India Links Bombay Blast to Kashmir Conflict

In the Indian press, the bombs that exploded today in Bombay are linked to a string of grenade attacks earlier in the day in Srinagar, the capital of India's portion of the divided Kashmir province. The grenade attacks reportedly killed seven people, far fewer than the 100-plus deaths in Mumbai.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made the Kashmir-Mumbai connection in a statement he made today: "The series of blasts in Jammu and Kashmir and in Mumbai are shocking and cowardly attempts to spread a feeling of fear and terror among our citizens. My heart reaches out and grieves for all those affected by these blasts and who have lost their near and dear. I condemn these shameful acts aimed at our peace-loving people."

While no group has thus far claimed responsibility for either attack and a direct connection between the two hasn't been established, both have heightened tensions in an ever percolating clash.

The Muslim-Hindu conflict has flashed repeatedly in South Asia ever since Pakistan, a largely Muslim nation, broke off from India in a violent secession in 1947 Since independence, the two countries have fought three full-scale wars. India maintains a large military force in northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, the only area of India to believed to have a Muslim majority, while Pakistan has thousands of troops along its borders. Violent clashes between Indian armed forces and Pakistani-based
terror groups have marred the region since 1989, with a significant flare up in 2002.

Today's explosions were not the first use of bombs by terrorists in Mumbai (Bombay was renamed Mumbai by a Hindu nationalist government in 1995). The Times of India provides a chronology of bombings that occurred in 2002 and 2003.

The Times reported, "In all these blasts, the hand of SIMI [Students Islamic Movement of India] was suspected and more than 20 persons have been arrested under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA). They have been charged with waging a war against the nation and participating in a conspiracy to create a series of blasts. Among the accused is former Secretary of SIMI Saquib Nachan. Police have already filed charge sheet against him and others."

Violence between Hindu nationalists and Muslims has also been an issue. More than 1,000 people were killed during riots in Mumbai in 1993 and Hindu-Muslim sectarian violence also erupted outside of Bombay in 2002.

By Jefferson Morley |  July 11, 2006; 2:41 PM ET  | Category:  Asia
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Jefferson Morley is exceedingly misguided when he attempts to rationalize today's terrorist atrocities in India to "Hindu-Muslim conflict."

Fortunately, this kind of antiquated thinking has largely receded from official American policy planning and government perception. Radical Islamist terrorism - whether it is in New York or London or Madrid or Bali or Jakarta or Mumbai - are all manifestations of the same universal global scourge. The Bush Administration and most well-schooled U.S. legislators such as Senator Biden understand this. Unfortunately, many ill-informed members of the American media still hold on to this vaguely neo-colonial view that terrorist attacks in India are somehow different than ones in the West.

If Americans wish to garner truly global support for our laudable efforts to eradicate terrorism, it would make sense for members of the U.S. media to develop a greater understanding of terror in other parts of the world and how it relates to the very same forces that we are fighting here at home.

Posted by: H Juneja | July 11, 2006 03:23 PM

What ever might be the reasons of blasts, it is proved that there is a complete failure on the Security front in India. Any one at any poitnt of time can take the country into ransom. India is lucky that there is not many blasts.

Indian politicians are corrupt and Indian police system is also totally corrupt. it is easy to buy any government servant in India. Patriotism flares up only at the time of a Inter country cricket match. The whole population is also corrupt . Hence, PM's formal condemnation of the act of blast is futile. What the country basically requires is doing away with corruption. Then only such blasts can be stopped.

Posted by: SUMIT ROY | July 11, 2006 03:44 PM

It is pathetic of the western media to project the terrorist attacks in India with a different standard and nature than those happening in the west.

In this article as with most of the other articles in the western news papers on the Mumbai attacks, there is a sense of veiled justification of the Mumbai attacks and they are linked to the hindu-muslim conflicts rather than being firmly projected as terror attacks against humanity.

In this respect, I really have high regard for President Bush who took immidiate action to protect the interests of American citizens. Indian PM Manmohan Singh should know that the attacks ought to be condemed by leaders of other countries and he is expected to release a strong statement saying that the "terrorists will be brought to justice" rather than just condeming the attacks. The policies of the Congress party in India have been too soft in this regard.

Posted by: Pramod | July 11, 2006 03:55 PM

Sumit, what kind of comments are those calling all the people in India corrupt? Didn't you see the videos where the common man from the streets was in the trains and in the railway platforms helping the injured? The Government may be corrupt, but India has always shown what people can do in times of adversity. Hats off to Mumbaikers!

Posted by: Vinod | July 11, 2006 04:03 PM

While expressing my deepest condolonces for the families who have lost their loved ones, my anger and frustration on this cowardly act is un-expressable. All the peace loving nations in this universe should condemn such an act.Its high time all the peace love nations should get their act together and eliminate the source of these terrorist acts. I also request the washington post to portray these acts as terroist acts instead of just portraying these acts as "acts of militants".

Posted by: Vijay, NJ | July 11, 2006 04:07 PM

India has been affected by terrorism as seen by America now for years. The same terrorists spread terror in the other parts of the worlds as they do in India. Tainting this as a Hindu-Muslim issue is just the ignorance of the American media people. Why dont you guys write about how America is propping up Musharraf, when everyone knows Pakistan is a state sponsor of those same terrorists? Why double standards towards proliferation from Pakistan? Why castigate Iran and North Korea and sit quiet on Pakistan? Because America needs Pakistan as a front on the Afghanistan side. Serving its own self interests without regard for the consequences has always been an American foreign policy trait.

Terrorism is global, and its the same people doing it. Madrid, London, New York, Mumbai, Kashmir, everywhere.

Posted by: MK | July 11, 2006 04:11 PM

Though the blasts in Mumbai reflect the cowardly acts of Terrorists, It is the responsibility of the governement of India and of the people concerned to preclude such machinations. I could not agree more with Sumit Roy here. The corruption of Indian politicians and government executives deeply affects the peace over there. And Ofcourse there the vicissitudes of the daily life is extremely unpredicatble. However, The extremists should be suppressed at the earlier stage. While US is struggling to fight against the same at home here, It has to support countries counteracting terrorism. And All across the world, The consequences of Terrorism Acts should be made so severe that one will retreat from such.

Posted by: Vijay Nallapati | July 11, 2006 04:24 PM

I cannot understand how, in the face of such terror and brutality, can one try and link corruption in Indian politics to terrorism in India...

Terrorism is an entity of its own. It can be drawn from no rationale, no reason. It might have many different faces in different parts of the world, but each is as ugly, as obscene and abhorrent as the other.

Terrorism must be fought. How we fight it is still up for debate. I believe, guns cannot bring us peace - no matter who is holding them - The Good or The Bad... There has to be realisation among the misguided youth. What are they fighting for? Isn't it just the one life we KNOW we have... And is this how we want to live it? Should they truly believe in God, does He really want them to kill another being He created???

I am still looking for answers... But I wish each of us would just stop and question.

Posted by: Dipika | July 11, 2006 04:31 PM

What is the Prime Minister proposing to do to the perpetrators of these heinous and cowardly acts? I say that if a nation is found to be behind it, India should defend herself with all its might and vanquish the enemy. If a homegrown group is behind it, while India allows freedom of expression, not at the cost of innocent lives. The leaders of the organization must be put to justice and must loose its license to exist as an approved organization. If a foreign terrorist group is involved, then any nation harboring that group or sympathizing with that group is India's enemy and strong actions must be taken against that nation.

India's courage is at test, and I am hoping India will not become a doormat.

Jai Hind

Posted by: | July 11, 2006 04:46 PM

What is the Prime Minister proposing to do to the perpetrators of these heinous and cowardly acts? I say that if a nation is found to be behind it, India should defend herself with all its might and vanquish the enemy. If a homegrown group is behind it, while India allows freedom of expression, not at the cost of innocent lives. The leaders of the organization must be put to justice and must loose its license to exist as an approved organization. If a foreign terrorist group is involved, then any nation harboring that group or sympathizing with that group is India's enemy and strong actions must be taken against that nation.

India's courage is at test, and I am hoping India will not become a doormat.

Jai Hind

Posted by: Jogi from Michigan, USA | July 11, 2006 04:48 PM

Mr. Morley's comments reflect the generic blindness of western countries in thinking that terrorism is something only they face. Terrorism has been a scourge in India for many more years before 9/11 was even a dream in the minds of the terrorists. Western countries, particularly the US, needs to acknowledge this and partner with countries like India on this matter - not with countries like Pakistan who are sponsoring this terrorism. Hats off to Tony Blair for condemning the tragedy and correctly relating it to all the other terrorist attacks, be they 9/11 in the US or the Madrid bombings. Now the world needs to unite against terrorism - and spare innocents from being killed! The Indian government needs to take a hard line and play a pivotal/leadership role in garnering this support rather than just doing lip-service to its "peaceful" nature - we've suffered long enough!

Posted by: AC | July 11, 2006 04:51 PM

One cannot not say what is corrupt, all governments around the world smell and deal with corruption on a day-to-day basis. It is the under educated population who feeds into there lies and manipulation. We are all facing a new war on us, we need to come together and end terrorism.

Posted by: Jassi Brar | July 11, 2006 04:56 PM

It is amazing how utterly incompetent, uneducated and uninformed columnists continue to be employed by well regarded newspapers. The list of errors is too many to go over, starting from Pakistan's "secession" from India. Wonder what role the British played there? Hmmm...

Posted by: S | July 11, 2006 05:17 PM

It is a mistake to say that this is somehow linked to Hindu-Muslim conflict. This is a heinous crime against Indians by terrorist groups aided by Pakistan. I do not understand where the writer has got ideas of Hindu Muslim conflict in this incident. It is terrorism plain and simple, and it has to be fought with a firm hand where ever it happens. These are all crimes against humanity by disgruntled elements, mostly from the Muslim world. What surprises us in India is the attitude of US when it comes to Pakistan. It supports Musharraf for bizarre reasons, when it knows pretty well that it is inside Pakistan that almost all terrorists work from. Very strange indeed.

