Its terror activities are mainly focused in Jammu and Kashmir and the outfit is banned by India and the European Union. The outfit is stated to be operating under active patronage of ISI and Pakistan army.
Harkat-ul-Mujahideen: It is stated to be a splinter group of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Originally formed to fight against Soviet military in Afghanistan) mainly involved in terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir. It is listed as a banned organization by United Nations, USA, India and some other nations. Reportedly, it has thousands of armed militants located in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, areas of southern Kashmir and Doda, and its current leader is Fazlur Rehman Khalil who is believed to be based in Pakistan.
Tahreek-ul-Mujahideen: It was formed in 1990 by one Yunus Khan with a goal to integrate the state of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan. Its cadre is believed mainly to comprise of foreign mercenaries recruited in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and is mainly operating in Kashmir valley. Reportedly, it receives funds, arms and training from ISI and Pakistan army and works in close tandem with Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Lashkar-e-Jabbar: This outfit came in news in 2001 after a few acid attack incidents on school teachers followed by threats for adoption of an Islamic dress code by all Muslim girl students and teachers.
Other Extremist & Separatist Groups
Apart from these major terrorist groups, certain extremist and secessionist groups like Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Mutahida Jehad Council (MJC) and Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) too are active either with a goal to see Jammu and Kashmir as an independent nation or its merger with Pakistan.
Of this JKLF was founded by Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Bhat in May, 1977 in Birmingham, UK and later on its branches were established in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir. For many years, it operated like a terrorist organization with its stated goal to liberate Jammu and Kashmir from India and unite it with Pakistan as an independent state while receiving arms and training from Pakistan military. Later it split into two factions after the group led by Yasin Malik in Jammu and Kashmir renounced violence in 1995 while the other faction in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir headed by Amanullah Khan continue to pursue violence to achieve its goal.
The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) was formed in 1993 as an alliance of 26 religious, political and social organizations in Kashmir seeking the right of self-determination for the Kashmiris asper UN Security Council Resolution 47. Currently, APHC has three factions each led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, MirwaizUmer Farooq and Shabir Shah, respectively. Recently, Hurriyat was in news when the initiative taken by the Indian Government to resume bilateral peace talks with Pakistan in August, 2014 was called off after the Pakistan Envoy opted to hold prior consultations with Hurriyat leaders on Kashmir.
Modus Operandi of Infiltration
From time to time, Indian army and intelligence sources have revealed information about the terrorist training camps run in Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir and elsewhere in Pakistan. Apparently, there are three kinds of terrorist camps used for the recruitment, training and launching attacks, respectively.
Target groups are usually poor, unemployed and religious minded Muslim youth who are recruited with inducement for the sake of money and Jihad. Initial training usually lasts for 30-35 days and the brainwashed youth are sent to other camps to learn specialized skills about arms, navigation, radio-communication etc. Trained and armed youth are later transferred to the launching camps near border with handlers and instructors waiting for opportune time to be pushed in the Indian Territory under the fire cover at vulnerable points or climatic conditions.
Acknowledgement and Allegations of Complicity
Although Pakistan has often denied its involvement in the terrorist activities in Kashmir, arguing that it only provides political and moral support to the 'secessionist' groups, the US State Department, Indian authorities and many independent organizations and observers are on record and have published incriminating evidence on many occasions in the past linking Pakistan with the state sponsored terrorism.
As back as in 2009, Pakistani President Asif Zardari publicly conceded at a conference in Islamabad that Pakistan had created and used terrorist groups as a tool in the past to serve its geo-strategic agenda. He is also on record to admit in July, 2010 that militants had been deliberately created and nurtured by the past governments as a policy to achieve some short term tactical objectives. Tribal regions of Pakistan along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir have often been termed to be the ‘haven for terrorists’.
In October 2010, the former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf too conceded that the Pakistan government trained terrorists against India and pushed them into Jammu and Kashmir. In an interview to a German Magazine, he said, “(Militant groups) were indeed formed. The government turned a blind eye because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir.” Recently, again in October, 2014, he boasted of using such capabilities of Pakistan to destabilize India in a television interview.
