Asma Jehangir gets it exactly right:
Most sections of society within Pakistan seem to be in a state of denial regarding the allegations made by the Indian authorities. They are not willing to accept even a remote possibility of any connection between Pakistan and the terrorist attacks that took place in Mumbai last week. At the same time, any attack within Pakistan is treated differently. A large number of people have openly blamed militant groups operating within Pakistan and rogue elements within our intelligence agencies for acts of violence carried out in Pakistan. Yet, we are not willing to grant the same significance to any claims made by neighbours against the very same elements that admittedly are under insufficient control.
A thought-provoking column by Mosharraf Zaidi:
First things first: it is true that Pakistanis (and Bangladeshis) have no business in taking sides within India’s internal cleavages. However all South Asian Muslims, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans and Indians not only have the right to think about and mourn what has happened in Mumbai, they have an anthropological duty or dharma to examine the carnage, to think about how it will affect them, and what they can and should do, to avoid it from happening again, anywhere.
Forget also that there is a domestic Muslim Indian terrorism problem. First, the problem is not unique to India, it is a problem that is common today to most countries with a substantial Muslim minority, from the United Kingdom to the Philippines, from Thailand to Nigeria. Second, domestic terrorism, as a problem is also not unique in India. India has had varying degrees of success in staring down secessionists and terrorists in Assam, Orrissa, Rajhastan, and Punjab among others. Third, as a democracy, India is better positioned to deal with the challenge of domestic terrorism than any country where democracy is a novelty. Democracy may be the tyranny of the majority, but the majority’s tyranny is self-contained. It eventually behaves in self-interested ways. By gun or with butter, democracies find ways that dictatorships cannot.
If peaceful South Asian Muslims feel besieged-by the mindless and evil violence perpetrated in the name of their faith on the one hand, and by the mind numbingly jingoistic Indian media on the other-they should get over it. Muslim culpability in the attack on Mumbai is historic, not episodic. It is structural, not incidental. The history and structure of this culpability has failed to release Kashmir from the clutches of oppression, failed to address the systemic social exclusion of the Indian Muslim, failed to formulate a workable Muslim paradigm in either Pakistan, or Bangladesh. What has happened in Mumbai will do more than any other previous incident to weaken the Kashmir cause, weaken the Indian Muslim, and weaken the average citizen of India’s smaller and more vulnerable neighbours. That’s why, despite our fascination with their sophistication, the Mumbai terrorists represent nothing substantively new. They are the newest face of an old problem.
Pakistan: when even someone like Juan Cole is telling you to get your act together, it’s really time to act. A little bit too much blame displacement towards the Americans, but a good synopsis of Pakistan’s jihad policy and why it is imperative that it must end:
f the Pakistani government does not give up this covert terrorist campaign in Kashmir and does not stop coddling the radical vigilantes who go off to fight there, South Asian terrorism will grow as a problem and very possibly provoke the world’s first nuclear war (possible death toll: 20 million).
two good Pakistani responses