Posted by: Prabhu | July 11, 2006 05:18 PM

Mr Sumit Roy I can undertand your anguish at corruption back in India. But this is not the hour for such comments rather a moment to express solidarity to your fellow citizens of India, if at all you still consider yourself an Indian..

Posted by: vijay | July 11, 2006 05:31 PM

Oh you lamentable fool. Wake up and smell the 2006 coffee. Quit living in your Cold War cocoon. While this might indeed be used to stoke sectarian violence in India, it is nothing but terrorism as usual. You know, the kind that was witnessed by cities such as Madrid, London, and (in case our myopic author has never heard of those cities, or their problems), then New York, on 9/11. You know, Bush's rally cry for flouting whatever rules, and dismantling as much of the constitution as he pleases.

It is sad that the author reads something nefarious in the Prime Minister's comment. What do you expect him to say when he has had bombings in two cities on consecutive days? Do you expect him to say, "The series of blasts in Mumbai, and the other blast in Jammu and Kashmir, which was absolutely unrelated to the first..."

Why the constant usage of the term Hindu nationalist. Would you care to define it for your readers? A simple analysis would indicate it is a nationalist who is hindu. Do you refer to W as a Christian nationalist, and the founding fathers as deist nationalists? Get your head out of the Religious intolerant gutter, and realize that as much as you would like to hold your White man hurting terrorism above our brown man hurting terrorism (btw, i dont mean to make any racial differences, just giving you a little taste of your own medicine, to show how ludicrous your comments are) terrorism is terrorism, and like it or not, Indians have suffered far more than you guys stowed 2 continents and and ocean away from the hotbed of terrorist activity (which btw, was US sponsored for oh so long).

All those who are suggesting that we should respond with violence are even bigger fools. While civil and police action should be taken, if you do involve the military, you are playing right into the hands of the terrorist. Just like team USA did, when they wasted all their resources building a wonderful terrorist training ground in Iraq. Its time to gather support from the people of the world, rather than alienate them. Bombing a country out of existence wont stop terrorism, but better security, police and immigration work will.

Posted by: Varun Prasad | July 11, 2006 05:47 PM

This writer seriously needs to do some soul sourching. Something is just wrong with him. Blame it to INTL 1000 level courses.

Posted by: Ryan | July 11, 2006 05:57 PM

It is highly unlikly to happen this kind of bomb blast in highly proficient and one of the increasingly growing place in indian economy.The growing country like india has to assign his % of Budget like other developed countries does to fight against this terrosim in this kind of metro city.This kind of terror makes world to think about country's safeness and affect the growth in huge amount.So I think Indian government had seen in past this and seen recently and will might see in future if they not really plan and think about it seriously.This kind of attack ppl as well as government should not forget for ever to keep their citizen safe all the time.

Posted by: Chirayu shah | July 11, 2006 06:21 PM

Pakistan has rightly condemned these attacks as a "despicable act of terrorism". I offer my condolences to all Indians at this tragedy. I share the pain that Indians are feeling right now because Pakistan itself has been plagued with terrorism. I do caution Indians against using Pakistan as a scapegoat for these acts. Terrorists in the tribal areas of NWFP and Balochistan continue to operate with impunity despite the presence of tens of thousands of troops. I doubt that any sane person would suggest that the lawlessness and violence, that is now starting to spread out of that region and into the rest of Pakistan, is aided and abetted by the Pakistani government. We are reaping the fruits of decades of state support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan (as is the U.S) and fundamentalists in Kashmir.

I do hope that the Pakistani government can put politics aside and provide all the help that it reasonably can in bringing the perpetrators to justice. We cannot succeed with our vision of "enlightened moderation" and cure this malaise at home whilst turning a blind eye towards its symptoms across the border.

Posted by: Zain | July 11, 2006 07:49 PM

India is Becoming failed state to protect its citizen. We have not seen any action by the Indian Govt,or Indian Justice dept. that took strong and serious action on these terrorist. Even Most of the indians have "Sub kuch Chaltha hai" kind of attitude. These things are not going to help 1Billion+ country in long run.

Posted by: Ravi | July 11, 2006 08:23 PM

Caution? Oh really. These terror attacks were done by the same terrorist groups financed by Pakistan & it's ISI. Pakistan is the source of all Islamic terrorism. It's funny that Pakistan is condemning the terror attacks. Quite weird actually.

Posted by: Vishal | July 11, 2006 08:26 PM

India being an active prtner in the fight against terrorisom such acts should be seen
with a global perspective. A concerted action by the affected countries jointly by identifying the source of the perpetrators is necessary.Formation of an alliance where intelligence can be shared so that an effective anti terrorisom war can be launched. We shsould not get emotional and take hasty actions.

Posted by: T.J.Devadas | July 11, 2006 08:51 PM

Author is trying to associate mumbai terrorist attacks with hindu-muslim conflict without any basis. The attacks were on trains, and let me inform the author that both hindus and muslims ride trains in india. There is no separate hindu or muslim trains in india. This is an act of terrorism and there is no justification for such an act. Why he is bringing up the issue of name change from bombay to mumbai. Is the author trying to say this attacks are related with the name change!!!!

Posted by: chirag | July 11, 2006 08:52 PM

kudos to varun and prabhu for saying it like it is....when white skin is mutilated in madrid,new york or anywhere in the "free world", its a terrorist attack. But if its the brownies, its "hindu muslim enemity", "rebels", etc...anything but terrorism.after all, those indians can easily reproduce and make up for those 175 lost souls easily. I thought 9/11 would wake the US up and make it smell the coffee.....but guess loosing 3000 innocents is ok as long as Americans can fill up their escalades with gas and pimp them around...never mind the petro-dollar fueled islamist Jihad. superpower my ass. i dare the Post to edit this comment....lets see what "Freedom of Speech" really is in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Posted by: v | July 11, 2006 08:52 PM

WHY IS AMERICA DEFENDING PAKISTAN. ONE DAY PAKISTAN IS GOING TO KILL INNOCENT AMERICANS TOO!!

LISTEN AMERICA; MUSHARAF KNOWS WHERE BIN LADEN IS. HE IS THE CHIEF OF ISI AND SUPPORTING ALL TERRORIST TRAINING IN PAKISTAN.

India has been affected by terrorism as seen by America now for years. The same terrorists spread terror in the other parts of the worlds as they do in India. Tainting this as a Hindu-Muslim issue is just the ignorance of the American media people. Why dont you guys write about how America is propping up Musharraf, when everyone knows Pakistan is a state sponsor of those same terrorists? Why double standards towards proliferation from Pakistan? Why castigate Iran and North Korea and sit quiet on Pakistan?
Terrorism is global, and its the same people doing it. Madrid, London, New York, Mumbai, Kashmir, everywhere.

Posted by: VINAY | July 11, 2006 08:53 PM

I think that the writer was just towing the American Policy Line when hemakes comments like Hindu nationalist and muslim fundamentalists. Whenever terrorism have reared its ugly head elsewhere in the world , why doesnt it talk about christain and muslim idelogical differences as well if it be the basis of such terrorist acts?
Any sane writer , writing for such prestigious paper like Washington Post should be mature enough to bear in mind is that its a same common fight between humanity and terrorism and nothing else. Any attempt to correlate otherwise is like the Ostrich syndrome to hide your head in the sane and wish that the real problem did not exist.Let the world unite as one to put up a combined force against terrorism. This is the need of the hour. Mr Morley may please note--You are not excluded!!

Posted by: subir | July 11, 2006 09:00 PM

Terrorism irrespective of where it occurs, who it affects and who it is perpetrated by is the same. Attempts to use different yardsticks for different episodes smacks of being poorly informed on the part of the writer. To a majority of the billion plus Indians, Mumbai is their New York. This cowardly act did not select its victims by religion, nor did the rescuers. Corruption or not this is a terrible day for humanism. Lets not get away from that.

Posted by: SM | July 11, 2006 09:19 PM

I totally agree with responses given to this news(blog). We should not look terrorism with double standards and if you don't know the meaning of terrorism, you should not be writing a column in well-known newspaper. If India blast was not terrorism then you should redefine your dictionary and better find a good one. Blood of innocents are red in each and every part of world whether it flows in Palestine or UK or USA or India or Panama. So I would suggest writer to investigate better before you send the message to general innocent public because you are misleading them and that's a kind of racism. Terrorist's don't know any religion they just want blood that's what they have learn.
And I have one suggestions for Indians abroad. You must have taken right decision to come to US or other part of world but please please do not bark at politicians or any other functionaries in India. when you had a chance to do something back home you left for your own safety and well-being and when you stood in the queue for GC/Citizenship that's when you lost the right to comment on India. I am not saying you did wrong by coming here but if you think it is wrong (and you call India home still) please go back and do something.
Thanks

Posted by: PK | July 11, 2006 09:39 PM

Mr. Morley, why do you cower behind your Olympian veil of silence. Why do you not intead rush to your own defence : six -guns blazing ,as your fore-fathers might well have done.

For sheer callowness , snideness and insensitivity -to say nothing of double-standards-your piece here takes the cake. If this is the best that an effete, over-educated East-Coast liberal can come up with , then give me a Bible-waving ,honest-to-goodness Christian fundamentalist any day.

Posted by: RJKT | July 11, 2006 09:52 PM

Does this guy even have a clue as to what is actally happening in India or is he toting second hand opinions. How can terrorism so often condemned and damned in the american media and whatever is happening in India differ?? Why does any western psyche always sway in its self-importance towards a lopsided conclusion albeit a blindlingly foolish one when it comes to other nations. This reminds me of the irritatingly several number of times I have been asked about how I can even say a word in English. For Americans, India will always remain a 'la la monkey land'.
Lives have been lost due to terrorism and they have been for ages now in India. People have even been hollering out about it aeons before even America came to terms with this on its shore. Will the west ever wake up and realize that terrorism in any garb is the same irrespective of the place or time or tone? The Hindu-Muslim divide as quoted about so often and so lightly by this author and one Mr. Alex Perry in TIME magazine is higly misleading and facetious. Why do they even pretend to know India when they have not even remotely touched the Indian social fabric???
Hindus or Muslims or any other faceless nameless Indian is united in his/her anguish. That, they should know before they begin to understand and write about their pretentious stance in this newspaper or any other.