Besides several independent journalists, authors, political analysts and neutral observers too have commented on Pakistan’s terror links from time to time. A renowned Welsh Author Gordon Thomas had stated in the past that while Pakistan has cooperated US in capturing Al Qaeda members, it is still sponsoring terrorist groups in the disputed state of Kashmir by funding, training and arming them in their war of attrition against India. Dr Daniel L.Byman, a professor at Georgetown University, considered Pakistan as the most active sponsor of terrorism. In an article on terrorism published in The Australian, he wrote, “…Following the terror massacre in Mumbai, Pakistan may now be the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism, beyond even Iran, yet it has never been listed by the US State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.” A renowned journalist Stephen Suleyman Schwartz from Washington, D.C. based Centre for Islamic Pluralism, observed that several terrorist and criminal groups are backed by senior officers in the Pakistani army, the ISI and other armed bodies of the state.
In a recent video released by Adnan Rashid, self-styled commander of one faction of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, he disclosed at length how Pakistan ISI and army have been recruiting, training and misleading Muslim youth from Kashmir and elsewhere in the name of Jihad over the years to use them for terror activities against India in Kashmir.
Will Pakistan Cooperate India on Terrorism?
The problem today in Pakistan is that they are unable to control and counter the very terror module which they had created for their neighbours in the past but now it is posing serious threat to their own survival. Notwithstanding above, Pakistan is still unwilling to curtail terrorism on its soil directed at India and Afghanistan and considers them as strategic assets.
Paradox in Pakistan is that terrorists operating against India are considered as freedom fighters carrying out holy Jihad for Kashmir’s freedom against (so called) Indian atrocities while terrorists causing domestic violence are the terrorists. The fact is that there is nothing like a good terrorist and bad terrorist. Nowhere in the history of world, one would find the examples of the freedom fighters killing innocent civilians, women and children.
When India seeks negotiation with Pakistan on the agenda of terrorism, the latter shows willingness more to it for the tactical reasons else India may not agree to include any dialogue on Kashmir. But on the question of actually implementing it, Pakistan goes on the denial mode. It is of common knowledge that several criminals and terrorists wanted in India for terror crimes are actually living as free citizen or in safe hideouts in Pakistan, some of them even under active state patronage. So it does not come as surprise if a court in Pakistan does not find enough evidence to prosecute Lashkar-e-Taiba terror masterminds like Lakhvi. Of course, Pakistan would argue that India has not rendered enough and sustainable evidence. It is obvious if Pakistan become serious on relying on its own investigation, it would risk revealing complicity of its own state machinery viz. the ISI and army with terrorism.
For any reference from the Indian side about the laxity in handling such elements on their soil, Pakistan invariably poses itself as the victim of terrorism citing heavy casualties suffered in terror incidents to make a case for its innocence. Also as a counter, it charges India for maligning its image before international community besides making allegation of India’s role in troubled Baluchistan. On one hand it blames India for derailment of peace process by discontinuing bilateral talks, on the other hand if such initiatives are taken by India to ease tension and normalize relations, Pakistan resort to belligerent actions like negotiating separatist leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, beheading Indian soldiers or resorting to breach on LOC through intermittent unprovoked firing.
For the international community or an independent observer, it may be a dilemma to go by which version – the one given by India or Pakistan. But if one applies a rational mind with a logical approach, one instantly gets the obvious answer. Ever since the first war of Kashmir immediately after partition, although India had lost more than one-third territory of the state but apparently having reconciled with the changed geography and demography, it has never made any serious bid to claim or recover the lost territory through any political dialogue or military action. On the other hand, it is Pakistan which by overt and covert means, through wars and terror activities, has kept the issue alive even after more than six decades declaring Kashmir as its core agenda and pre-requisite for any dialogue for restoration of peace and good neighbourly relations.
Coming back to the mute question whether Pakistan would cooperate with India to jointly fight and eradicate terrorism from South Asia. The straight answer is ‘No’ till the time the former reconciles with the fact that its dismemberment in 1971 war was on account of its denial of the democratic process, continuous exploitation and genocide of Bengali Muslims and Hindus in the erstwhile East-Pakistan, and not because of any evil design of India. Such a cooperation is also not possible till Pakistan accepts the fact that the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with post-independent India is a historical, geographic and demographic reality and this position is irreversible. The record turnover of more than 70% percent of electorate in the recent election of 2014 in Jammu and Kashmir, perhaps more than any other state in India ever, convincingly vindicates this point.
For mutual cooperation for peace and prosperity, the Islamic State of Pakistan needs to realize that the common evils in the region are poverty, illiteracy, deprivation of women and children, human rights violations, corruption and favouratism, and challenges of growth and development for a decent living. This realization and renouncement of extremism and terrorism are prerequisites for mutual cooperation and to move ahead for a decent and peaceful living and co-existence.
Continued to Part III