US Offers Sympathies but no Condemnation of Pakistan
Mumbai 7/11 brought into focus once again that Pakistan’s proxy war against India and the use of Islamist religious terrorism (a sophisticated term invented by the West for Islamic Jihadi terrorism) by terrorist groups based in Pakistan continues unabated. These terrorist groups are financed, trained and patronized by the Pakistani Army and its intelligence agencies and more prominently the ISI. Under pressure from Indian public opinion, India’s Prime Minister and India’s Home Minister lately began to publicly acknowledge both in Parliament and outside that the terrorism targeting India was being directed by Pakistan and the ISI. It has also been stated that if such terrorism was not controlled by Pakistan as per pledges given by Pakistan’s military ruler to USA and India in 2004 it would be difficult for India to carry the peace process forward against the will of the Indian public opinion. This was a marked departure from the Congress Government’s earlier standard format response after each Pakistan- initiated terror attacks in the last two years that “the India-Pakistan peace process will not be allowed to be derailed” by such incidents.
Notably, when analyzing the responses to Mumbai7/11 terrorist bombings emanating from the United States at all political levels and across the entire political spectrum one felt very very disappointed. While profuse sympathies were expressed by American political leaders on the terrorist bombings and the act of terrorism was condemned there were no words of condemnation of Pakistan where the roots of terrorism lay. The same was the response from other Western countries and the G-8 Summit meeting.
The American response was particularly disappointing as the United States as the global leader is expected to set exemplary standards of political responses to crisis situations especially towards terrorism in light of 9/11 events. The United States has all the intelligence on Pakistan’s terrorism campaigns against India and in light of earlier patterns and dossiers that US intelligence agencies have on Pakistan it should have been amply clear to the US Administration that it was the handiwork of Pakistan. It needs to be noted that post-9/11 Pakistan is swarming with US intelligence operators from the CIA, FBI and the DIA. With a wide network that they operate locally in Pakistan it is inconceivable that they would be in the dark as to what the Pakistani terrorist organizations were or are up to against India.
The American responses of sympathy and condemning the terrorist attack may have been politically correct but they were not correct morally from the point of view that the United States these days emphasizes that India is valued as a friend and a country with which the United States wants to build a strategic partnership. With friends one is expected to be morally correct and not politically correct for forms sake.
But this is precisely what US responses have been as one goes through the statements by US political leaders carried on a full page of India Abroad, July 21, 2006 which happened to reach my desk lately. It also strikes one that many of these US political leaders depend heavily on major financial contributions from the Indian-American community during their political campaigns. Surely, they owe much more to their Indian supporters than “politically correct statements”.
South Asia’s roots of terrorism continue to remain strongly embedded in Pakistan. The Pakistani terrorism targeting India is no longer Kashmir specific . It encompasses a wider strategic objective of keeping India strategically destabilized and also now targets India’s stupendous economic growth as evident from the pattern of Pakistan’s terrorism targets against India in the last one year.
The United States needs to recognize that should it continue to be politically correct only in its approaches towards Pakistan’s state-sponsored terrorism against India a situation could materialize where strong public pressure could force the Indian Government of the day to even go to war, if need be to end the sources of terrorism against India.
In the ultimate analysis, India at large has to recognize that India’s terrorism threat has to be firmly dealt by India and India alone. It does not befit an emerging strong nation like India to depend on others to tackle its security threats. In this connection I would like to quote again (if not done earlier) a quotation of a noted British strategist used in my book ‘ India’s Defence Policies and Strategic Thought: A Comparative Analysis’ :
“The nation which depends for the security of its honor on some international force (or support from a superpower; my emphasis) has become but a kept woman among nations. There is only one guardian of honor – a virile arm backed by a virile brain. Again a state which is not prepared to defend its honor by a righteous war, and depends on the benevolence of others to guarantee its existence, when its life is threatened, is but a paralytic living in an alms-house; it has scarcely the right to live, for it lacks the might to thrive.”