Posted by: aconcernedone | July 11, 2006 10:24 PM

When talking about the history of conflicts between the 2 nations, the author failed to mention that it was Pakistan who attacked India preemptively in each case. Additionally, Pakistan did not have a violent "break" from India, rather the land mass that the British ruled was divided into India and Pakistan. As far as this Hindu-Muslim conflict is concerned, thats misleading as well. Majority of the people in India dont care about it, and it is only certain politicians who have tried to exploit the differences in religion by trying to appeal to a certain demographic. As India moves forward, these politicians are bound to fade. In my view, this article is poorly written, and genrally misleading.

Posted by: Akhil | July 11, 2006 10:34 PM

PK,

I believe I reserve the right to critcize politicians in India, even though I am a resident of the US. I further believe that I have the right to critize politicians in America. I say this based on the fact that I am an Indian citizen, and I pay taxes in America. Please dont assume that all Indians who come to the US apply for citizenship. Moreover, in a global community, one should have the right to criticize any world leaders when they are not doing there jobs. I believe I have the right to critize Blair in saying that he is nothing but a lap-dog of the Bush administration.

There is such a thing called free speech, and it is right we can all excercise. How it is excercised is a different matter!!

Posted by: Akhil | July 11, 2006 10:51 PM

I don't know which comments make me cry more.

1. A white skinned journalist's comment who still believes, he carries the 'white man burden' of teaching the brownies how to live.

2. A NRI who can see only bad things like corruption back in India and make insensitive remarks at this hour.

Posted by: Umesh | July 11, 2006 10:54 PM

This news article definitely seems to me a little misguided in categorizing this as a Hindu-Muslim fallout. More research is deserved when making such claims in as newsworthy a paper as the Washington Post which is well regarded, and often a source for other news broadcasters. It is one thing to have something up as soon as an event breaks and another to reach conclusions so quickly without knowing much about the various forces playing their roles here. I look forward to reading better coverage on this news event as it unfolds.

Posted by: Sid Mehta | July 11, 2006 10:57 PM

Umesh,
I couldn't find a better word to thank you for your comments in here. I really don't either what should we cry on.. But my thinking is if we could have done better on number 2 then we wouldn't have seen #1.

Posted by: PK | July 11, 2006 11:17 PM

Sid Mehta:

"This news article definitely seems to me a little misguided in categorizing this as Hindu-Muslim fallout."

Morely referred to Hindu Muslim twice in his piece;
"The Muslim-Hindu conflict has flashed repeatedly in South Asia ever since Pakistan, a largely Muslim nation, broke off from India in a violent secession in 1947".

Since India is not entirely Hindu and Pakistan did not quite "break off" from India, exception can be taken at this particular comment, but it is not an error that justifies labeling him racist or even uneducated.


"Violence between Hindu nationalists and Muslims has also been an issue."


His second comment spoke of an added dimension to the violence in South Asia; that between Hindu and Muslim extremists. This does not seem to be an attempt to cast this tragedy in a communal light, but rather an insight into the many conflicts that do exist in South Asia.

"Today's explosions were not the first use of bombs by terrorists in Mumbai"

Am I missing something here? Did any of the critics of this piece actually read it?
Or is it the fact that there was no line that read "PAKISTAN DID IT!!!" that is the real irritant.

I do not see any attempt on his part to paint this tragedy as anything other than the heinous act of terror it is. Pretty objective reporting all in all considering no one has accepted responsibility for the blasts yet, and the Indian government has not rolled out its customary accusations of ISI involvement (the Pakistani government does the same thing with RAW by the way.).

"A NRI who can see only bad things like corruption back in India and make insensitive remarks at this hour."

I do think it is pertinent to address issues of corruption for in the end it is the failure of our governments to provide basic dignities and rights and services to a large portion of our population that results in people turning to violence and crime.

Posted by: Zain | July 11, 2006 11:49 PM

Explosion Again..This kind of henious acts should be tackled in a Hard Manner...
The point is who is actually behind it and what are there intentions....
Rather than doing such a gory acts why they dont make people aware about the reasons of there conflits..

Posted by: Prashant Deo | July 12, 2006 12:24 AM

I cannot believe that you actually believe what you wrote about the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Morley is either making a deliberate attempt to paint the attacks in Mumbai as a "Hindu-Muslim" thing or he is an utterly clueless.

Which one are you, Mr. Morley? For a Hindu-Muslim conflict is completely different from a terrorist attack and only a fool would be unable to tell the difference.


Also, do us a favor - please don't write about things you have no clue about. You do a lot of harm with your ignorance.

-Priyanka Pathak

Posted by: Priyanka Pathak | July 12, 2006 12:30 AM

Its time that India sat back and decided on her own homeland security. We have an army of 400,000 government employees managing things which are much better mangaged through computers and networks. This should be brought down and the money should be spent on more intelligence networks, demolishing the terrorists' money sources, better control over the security at the airports, sea routes and land routes. Let us all pledge that we would be more vigilant and not be paper tigers and just venting our fears and frustations only through these blogs.

Posted by: Praveen | July 12, 2006 12:34 AM

It is purely act of ISI (Pakistan intelligence) funded terrorists. The pakistan govt. is full of deceipt and their leader is misleading the world. They have been succefully establishing madrassas and brainwashing Muslims from all over the Globe. Sadly they have established firm base in Bangladesh and also along india -nepal border using madrassas as front.

Musharaff has been architect of attack on India(Kargil) in past and also well known that pakistan army has been creater of kashmiri terrorists.He has been taking US for ride also. This country is nuisance in the region and needs to be dealt with firm hand both by India and US. No confindance building measures by India can lead them to sane behavior. Afganistan is also suffering because of terrorist shelter in Pakistan.

Pakistan govt. sold nuclear secrets and will definitely sell US military secrets to china, no matter what they agree on paper. US should not sell any military hardware to such country. (Read Pak media if you don't believe this)

Posted by: GS, Virginia , USA | July 12, 2006 01:27 AM

Mr. Jefferson Morley please do not relate these types of terrorist attacks with Hindu- Muslim conflicts. Whether it is in New York or London or Madrid or Bali or Jakarta or Mumbai, all the attacks are same. I don't know why American media always thinks only from there ill view.

Vinod I appreciate your view that India has always shown what people can do in times of adversity, and Yesterday also Mumbaikar's have explored there spirit.

Jai Hind

Posted by: Rajesh Rawal | July 12, 2006 01:52 AM

The people of Pakistan and India have shown repeatedly that they are peaceful. The recent cricket series proved so. So sincere condolences from a Pakistani and a Muslim who believes no one has the right to take innocent human life.

At the same time 'caution' is indeed needed in this time of such a crisis of terrorism being faced by India. Do not forget the same type of terrorism is faced in Pakistan as well.

Pakistan Govt. has to be helped in its efforts to eradicate the terrosrit elements, but I doubt there is no elements indigenous to India that causes such cold blooded terrorism. Otherwise why is it that half a million troops! are needed to control the 'infiltrating' few thousand elements in Kashmir. Or their is unrests such as Hindu-Muslim riots in Gujrat? I don't mean to put all the blame, but it behooves the objective analyst to keep these facts into account.

Acknowledging and adressing all realities is the only way forward for India and Pakistan. Otherwise its just macho/ ego talk.

Peace.

Posted by: Iqbal | July 12, 2006 02:32 AM

This guy Morley seems to be in a state of mind belonging to 40s or 50s. Hindu-Muslim conflict? My foot. It is pure terrorism without provocation or waiting for an opportunity to strike. Western Media must grow up or you are free to live in youir own world of Times. Wake up Mr 1940s.

If you or your government does not wake up now, you may have another Afganistan on your lap. Pakistan is no different from Afganistan of 1980s for the US.

Posted by: Kasthuri N Ravilla | July 12, 2006 02:49 AM

Why am I not surprised that WP allows such antiquated views?

Posted by: Itzak Moyen | July 12, 2006 04:40 AM

Condolences to the families and near ones of the innocent and unsuspecting victims of
yesterday's blasts at Mumbai.

India must find the responsible persons and bring them to books.

Posted by: AS | July 12, 2006 05:00 AM

Your reporter needs to get his facts right. Pakistan did not seceed from India in 1947. India was divided into West Pakistan, India and East Pakistan (now Bangla Desh). This was done to pacify Mr Jhenna who new that he would not geteither the position of Prime Minister nor President of India.

The act of those who did this is dastardly and cowards. Muslims and Indians lived in peace, except for the hot heads who think that their way of thinking and interpreting of the Koran is correct. It is just their Mullahs wanting to have control of them. The only way to do this is to say that Allah said this or that - yet those same muslims when abroad, drink, gamble and womanise. So much for their faith and teaching of Allah.

I hope that those who did this dasterdly act are caught and put to death.

India is my country, though I had migrated to another part of the world. I have not forgotten by country of birth. Neither have my children who proudly say that they are originally from India.

I wish that more countries stood up to these terrorists like, the USA, UK and Australia and once caught put to death for the murders they have committed.

Posted by: Rosebud Armstrong | July 12, 2006 05:00 AM

These blasts do not indicate any sort of "revenge" killings for any of the "Hindu-Muslim" conflicts within the country.
These bombs were placed within the first class compartments in the trains of the western section of bombay. Western bombay is the place where majority of the high profile companies exist and people travelling within the first class compartment would be generally the ones whe work in higher position within the organisation.
This was clearly meant to hit at the economic standing of the nation.Example of "Hit where it hurt the most!". Disgusting to use the lives of innocents to achieve political goals.

