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Lesson from Lahore: It isn't About Cricket
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
Lahore should provide South Asia a message. By a terrorist attack against the Sri Lankan players the enemy was not attacking cricket. It was attacking culture.
The lifestyle of the vast majority of the people on the subcontinent is not acceptable to the enemy. We don't know as yet whether the attack was executed by Lashkar or Harkat or Taliban or LTTE or Al Qaeda. It doesn't matter.
Regardless of which mask the enemy chooses to wear we should know by now that there is but one brain behind the mask. Because all these different terror groups are united. There is irrefutable evidence that from Kashmir to the Northeast to Sri Lanka terrorist groups have on occasion helped each other with training and support. The enemy therefore is one. He has a single minded aim. He seeks to destroy democratic South Asia.
The victims of the enemy are divided. The governments of South Asia view each other with suspicion. LK Advani some years ago talked about the cultural nationalism of the subcontinent. That seems to be swamped by the bickering between all its governments. And what a great irony that is!
When Bengal was partitioned by Lord Curzon on 16 October, 1905 it led to such fierce protests by Bengali Hindus that King George V had to annul it in 1911. When Punjab was to be partitioned in 1947 ninety per cent of its Muslims voted against dividing the province.
Today all the governments of the region distrust each other. Like puppets on a string they can be made to squabble and fight in total disregard of their past history.
Make no mistake. Neither the Afghans nor the Pathans are as a people sympathetic to the terror and repression unleashed by the pro-Al Qaeda Taliban. The people are simply forced into submission by the few gun-toting killers who are organized to terrorize the unorganized majority. The enemy will hit each nation and each region one by one until it attains victory.
Cannot the governments of the subcontinent see the looming threat and unite to wipe out the enemy? If the governments did unite to fight the enemy the vast majority of the people sick of terror would also unite. With the support of this vast majority the enemy would become easy prey.
The governments of South Asia can together accomplish what NATO cannot. This is war. Armies effectively fight wars under unified command.
Lahore has sent all South Asia a message. Will its governments heed it?
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