Is third world war welcome to wipeout terrorism?

By JN Raina

July 2010

jn rainaPakistan should cease to think of Kashmir. Time is not far away when it will forget about its own existence; when third world war will begin to wipeout Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. The situation is developing fast. Time is ripe for action. There is more hope (asha) for war, to end the menace of terror, than for peace, which is illusory.

The international community is more critical about Pakistan’s involvement in spreading global terror. Hope for peace (aman-ki-asha) is fading away, because of Pakistan’s prevarication. Its trusted ally, the United States – generally acting as grandmaster, equating India with Pakistan –  is more transparent in declaring “To hell with Pakistan”. The U S and for that matter Russia have fastened their safety belts. They have asked Pakistan, suffering from folie de grandeur (delusion of grandeur), to wind up terror business or else.

After the failed Times Square car bombing, the Obama administration warned Pakistan of dire consequences if it was proved such terror plots are traced to Islamabad. Two days after, Barack Obama’s homeland security and counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan blamed Pakistan Taliban for attempted car bombing. The bomber, Faisal Shahzad, was working for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

The latest salvo was fired by Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin, who revealed that 40 terror camps are active in the Pakistan-Afghanistan belt. He says if the NATO forces are withdrawn immediately from Afghanistan “ There will be hell in Afghanistan”. He observed that ‘moderate Taliban is an oxymoron’. Such comments are in contrast to Russia’s earlier stand that bringing in more troops in Afghanistan would further ‘worsen the situation…’. Pakistan, for its export of terrorism, can be dubbed as a war monger. There is hardly any country which has remained unaffected due to Pakistan-linked terror.

The U S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has attacked the stormy petrel Pakistan for its ‘long and covert’ association with terrorists. Some government officials, she blamed, were ‘harbouring’ Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar. The U S cannot ‘tolerate’ attacks on America, emanating from Pakistan. Her most critical comment came on the heels of the disclosure that Times Square bomber Faisal was connected to the Pakistani Taliban. Pressure is mounting on Pakistan to launch fresh military offensive in North Waziristan, Talibans’ headquarter, after the American investigators traced Faisal’s links with the Taliban. Pakistan is reluctant to act and go to town. As if it was not enough, Pakistan newspaper ‘The Daily Times’, has in a  blistering criticism advised Pakistan that it had no options but to ‘fall in line’ and obey the Americans.

Pakistan knows it is faced with ‘domestic insurgency’.  The principal threat to Pakistan is terrorism. But it does not hesitate from exporting terrorism of the highest order, affecting the U S, the European Union countries, Britain, Russia and even China. But China keeps mum, having been ‘gifted’ by Pakistan chunks of territory, which form part of the undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The on-again; off-again nature of peace negotiations between India and Pakistan, for the resolution of several issues, including what Pakistan says ‘the core issue of Kashmir’, is rhythmless.  Is it possible to move forward, given the mistrust created by Pakistan? Such talks are meaningless unless Pakistan comes on board and gives up its demand for the resolution of an issue, which is already settled. It is just to satisfy its hurt ego. The root cause of trouble is not Kashmir, but cross border terrorism and Islamic jihad, nurtured by ISI. Terrorism in fact, has been the problem since partition. It existed in one form or the other when series of invasions were carried out by Muslim warlords. They have created bad blood and bad examples for their off-spring, who think by inflicting a thousand cuts on India, Pakistan will get Kashmir on a platter. They live in a fool’s paradise. It is just in their psyche – breath, life and soul.

Any fresh peace overture with Pakistan will be misdialed and misdiagnosed. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made it clear to his counterpart in Thimpu that his ‘faith in engagement could only work if Pakistan’s civilian establishment stepped up the plate of terrorism’. He had blundered at Sharm-el-Sheikh by downgrading terrorism, ‘releasing Pakistan from the consequences of terrorism’, according to noted writer M J Akbar.  The joint statement had said: “Action on terrorism should not be linked to the composite dialogue process and these should not be bracketed”

Any Indian initiative to set aside the past is fraught with dangerous consequences. There will be more Kargils and Kasabs.

Normalizing relations is essential, but not at the cost of India’s sovereignty. Resumption of old composite dialogue is out of place. It has been India’s experience that whenever a dialogue process started, either Kargil would happen or 2611. Engaging Pakistan in a meaningful dialogue is difficult, unless terrorism is completely destroyed.

Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, legally. If there is any problem, it is about PoK, the Northern Areas and Aksai Chin, forming part of the undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir. In a hush-hush manner, Pakistan in 1963 border agreement had ceded 20 per cent of Kashmir’s territory, including Aksai Chin (in Ladakh) and trans-Karakoram region to China. That is why China keeps mum and tolerates Pakistan’s terrorism. If there is any dispute about Jammu and Kashmir, China should be made party to it and asked to handover these areas. If it was a disputed territory, Pakistan had no moral right to cede these areas to China.

To bleed India, Pakistan can even sell its soul to countries like China, which are not friendly towards India.  Indian Parliament’s 1994 resolution, seeking reclaim of PoK, cannot be nullified. The UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir are outdated. Kashmiris enjoy religious, political and economic freedom. These facilities are absent in Pakistan, where thousands of people are butchered by the Army. 

After the 1971 war, Pakistan got divided. Should Bangladesh also become party to the dispute?  Various theories and suggestions have been floated about the resolution of Kashmir issue, like the ‘middle path’, ‘European model’, plebiscite, or General (rtd) Musharraf’s so-called out-of-the-box solution. Even Army generals are opposed to him. It is sheer waste of time.  Even converting the LoC into a permanent border will not be feasible. Pakistan should simply be told to vacate occupied areas and China should buzz off from Aksai Chin. According to a survey, 67 per cent of people are against greater autonomy.  The needles of a clock cannot be turned back.

Even after 2611 judgment, Pakistan wants India to address the root cause of trouble, inter alia Kashmir. India has to find other means to deal with Pakistan.  The past cannot be put behind for a song.  Pakistan Army is not sincere in keeping peace with India for obvious reasons. In any manner, the Army has to be anti-India. It will never keep distance from jihadists and terrorist groups raised to bleed India. They are its strategic assets.

For India, the core issue should be terrorism, which has become a global concern. The problem should be addressed collectively by world powers. Time has come to wage war collectively on terror camps and repulse the jihadi moment.