Posted by: Nithin | July 12, 2006 05:38 AM

Accrewinng a tragedy of this proportion to a communal devide is not only callous but inhuman.
This is global terrorism and probably the same people will perpetrate violence in other parts of the world,Probably US.

Waiting to see what author has to say then???

Posted by: AK | July 12, 2006 06:47 AM

Accrewinng a tragedy of this proportion to a communal devide is not only callous but inhuman.
This is global terrorism and probably the same people will perpetrate violence in other parts of the world,Probably US.

Waiting to see what author has to say then???

Posted by: AK | July 12, 2006 06:47 AM

Dear Mr Morley, thanks for your "Typical American" style of backing Pakistan supported terrorism. What name you will give to 9/11 attack on America? It was also a Hind-Muslim coflict? If your Americans' did not stop backing Pakistan, remember you will be the greatest victim of Pakistan supported terrorims...whether it is Al-Qaeda or Laskar-e-Toiba. Wake up ! dear wake-up and clean your mind and just not your teeths and body!!!!

Why you think OSAMA is the bigest terrorist in the world..why don't you see under the mast of General Parvej Musarraf. He is the notorious terrorist of the world and should be F@@@d up first.

Posted by: MJ | July 12, 2006 08:02 AM

Behan ke laude ko ye bhi nahi maaloom ke india kidhar hai......aur likh raha hai India ke baare mein. Abe bhosdi ke...jab main President bana tha to mujhe ye bhi pata nahi tha ke Atal Bihari Vajpai kaun hai. Saale ...white kutte...stop writing and start boot polish....aur auraton ka dalla ban jaa.....

Posted by: George Buss | July 12, 2006 08:09 AM

Dawood Ibrahim is said to have organised the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai which killed over 240 people in 1993. He operates his organised crime network in Islamabad,Pakistan & UAE.
"Dawood Ibrahim is believed to have ties with Osama bin Laden; the narcoterrorist routes passing through South Asia, the Middle East and Africa are believed to be shared with Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network.

In 2003, the United States Government declared Dawood Ibrahim a Global Terrorist and pursued the matter before the United Nations in an attempt to freeze his assets around the world and crack down on his operations"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawood_Ibrahim

Harkat-ul-Ansar was banned as early as 1997 by Clinton when the US claimed it was based in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan.

Jaish-e-mohammad, Harkat-ul-ansar, Lashkar-e-Toiba , Hizb-ul Mujahideen.Most of them spawned out of the training camps in the Afghanistan-pakistan border regions. All these groups have been waging war against India for over 15 years.

Posted by: anonymous | July 12, 2006 09:41 AM

It is painfull to see people of all sects dying in these bomb blasts. Do not forget that Muslims too dies alongside hindus. A bunch of nomadic type extremists do this and lo and behold the whole junta comes under fire. Indian Govt must track the roots and bring them to justice before a full scale Hindu Muslim riot erupts. This must be prevented at all costs, else Muslims will loose the trust they have.

Posted by: Iqbal Mulla | July 12, 2006 09:52 AM

It is extremely silly of any Indian to without further evidence start claiming that Pakistan is responsible. Anyone who knows our country (India) well enough, knows that politicians often use Pakistan as a distraction from the fact that they dont do anything for the country themselves. Classic case is Shiv Sena, whose main tactic to gain power is division. First they used Pakistan, when things started improving with them used immigrants, and are soon gonna start raking the Hindu Muslim issue again.

Seriously, lets show some maturity now, and not jump to conclusions. Also a part of maturity, is respecting other people's opinions, especially if they are not maliciously intended. I refer to the NRI's who comment about corruption etc. back home. While the timing may not be the best (and seriously, it is quite insensitive timing) the point is pertinent, and must be paid attention to by all Indians.

Indians do not hate Pakistan, but when you consider that the Taliban, as well as Kashmiri terrorists (is there a difference?) were both trained by the ISI backed by the CIA, then you would agree that there is a justified mistrust of Pakistan. While Musharraf has been decent, you are probably better aware than I am, that he does not really have the greatest control on either his country, or government. I mean, if history is a judge, the military, and and tribal chiefs play as much of a role in Pakistani administration as the civil government. And there is no denying that there is no love lost between them and India.

@Zain. While the author may not explicitly state anything, what would be the reason to mention this in the article if he did not see any connection? If a finance article someone mentions that the stock markets crashed, and at the end adds that the previous day two planes crashed into a tower in the financial capital of that country, wouldnt you, as a reader, believe that the author was implying a connection between the two?
Besides, so many people seeing that connection indicates that he is a malicious inciter at worst, or a terrible writer who has no idea as to what his pennings are going to convey to his readers.

Posted by: Varun Prasad | July 12, 2006 09:57 AM

Varun:

This particular blog was posted a few hours after news of the bombings broke out. In the absence of any clear perpetrator (so far no one has taken responsibility), and Indian security agencies only speculating about the usual suspects (LET and SIMI; Morely did provide a link to that story), it would seem prudent to list all possibilities. I understand that India is proud of its secular credentials, and I am envious of how much progress you have made on that front vis-à-vis Pakistan, but communal violence has been a part of the landscape in India (Babri mosque, Gujrat riots etc.). It makes sense to list all potential sources of this violence until more information comes out.

Posted by: Zain | July 12, 2006 10:38 AM

It is sad that so many people died. I feel author is right its a conflict between Hindus and Muslims. It got aggrivated after Babri Masjid demolition. It got worse after the communal riots in Gujrat. In Gujrat what happened was it not one form of terrorism ??? I think it was worse than the present blast ??? Women were being raped tortured and killed along side of kids.

Posted by: Ashraf | July 12, 2006 11:21 AM

The word terrorism has been degraded to the point of meaninglessness. It should be replaced by the word splooge, as in, "The greatest threat to everyone who's for sale is splooge."

Posted by: Reynolds | July 12, 2006 12:12 PM

Dear Mr./Ms. Terrorist,

Even if you are not reading this we don't care. Time and again you tried to disturb us and disrupt our life - killing innocent civilians by planting bombs in trains, buses and cars. You have tried hard to bring death and destruction, cause panic and fear and create communal disharmony but every time you were disgustingly unsuccessful. Do you know how we pass our life in Mumbai? How much it takes for us to earn that single rupee? If you wanted to give us a shock then we are sorry to say that you failed miserably in your ulterior motives. Better look elsewhere, not here.

We are not Hindus and Muslims or Gujaratis and Marathis or Punjabis and Bengalis. Nor do we distinguish ourselves as owners or workers, govt. employees or private employees. WE ARE MUMBAIKERS (Bombay-ites, if you like). We will not allow you to disrupt our life like this. On the last few occasions when you struck (including the 7 deadly blasts in a single day killing over 250 people and injuring 500+ in 1993), we went to work next day in full strength. This time we cleared everything within a few hours and were back to normal - the vendors placing their next order, businessmen finalizing the next deals and the office workers rushing to catch the next train. (Yes the same train you targeted)

Fathom this: Within 3 hours of the blasts, long queues of blood donating volunteers were seen outside various hospital, where most of the injured were admitted. By 12 midnight, the hospital had to issue a notification that blood banks were full and they didn't require any more blood. The next day, attendance at schools and office was close to 100%, trains & buses were packed to the brim, the crowds were back.


The city has simply dusted itself off and moved on - perhaps with greater vigour.

We are Mumbaikers and we live like brothers in times like this. So, do not dare to threaten us with your crackers. The spirit of Mumbai is very strong and can not be harmed.

Please forward this to others. U never know, by chance it may come to hands of a terrorist in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq and he can then read this message which is specially meant for him!!!

With Love,
From the people of Mumbai (Bombay)

Posted by: mumbaikar | July 12, 2006 12:15 PM

As an American, I will not claim any special knowledge of India or Pakistan. Certainly, no foreigner has the initmate knowledge of the native citizen. As we have seen in Iraq, and in your own history, It is impossible for a foreign government with a different culture to understand or govern a country with other cultures. If you cannot understand a country, you cannot solve its problems or recommend solutions. It is up to India and Pakistan to come up with the solutions to their problems.
Certainly, Terrorism is an international problem, But Terrorism is a method of warfare and not a cause in itself for conflict. There are different political reasons for different organizations using terrorism, and one must solve the political problem, in order to bring the conflict to an end. The various Palestinian groups or Hizbullah are nationalist and address the concerns of their countries. Al-Qaida is an international movement which threatens many countries. Since al-Qaida effects many countries, It gets the most attention. But, the elimination of al-Qaida would have no effect on nationalists efforts in individual countries. Each situation requires a different political anwser. The people of India and Pakistan are the only ones that can solve the political problem of terrorism in their own countries. You know your countries, and you know the ground. But, remember, there is no final victory through warfare. You may eliminate a particular organization, but the political problem is still there. Another generation of organizations and people will spring up to continue the fight. The Isreali/Palestinian conflict has been going on since 1948. It could become a hundred year war.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | July 12, 2006 02:52 PM

Casey,

You mentioned that terrorism is a method of warfare, not a cause for conflict. Really? After 9/11, 2 conflicts were started- Afganistan and Iraq. Pray explain.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, they have been sponsoring cross border terrorism for decades now. India has shown remarkable tolerance, and has been concentrating on economic growth. Pakistan, on the other hand is close to being a failed state. Its not democratic, has a dictator, they have WMD's, its a boder line Islamic state, has madrassa's where they "breed" terrorists etc. Osama's probably there too. Its Pakistan that needs to take care of its internal problems, this stuff does not have roots in India (terrorism). The fact that America is coddling Pakistan does not help.

If and when the links between these attacks and Pakistan are proven, sanctions should be imposed on them. This is also going to have impications on the peace talks between the 2 countries.

As far the spirit of Mumbai and its people is concerned, I salute y'all. Its heartning to see it, and its an inspiration.

Posted by: Akhil | July 12, 2006 03:32 PM

Akhil,

Casey is correct. Terrorism is an expression of conflict, not its cause. You conflate the US response to terrorists and their acts with the cause of the conflict. Or do you mean to suggest that had the attackers been official representatives of a sovereign state that the US would not have responded with military force? Of course not, because it did not matter how the attack was packaged as much as that it occured. Terrorism is certainly sufficient to sustain conflict but is by no means necessary. I submit that in order to determine the cause of conflict, one needs to identify factors that are both necessary and sufficient.

Posted by: Peter | July 12, 2006 04:05 PM

Peter,

Based on your response, what factors would you attribute the 9/11 attacks on? Had 9/11 not happened, would the US have started the conflicts with Afganistan and Iraq?

If a country has been sponsoring cross border terrorism for decades, would that not be a just cause for a conflict against it?

Posted by: Akhil | July 12, 2006 04:23 PM

Akhil:

"If a country has been sponsoring cross border terrorism for decades, would that not be a just cause for a conflict against it?"

And what is that conflict going to bring you? We already have hundreds of thousands of troops on a border that is mined, fenced (for quite a large portion), and probably has as much surveillance focused on it as the two countries resources and technology allow. You cannot reasonably think that despite this if these terrorists are able to allegedly cross over that a military confrontation will resolve anything. If it is the ideology that is being exported then the question goes back to removing the fuel that feeds the fire (political, social issues... what have you). The U.S is now finding out in Iraq, and to some extent Afghanistan, that military action can even provide the impetus for a movement to expand and diversify. The effect of a war with Pakistan, even if India was able to be a clear victor, would be worse.

Posted by: Zain | July 12, 2006 07:56 PM

Zain,

I said it was justified, I am not endorsing any action. The fuel that feeds the fire was set by the Pakistani leaders, and it is up to the leadership there to put them out. Military action will have a fallout on both sides, one that neither side needs. If indeed Pakistan is complicit in these attacks, the logical action to take would be the imposition of sanctions. Furthormore, it would do nothing but harm Pakistans image globally. The leaders in Pakistan (and ultimately the people) need to realized that these home grown terrorist groups will do more harm than good to the country. Rather than concentrating on the economy, on education, on building the infrastructre etc, the focus seems to be on Kashmir. Thats a mistake. Pakistan should take a leaf out of India's book if it wants to be a global player.

Posted by: Akhil | July 12, 2006 08:22 PM

To our Muslim brethren on this forum:
I understand Pakistan is also afflicted by terrorism. And it is reaping what it sowed decades ago. But, that does not preclude the Pakistan government providing support to the militants, does it? Why do you think the US government asks Pakistan to remove the terrorist camps, as recent as a few months back? I would think they have definite intelligence. Isnt that a fair assumption to make? Kargil, Parliament blasts, Red fort blasts. How many times have we put our hand forward for Musharaf and other leaders to stab us in the back?
Why are we being blamed for doubting Pakistan? Anyone in their human sense would!

A simple question: Why was Musharaf opposed to the idea of India putting a fence on ITS side of the border?

Posted by: M | July 12, 2006 08:51 PM

The Hindu -Muslim conflict resulting in Pakistan separating from India is the classic Colonial cock up. The scourge of divide and rule policy to get their own benefit ,playing the muslims against Hindus,has given rise to Pakistan. For thousand years Hindus and Muslims lived together in India before the British came, under each other's rule ,even fought the mutiny together , and in 20 yrs they were fighting each other ? (well George Orwell during his stay in ICS had seen this from close quarters and commented )

The terrorism in India has little Kashmir in it ,even kashmiris admit that , it is now Al Queda sponsored terrorism , the extremist forces we all know .The problem is same in London or Newyork or Beslan or Mumbai.
In India the divide and rule legacy still continues and thus the race card, religion card and so and so forth , the legacy of dirty politics ,and till it is abolished ,it will continue the same way.

The responsibility of the new generation is to be together , forget the divide and rule and believe in Unite and rule and only then the conflict will end. Only that can frustrate the terrorists and end it .


Posted by: Tinu | July 12, 2006 09:56 PM

Dear Peter and Casey

I agree with your comment that 'Terrorism is an expression of conflict, not its cause'.

I also disagree with most of my fellow Indians that all white Americans are responsible for the mayhem in Iraq and Afganistan same as all 'we' Indians are not to be blamed for 'Gujarat'.

Basic cause of all such conflict is most likely economic, with all communities fighting for few resources that are left over.

And all this has happened because your forefathers have ravaged my land and made us destitute and in the process made modern cities for themselves. I am sure in one such city you live in (it also fatally attracts my fellow brothers), and 'pontiff' on how we should resolve our problem.

Posted by: Umesh | July 12, 2006 10:59 PM

If Mumbai blast is Hindu-Muslim issue fallout then September 11 should be a Christian-Muslim issue fall out...

Crazy guy Jeff...

Posted by: Jacob | July 13, 2006 04:02 AM

Jacob,

"If Mumbai blast is Hindu-Muslim issue fallout then September 11 should be a Christian-Muslim issue fall out..."

9-11 IS an ARAB-AMERICAN issue fall out, but more accurately a Saudi-ARAB American fall out.

Did you think that the 19 hijackers who WERE ALL ARAB from Saudi Arabia choose America randomly or by chance?

As one poster explained here, terrorism, as despicable as it is, is a way of welfare usually chosen by the weak oppressed party.

The United States government did resort to terrorism against Japan and nuked 2 of its civilian cities indiscriminately.

I never understood why some in the West, especially in America, believe they have higher "morals".

If one day, some nation could defeat the United States, make no mistake your government will nuke whatever it could indiscriminately. It did it against Japan when Japan was not even a threat to its survival.

Rational for this?

Posted by: Karim | July 13, 2006 09:16 AM

"I never understood why some in the West, especially in America, believe they have higher "morals". "

Its because if we didn't there would be no terrorism.

We'd just react to these bombings the old fasion way and kill everyone responcible, everyone that helped them, and everyone that met them on the street at some time.

Terrorism is a direct reflection of western morals. It attacks those morals by attacking the weak and helpless and it hides behind those morals as America does not do the same.

Posted by: Duck | July 13, 2006 10:49 AM

"Why was Musharraf opposed to the idea of India putting a fence on ITS side of the border?"

The same reason a majority of the world is against the wall being put up by Israel. A wall or a fence implies permanency. I believe Pakistan's opposition is over the fence being constructed at the LOC, which it does not accept as an option for a final border.

Posted by: Zain | July 13, 2006 03:06 PM

One branch of my family had cousins involved with the East India Company, But They were in America before the British were very active in India. During the American Revolution, other branches of my family were shooting at British Soldiers.
Why do we work closely with Pakistan? Well, first it was because of the Soviet/ Afghan war, and later because al-Qaida was there.
Our oldest ally in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia. Besides the oil connection, there was the Cold War connection. Saudi Arabia and the U.S. were both anti-Communist, and cooperated in anti-Communist activies around the world. The Saudis were involved in Iran-Contra in Nicaragua, and, according to the Saudi intelligence chief at the time brought us into the Soviet/Afghan War. I believe the latter comment came from (Washington Post reporter)Steve Coll's book "Ghost Wars".
After the conclusion of that conflict, we had no compelling interest in Afghanistan and basically left. After 9/11, Our interest was revived because Bin laden and al-Qaida were there. Our close relationship with Pakistan is related to those conflicts. The Iraq War had nothing to do with 9/11, and crawled out from under a rock with the Neoconservative Bush Administration.
As to 9/11, our relationship with Israel was an element, but I think Bin Laden is not pleased with the close relationship, we have had with Saudi Arabia. He wanted to have a jihad against Iraq during the first Gulf War, but the Saudis thought the American lead conventional war would be quicker. Bin Laden didn't like the idea of foreign troops on Arab soil. Because containment of Iraq was the policy after the first Gulf War, some American presence was necessary after the war. Our presence after the war sparked 9/11.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | July 13, 2006 04:22 PM

Alright Zain, fair enough, even though its just a fence that can be pulled down. First Musharraf was against the fence, then he was OK with it, but against making the fence electric. Why is that?

Its all baloney when you say "moral" support. What is the Let chief doing in Pakistan? Even after the Delhi Parliament attack was linked to LeT(and bear in mind, with prroof that caused the US to blacklist the LeT as a terrorist group), the Pakistan govt arrested the LeT chief, put him under house arrest for a few weeks, and let him scott free to make his jihadi statements against India. Is what what you call "dismantling" of terror? And yes, The Pakistan government says RAW did everything, and India says the ISI did everything. But, have u heard any foreign government castigate India for dismantling terror infrastructure and not provide support to terrorists? Not ONCE. Thats FUD by the Pak govt. The reverse has happened multiple times.

Note that I am not against the people. Pakistini people are one of the most hospitable in the world, more so than Indians. Its the dirty politics, and the army and the ISI which keeps the fuel burning.

Posted by: M | July 13, 2006 05:55 PM

The West is apparently now the sole purveyor of morality around the world. It is easy to be self righteous and talk of minimizing collateral damage when your military might and technology allow you to demolish the opposition with "shock and awe". For those who are relegated to living in slums of hopelessness and despair, surrounded by walls and forces propped up by the military might of the oh so moral West, there may seem no choice but to resist in whatever way, and with whatever means they have.
But wait!
This resistance is naught but the cold blooded murder of innocents!
Fools!
You should have instead charged at that nice shiny new M1 Abrams tank with your rocks, pistols and homemade pipe rockets. Or replicated the charge of the light brigade across a desert plain as F-16 and Lavi fighters (all thanks to the oh so moral West) drop their precision guided munitions from unseen altitudes.
Why can't you resist the proper way, where you have no chance?!

Posted by: Zain | July 13, 2006 06:54 PM

I am not trying to excuse the violence (or support it), but rather trying to advocate a better understanding for why an oppressed people like the Palestinians would resort to killing themselves and take a few Israelis with them. The overarching, all encompassing definition of terrorism that is in vogue in the West works to give those who have the upper hand militarily in any situation complete power, and leaves no room to understand the motivations behind such desperate acts. It pushes those who are already weak and on the back foot even further into despair. Should we then tolerate violence against civilians? Absolutely not! But the world cannot resolve a violent conflict, like that in the Mid-East, without trying to understand what led to the violence in the first place. "Stop the violence first, and then we'll talk". The violence exists because of despair for a solution.

Posted by: Zain | July 13, 2006 07:00 PM

INDIA HAS ALWAYS BLAMED PAKISTAN IF IT RAINS HEAVILY IN BOMBAY OR OTHER CITIES OF
INDIA READERS DO NOT TRUST THEM THESE ARE
PROBLEMS OF THEIR OWN SHINNING INDIA IS NOT
SHINNING INDIA BECAUSE MICROSOFT HAS OFFICE
THERE. THOSE WHO PREACH OTHERS SHOULD LOOK AT
THEIR OWN PRACTICES

Posted by: shafqatmir@aol.com | July 13, 2006 07:13 PM

Also, note that Yaseer Arafat had the biggest chance to finish the conflict by agreeing to the plan Clinton and Netanyahu had come up with. It gave Palesting right to part of Jerasulem, and all the other land including Gaza back. What did Arafat do? Agreed to the plan first, and when he realised that Palestine will become a free country, and he wont have any powers, backed out!

Yes, the violence has a root cause, which is double standards in foreign policy, but then when CLinton tried to fix it by coaxing Isreal to give up the land, what did the Palestinians do? So dont blame only one side. As they say, clapping requires two hands, not one. Arafat was the pinnacle of power hungry politicians and corruption. he got various chances to resolve the issue, did he? No. And remember, after he refused it, one year later when Sharon came to power, he was running around asking for the same deal. Why? Because he knew he wouldnt get a lot of what he got with the Clinton deal.

There is another saying, dont throwing stones at others if you live in a glass house. I acknowledge that both sides are at fault, but just by crying out loud that "why it is in the first place" doesnt help if there have been various offers to resolve it and have been rebuked by the "opressed people" leaders, just to keep their power.

Posted by: M | July 13, 2006 07:17 PM

M:

I think there has been a paradigm shift in how a large number of Pakistanis are beginning to view the violence in Kashmir. We have been indoctrinated however to believe that our religion is the only true one, our country is superior, the causes we fight for are noble, that we have glorious warriors for ancestors (they may have been glorious, but are probably turning in their graves at what we have become). Without revamping our education system, changing our laws, and economic development, rooting out the religious bigotry that has become enshrined in every section of our society will be impossible. Without meaningful social change there will always be an unending supply of misguided souls ready to become cannon fodder for the purveyors (my favorite word today apparently) of violence. I hope that if requests for extradition of suspects (with evidence) arrive from India, the Pakistani govt. will comply. You must however understand that the second largest ELECTED party in Pakistan, the MMA, has a leadership that still believes 911 was a Jewish/American conspiracy, and its NWFP chapter held prayers for Zarqawi after his death. With countrymen like that, who needs foreign enemies.

By the way I do not consider the Kashmir conflict in the same league as the Palestinian issue. The Israelis make Kashmir seem like heaven. The train bombings were nothing but terrorism. I do not think Kashmiri's or the other Muslims in India have been trampled upon so much so that need to resort to such acts (They have us for "moral support" don't they? :-).

Posted by: Zain | July 13, 2006 07:33 PM

Pray, what practices are you talking about? Do elucidate. Perhaps it may be prudent to mention here that Pakistan has attacked India preemptively several times for no provocation. It is Pakistan that has repeatedly sponsored cross border terrorism. It's Pakistan that is not a democracy, harbors terrorists, has a dictator in charge. The average Indian would care whit about Pakistan if it did not "mess" with India.

I am going to paste a link to an article that raises some very interesting questions:


The Role of Pakistan's Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11 Attacks

by Michel Chossudovsky
Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO111A.html

Posted by: Akhil | July 13, 2006 07:35 PM

Zain,
Thats the problem. Even with proof, with which the US marked the LeT as a terrorist organization is not enough for Pakistan. Another case in the news these days: Dawood Ibrahim. His daughter married Javed Miandad's son in karachi, he was there, and yet, Musharaff says, he is not in Pakistan at all! Does he really think everyone is so naive? Though its not funny, it sadly makes me laugh that he can make these stupid statements.

And yes, I completely agree with your statements about the society being a certain way. It will take time to convert society to not look at religion as a cause to fight somebody or get brainwashed into Jihad. But the problem is, no one is seeing any efforts from Musharraf to actually do that! Initially, with his statements about how he intends to eradicate terrorism among various things, he had the press and foreign governments eating out of his hands. Now, everyone knows whatever he says is hot air. he has lost credibility, because he has not acted on what he said he would. Its a hard job, but he wants to be in power, so he cant afford to piss off the mullahs, can he? So stick to status quo, and be in power, even if it means religious fundamentalism continues to grow and feed off itself.

Someone needs to setup up there and make the hard decisions. Unfortunately, there is no one in Pakistan to reform these things as of now. Countries need strong leaders, and I myself had counted on Musharraf to change a lot of things, inspite of his Kargil back-stab. But I have seen in 4 years, all he does is impress the press with his words. Empty words.

Posted by: M | July 13, 2006 08:14 PM

I have had similar sentiments about Musharraf's grandiose statements of reforming and changing Pakistan that have not really translated into any concrete action. I do not think he is by any means a great statesman or leader along the lines of Jinnah or Gandhi. Part of his inaction could indeed be due to self preservation. After all, the coterie of sycophants that is groveling around him right now will be baying for his blood as soon as Nawaz or Benazir come back to power. But therein, in my opinion, also lays a glimpse of his pragmatism. Pakistan has never had the luxury, like India, of having a diverse enough upper class (read people with the means and/or influence to get into politics), nor has it had any success with land reform that could have diluted the traditional centers of power concentrated in the hands of Jagirdars and Waderas. We continue to live in a feudalistic and tribal society (even in the Punjab) that is beholden to the idea of "biradri". The Chaudhrie's of Gujarat, the Bhutto's, Fahims all come from this background. With abysmal literacy rates, and wealth concentrated in the hands of so few, it stands to reason that these people will in some shape or form continue to win elections. That is why, I think, Musharraf has chosen not to force through his most controversial and reformist policies. Musharraf is not going to be there forever. If there is no real debate and consensus amongst Pakistanis, and amongst the feeble excuses of political leaders we have, over his reforms then they are doomed in the long run. He has however made some excellent changes (freedom of press, private TV stations, and economic reform) that are beginning to contribute towards the national debate over reforming our society and distribution of wealth. The mess that is Pakistan will take a long, long time to clean up, but I do think that he has taken the first steps.

Posted by: Zain | July 13, 2006 09:37 PM

Mush is between a rock and a hard place. As M mentioned, Mush cannot piss the mullah's off, but he has had to make statements to please the west. I suppose that as a result, no one trusts him any more. The trasnformation that Zain spoke off will not be achived simply by making the changes that Mush has made. It requires a change in psyce of the masses. Thats not something that is easily achieved, especially if the leader trying to engender the change is not trusted.

In my view, the biggest problem that Pakistan faces is religious fundamentalism. Moreover, there does not seem to be much of a seperation between church and state, nor do the masses seem to desire one. That probably is the largest hurdle that Pakistan needs to overcome.

Posted by: Akhil | July 13, 2006 10:44 PM

Zain,
That was a very informative comment. Pakistan should concentrate on developing its economy and higher learning institutions to get out of this mess. Better, more widely available jobs and better educated people means more rationalization. There are still doctors, engineers who get brainwashed, but that should be far and few. Also required is a change in the way religion is taught and percieved. Because if you are educated, but in your childhood , the wrong religious teachings have been grilled into you, even education cannot help, as seen by the doctors and engineers that have helped the terrorist cause.

For the better of people in the subcontinent, and more importantly, for the better of the people of your country, I hope that happens sooner than later.

Posted by: M | July 13, 2006 10:58 PM

This is a good debate , even though based on a weak write up by Mr. Morley.However I feel Akhil & Zain should preserve their breath and read this :

As I understand the terrorists in India want to take India back to state of Dar-ul-Islam or islamic country (like medivial years under Turkish/Moghul rulers).

Today , any Islamic country has a very basic problem. This is because Koran & Sharia are fundamentally aligned against the notion of Human Rights & Equality as enshrined in UN charters , especially in treatment of unbelievers , freedom of choice of religion and treatment of women.

So every country having liberal values has to defend themn against islamic attacks - Eg. all countries in Europe , Americas , Asia & Australia. Only China has managed to survive but by totalitarian approach. All other countries will follow same path on reaching a point in their interaction with Islam during globalization.

It is not a wild prediction but a simple projection that a global war can be only prevented by Islamic rennaiscance or its destruction.

So India,Thailand, Bali , Russia,UK and Canada are being dragged into it without having raised a finger against this so called "religion of Peace ".

Posted by: Mr2100 | July 14, 2006 06:31 AM

Pakistan is a jealous country. They know that they can not become developed country ever. Since they can not accomplish anything they do not want India to accomplish anything either.

India is way ahead of all of it's neighbors in science and technology and competing with Western countries, while Pakistan is still living in mullah raj.......

Pakistan is controlled by wounded army and ISI agents...who still can not forget their defeat of 3 wars against India.

India....you don't have any option but to go for a FINAL war agaist Pakistan and destroy it...Yes, we will lose millions of people in war...but after that their will me eminent peace.

Posted by: VP | July 14, 2006 10:41 AM

I am tired of listening to our Prime Minister giving television address after the blasts have occured. I would rather expect our PM to take action. What is stopping us from cleaning out the camps in PoK and elsewhere in Pakistan?

As far as Mr. Sumit Roy's comments goes, I have to disagree. It is so unfortunate that most of us, so called "NRI", all we do is just talk about politics and corruption. Why don't we do something about it? Instead, we expect the common people of India to solve the problem. Sometimes, I feel that we have run away from the harsh realities of being a common Indian Citizen or may be we are blinded the luxurious NRI life out of India.

Wake up Mr. Sumit. Atleast stop bad mouthing our own people. For country which is still 60 years young, I feel we have achieved a lot compared to most countries. It is just a matter of time, that issues like corruption and illiterate politicians will be slowly eroded and we will emerge as a Super Power.

Posted by: Kiran | July 14, 2006 01:26 PM

Mr VP: I wish you'd choose not to use such strong words against a nation... I don't think the general public in India or in Pakistan wants such disharmony, ... and least of all a war. I believe war will serve no long term purpose. Wars are what give birth to 'terrorists' and 'terrorism'. It's their way of getting back... And since they so strongly believe they become martyrs by dying and killing, there is virually nothing that can show them reason and sanity. A war today will produce another army of barbaric terrorists tomorrow, who'd only be more determined to destroy, if anything.

I am of the view that though we MUST punish the people who planned and executed such a dastardly act, we also need to eradicate the cause in the best possible way we can. You can't make everyone happy, but one has to analyze the cost vs gain ratio... especially when we're talking about lives of innocent people.

A solution is what we need I agree, but war isn't it.

Posted by: Dipika | July 14, 2006 02:54 PM

Mr2100,

The problem is not limited to Islam, the problem lies in religious fundamentalism. The US too is suffering from this problem, the rise of the evangelical movement is causing problems here as well. There are some who believe that the conflict in the Middle East can be viewed as the coming signs of "rapture".

In India there are political leaders that are fundamentalists, there are the "dhimmi" leaders who appeal to the minority vote etc. The mix of politics and religion is nothing short of explosive, and past internal conflicts have shown that. These conflicts simply cause deeper rifts between communities. India is supposed to be a secular state, yet religion is injected into the public square. Why does the ration card have a persons religion in it, why do school applications at times ask for what religion a person is? Nows there is talk about reservations for certain classes. Untill we have politicians who splinter us into different voter groups based on religion, how are we to be a truly unified country?

I hope that as India grows as an economic power, the issue of religion becomes increasingly irrelevant in the choices we make for our leaders. I think it was Stalin who said: "Religion is the opium of the masses". The ordinary citizens of India need to drop their religious identity when they step out of their homes. I know it is easier said than done, though the remarkable spirit of the people of Mumbai in the aftermath of this tragedy illustrated that it can be done.

I read an interesting quote that some may enjoy. Its not completely relevant to what I said, yet it is not entirely irrelevant either, so I am going to end my rant with it!!

It's God's responsibility to forgive the terrorist organizations. It's our responsibility to arrange the meeting between them and god." -Indian Armed Forces

Posted by: Akhil | July 14, 2006 05:14 PM

Violence against non-combatants - civilians, commuters going home from work - is no less barbaric than the brutally oppressive occupation of Kashmir by India.

We are human beings. Can we do no better by each other?

Posted by: OS | July 14, 2006 05:57 PM

OS,
Thats your point of view because thats what your government feeds you. According to me, Pakistan is the country formenting terrorism for its own selfish reasons.

Yes we are human beings, so stop supporting terror because thats what kills people! The army is in Kashmir because of terrorism across the border, not vice versa. I am not saying the Army has not had its share of scre*-ups, but still, who is exporting terrorism? There was a lull in the valley for months, tourists were going back, the Kashmiri people were happy. But hey, how can the terrorists let someone live a good life in Kashmir? Their mottot is, lets train in PoK(or Azad Kashmir), and throw some grenades.

lol it makes me smile, your line of "brutally opressive occupation". Atleast look on both sides, not just one:)

Posted by: M | July 14, 2006 09:02 PM

M,
What my govrnmment feeds me? That's a laugh!

You are regurgitating stock Indian propaganda.

Btw, did you mean to write fomenting? Fermenting?

Posted by: OS | July 15, 2006 12:09 AM

lol.
I guess you dont get the sarcasm and the message. You get fed something, and I get fed something else.

Read up both sides of the story. Not just media in Pakistan, or India. Have a balanced view.

Peace out.

Posted by: M | July 15, 2006 01:18 AM

And yes, that was fomenting. It was a typo.
I wish it would ferment, we would atleast get some beer out of terrorism!

Posted by: M | July 15, 2006 01:19 AM


. I have been saying for years now that the only way to put an end to this menace is to take out the nation-state of Pakistan. Drastic as it may sound, there is no other way. Earlier, the West thought it was purely an India - Pakistan issue and conveniently looked the other way. 9/11 changed all dramatically and made the rest of the world realize that Pakistan was the real cradle of international terrorism.

Afghanistan, Taliban, Al Qaida, Lashkar-e-toiba, 'freedom struggle' in Kashmir etc are all visible faces of the extremely dangerous and destructive state policy of Pakistan, nurtured and pursued overtly for decades. And it is not a simple India-Pakistan matter as has been carefully projected by Pakistan to curry favor with the West till a critical mass is achieved .The proliferation of nuclear weapon technology by the highest ranking members of the Pakistani establishment had nothing to do with India at all. The blossoming of Al Qaida and the Taliban with complete knowledge, support and encouragement of Pakistan govt and military was not India-centric either.

These were concerted efforts by Pakistan towards the objective of bringing to an end the domination of the Islamic world by the Christian West. This may sound illogical.. But dig into history and look. Pakistan is an artificial entity created on the basic premise that Muslims cannot co-exist with people of other religious beliefs, no matter how closely related they may be ethnically, except when Islam is dominant. This idea was tenuously floated in the 40s as a bargaining political tool, but, thanks in no small measure to the British, it gave birth to a new country which interpreted it as the 'divine' right of Islam to rule, yet again, after being in an eclipse for a couple of centuries. Having tasted blood in breaking up India and carving out an Islamic state, the ambition of Pakistan was initially to 'reclaim' Delhi in the name of Islam. Remember Gen Ayub Khan's boast of having his evening tea in Delhi, in 1965? The Pakistani political, military and religious leadership fanned this idea in an increasingly fundamentalist and intolerant manner, particularly after Muslim East Pakistan broke away in 1971 dealing a severe blow to the very basis of existence of Pakistan. In the process, the idea has progressed, as it logically had to, to the belief that if Islam cannot accept a dominant 'Hindu' India, how can it straddle the irreconcilable contradiction of accepting the overwhelming dominance of Christian West over the entire Islamic world.

Two generations of Pakistanis and a large number of Muslims in India have grown up on this poison pill of hatred and intolerance, spawning a full fledged industry of terror and violence, which has provided a fertile ground for extremists of other nationalities too. Skeptics who conveniently overlook the extremely dark face of this pernicious ideology would do well to read 'Who Killed Daniel Pearl' by Bernard-Henri Levy. Why not just read the posters openly displayed in the office of the Students Islamic Movement of India(SIMI), 'Waiting for Ghaznavi', 'No Democracy, No Secularism, Only Islam'. What else is Pakistan about? What else is international Islamic fundamentalism and terror about? This is the real terrorism which everyone in India is ignoring in their misplaced zeal to sound 'secular' and bipartisan. That is exactly what such outfits need to flourish and mount an increasingly formidable challenge to the perceived domination by Hindus in India and Christians in the West. And yet, Indian media and politicians choose to completely ignore this foundational challenge to the nation which brazenly seeks to convert the 'Indian' part of India into Pakistan too. They want to remain in their cozy make-believe world of engaging with and publicizing 'secular' Muslims. The media's naiveté in believing that the real Muslims living in large numbers in the ghettos will bare their real beliefs in front of the camera is, indeed, disturbing, to say the least. Indian politicians have consistently displayed a remarkable lack of integrity to be on the right side of electoral mathematics. One wonders about the compulsions of the media.

In the wake of 9/11, Musharraf had no choice but to align with the US against the Al Qaida and Taliban his country helped flourish and unleash the most horrific face of Islamic fundamentalism and terror. As he himself admitted, it was a question of ensuring the very survival of Pakistan. Notwithstanding this purely tactical and opportunistic alliance with the US, the hard fact remains that the ideology put in place remains intact and will remain so as long as Pakistan continues to exist as a nation. No govt in power there can effectively check this if it has to survive. Even if we were to lull ourselves and believe that the hawkish commando ,'Kargil' President of Pakistan has genuinely become a dove after 9/11, there is little he can do to stem the flow of the poison that has corrupted the very soul of his country and has been exported like blood cancer to large parts of the globe. At various levels in Pakistan, the poison is still being assiduously cultivated and harvested, because it has become the sole justification for Pakistan to remain an independent country and not re-merge with India or split further on the more logical basis of ethnicity. It has also become the opium fuelling the ambition of ensuring the rule of Islam in this world and pleasure of young virgins in the next. .

I may be wrong, but at a macro time and space level, I see events involving the Islamic world in the last two centuries or so, as the painful pangs of a dying philosophy.The pangs are getting more frequent, more painful....and deep down there is a frustrated sense of helplessness and fear finding expression in the vortex of ever increasing violence and self-destruction. The effective religious leaders of Islam cannot teach their followers to live peacefully with others in a plural world. With that insurmountable difficulty, there is no hope. It is the End. They know it too, but want to believe that the End is of others.

The rest of the world has a responsibility to ensure that the fallout is minimized and not prolonged unnecessarily.

Posted by: Viinod | July 15, 2006 07:07 AM

Viinod,

I have many Pakistani friends from various backgrounds. They agree with the fact that a lot of progress has to be made towards their leader's vision of "enlightened moderation". Which simple means tolerance. If taking out a nation-state could help us live peacefully then perhaps this could be the best option. I guess then this suggestion can be given to Israel too. Take out Palestine and you would live peacefully. Interestingly, Hitler had similarly views about Jews who according to him need to be eliminated from the face of the earth. And he even convinced his allies to follow his "noble mission". The point: Violence breeds violence. We can only encourage moderate elements on both sides of the border for the lasting peace. Whether its ISI or RAW, we have to hold our governments accountable for their actions. Pakistanis should ask questions such as why 'Kargil' happened or allowed to happen and we in India should ask our leaders why did we encouraged RSS to destroy Babri mosque and trigger hindu-muslim violence. We will find that many in our folds are drawing political benefits from encouraging hatred. In Pakistan, Musharraf's main opposition party MMA is one examply who is still friends with Taliban and many other terrorist outfits. The mere fact that Musharraf is holding MMA back from taking control of Pakistan makes him our ally. In India, similarly, we need to support leaders who have a vision for the nation and not their won vested interests.

Posted by: P.Verma | July 15, 2006 08:07 PM

P. Verma,

Comparing Pakistan with Palestine and the Jews is quite misplaced. Firstly, the issues are completely unrelated. Secondly, if you read carefully, I said that we have to takeout the artificial nation-state of Pakisran, and not Muslims. It the poisonous concept and idea which has to be removed,,,,it is the oxygen of global terrorism.I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that we are headed in that direction and it will happen whenever the US realises that it no longer needs the secure flank provided by Pakistan on the eastern borders of Iran and Afghanistan

Posted by: Viinod | July 16, 2006 02:12 AM

Before we blame Pakistan for ills of India, we should not forget that Gandhi was murdered not by a Moslem, not even a fundamentalist Mulla, but an extremist Hindu who was respresenting sentiments of his other comrade extremist Hindus. We'll be fool to think that these don't exist anymore. "Taking out" Pakistan, perhaps stem from the same sentiment. Gandhi, as unhappy as he was with the division of British-India accepted the fact Pakistan is now a neighbour. Had he was not stopped (killed) by extremist Hindu(s), he could have forged bonds of brotherhood again between people of two conutries -- the seeds of animosity being sown by British and watered by extremists on both sides. We can certainly take out this nation-state of Pakistan while securing everlasting peace by promoting peace on both sides, accepting co-existance and encouraging people to people contact. A time could come when that these borders would exist only on Map. Ofcourse, elements on both sides will resist it. As their politics depends on hate. Yet we have to strive to defeat it. It will be a fool's dream to think that we can romp over Pakistan, take out the government and then think that people of Pakistan will embrace us with love. If that happens our fate won't be different than whats going on Middle east. And why on earth we want to do that when when we are on the path of prosperity. Mumbai blasts albeit tragic would not stop us from reaching our goal of becoming a fully developed country.

Posted by: P.Verma | July 16, 2006 05:52 PM

P Verma

You think like I do, and that is the problem....with our thinking, we can never understand the ramifications of what the enemy is up to. It is only when you can begin to think like he does, can you develop a response to defeat him. If Pakistanis thought like us, the problem would not have arisen in the first place.
You may have not read today's paper...a leading Muslim politician of a mainstream Indian secular party has called for creation of a 'Muslim Pradesh' out of Uttar Pradesh. Reminds you of something? As for your fond belief as to what Mahatma Gandhi would have been able to do had he lived, again you feel so because you cannot get into the mindset that created Pakistan and attacked Kashmir almost immediately thereafter.

Posted by: Viinod | July 17, 2006 01:11 AM

we never like blast and fights with any one.

after the blast,
media said that pakistan based "isi" is involve in mumbai/bombay blast.
2nd day some govt. officer also give statement like pakistan based "isi" is involved, mean time mumbai blast responsibility not taken by any terrorist group. when pakistan name is comming in front, then after 4days of blast, laskhar-e-toiba take responsibility of mumbai blast but in other case like blast in jammu and kashmir they inform in within few hours. and our govt. is completely fail to stop terrorist activity. and you can compare is ISRAEL V/s India. they getting freedom in same time and they never back step against terrorism

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Posted by: Abby | July 20, 2006 03:33 AM

Viinod,

I believe that we cannot generalize views and aspirations of individual members of any secular party to be reflection of any party's policy/stand. But I won't doubt that there may be politicians who thrive on divisive politics. I also would respectfully disagree that we think alike, at least right now. But I sure hope we do later. Having lived among many Pakistanis with whom we still share many cultural similarities, I am a firm believer that there are people on both sides of the "divide" who want to live in peace and want to accept each others existence. The mindset that created Pakistan could be debated. Times have changed. We do not have Great Britain as our enemy any more to "divide and rule". But yes we do have RSS, Lashkar-e-Toiba etc. Again, fact remains that Mahatama was assasinated by an extremist hindu, Musharraf escaped two assasination attempts by Extremist Muslims. One suicide bomber, again Muslim extremist, came very close to blowing up Paki Prime Minister with himself. He did blew himself taking away lives of other innocent muslims. If Pakistani government is our enemy then who are these extremist Muslim outfits working for? Are they working for us? Or perhaps some of us are confused about who's a potential friend and who is a foe!.

MMA -- a fundamentalist if not extremist religious party rules NWFP, a largely "maddressah" educated province of Pakistan, is also trying to overthrow Musharraf's government. Shall we join hands with them!?.

Violence will ONLY breed violence.

Posted by: P.Verma | July 22, 2006 01:22 AM

I too have many Muslim friends who are perfectly reasonable, like some Pakistanis you know. I am not anti muslim at all...in fact I have been thinking and talking like you for years. The problem we are confronted with is a Frankenstien monster created by an Islamic ideology adopted and practised by Pakistan, for decades. After 9/11, things have changed, but the monster has grown too big to accept defeat so easily...neither is it easy for the state of Pakistan to kill its creation, which it is being forced to do to some extent due to American pressure. Philosophically, it can be said that violence will lead to violence. The question is: do we live with gangerine and die quickly as it spreads, or perform the required surgery ?

Posted by: P Verma | July 23, 2006 02:11 AM

P Verma,

Oops, the previous post was by me to you rather than by you, as it appears. My apologies

Posted by: Viinod | July 23, 2006 02:14 AM


The other day, I was watching a program addressing a similar question on another channel, when I heard the celebrated anchor ask the dumbest question ever asked by an anchor : 'Do terrorists have a religion?' Such a question not only trivializes a very serious issue but also betrays the fact that despite many years occupying prime media space, some journalists remain little public school boys/girls taking part in an inter-school debate. Their focus is always on scoring points and emerging the winner through the sheer force of their debating skills and the carefully chosen coterie of panelists who enable them to remain in a comfort zone and hide their often superficial understanding of the many issues taken up in their programs. That is fine in school. But when one dominates national media and influences the opinion of a small but powerful section of society which enjoys a disproportionately large voice in policy making at the national level, casual arrogance must give way to a realization of one's societal and national responsibility.

Coming to the very upsetting question, it is obvious that anchor in question, and perhaps others too, have never even bothered to find out where the term 'Jihad' comes from.And they have all pretensions of being experts It needs to be mentioned that the first jihad was fought by the Prophet against those who refused to accept his prophethood, i.e. Islam. His jihad (battle) at Medina against the Meccans and Jews resulted in his victory. And do you know what he did after the battle was won? He beheaded all the 800 captured soldiers of the defeated Jew Army and took all their women and children as slaves, proclaiming both acts to be the Will of God. In today's context, mass massacre of defeated, unarmed soldiers will be classified a war crime. And what about the sexual and other exploitation of innocent women and children? Perhaps that was the requirement of those extraordinary and difficult times when Islam was struggling to take root. Cut to the present day and it needs no genius to understand that killing of the 'enemies' of Islam by jihadi terrorists, be they fighting soldiers or passive supporters (ordinary citizens, women, children?), gets its justification from the Prophet himself, however much it may arguably be distorted.. There are no 'innocent' citizens in the jihadis lexicon. Even if there are a few, well, that is collateral damage, as the Americans love to say. Add to this the Prophet's promise of young virgins in the next life for those who die fighting for Islam and you have a perfect recipe for extremely merciless, ruthless and dangerous jihadi terrorism. And Pakistan, which has somehow conceptualized itself as a creation of jihad, a jihad incomplete, is providing the perfect Islamic pan to cook this diabolic dish in.

Informed Indian politicians understand this quite well but choose look away because they have been completely corrupted by their lust for power. They cannot antagonize Muslims voters ( a clear unspoken belief that a vast majority of Indian Muslims support the jihadis in some manner at least), even if , in the process the nation is lost in the long run. Then there is another class of politicians who believe that their sole hope of survival is in blindly supporting Nehruvian idealism to be on the right side of The Family which simply cannot get itself to accept that changed circumstances demand a radically different approach. Family 'honour' takes precedence over national interest. On way or another, all these people may prove to be as dangerous and as anti-national as the jihadis,

To compound the problem, they have the powerful backing of large breed of rootless Indian journalists (including their in-house experts) who dominate the national media. They are comfortably cocooned in their 'secular' world and come into their element only when they ridicule and question Hindu religion ( without having the foggiest idea of its intellectual, philosophical, rational and spiritual dimensions) and brand as communal and jingoistic anyone who tries to awaken his countrymen to the real danger posed by jihadi terrorists. Imagine playing down and perversely justifying jihadi terrorism by comparing it with Hindu communalists, naxalites and militants of the Northeast, but that is what is being done ad nauseum by politicians and the media. Net result : 20 years down the line, this country has not been able to formulate a coherent and effective strategy to counter the most serious challenge to our secular state, our very nation.

Thank God Bush did not have Indian media and Indian politicians to contend with post 9/11... he might have still been paralysed by a relentless, ingenious and essentially dishonest campaign of comparison of Al Qaida with Ku Klux Klan, radical Christians and other racist elements, with shrill calls to check them too with an even eye before acting against Afghanistan, while Al Qaida terrorists would have grown stronger, inflicted far more damage and perhaps duplicated what jihadi terrorists have achieved in India. Fortunately, Americans never lose sight of their supreme national interest. 'Rootless Indians', on the other hand, never fail to impress with their thorough knowledge, admiration, assimilation, even awe of everything else American, particularly bohemian. Pity they are not white....may be that is why they cannot understand India's national interest, fathom national pride, and above all, experience real self esteem as an Indian..

Posted by: Viinod | July 23, 2006 02:22 AM

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