To Forestall Forces of Terrorism and Confrontation

  • 14 December 2008

The forces of terrorism and radicalism, through their violent and bloody methods, seek to create an atmosphere of strife and tension in relations between countries and societies, because in this charged atmosphere it can direct matters to dangerous directions. For this reason, asserting the spirit of international cooperation and solidarity in the face of terrorism would help in circumventing this opportunity for the forces, and would plug the gaps through which these hideous elements penetrate and strike their targets. The forces of radicalism have always worked on scuttling any attempts between India and Pakistan of coming closer, and every time the neighboring countries have initiated important steps on the road to a better understanding and in turning the page on historical differences between them, extremist forces have struck to sabotage everything, and push matters back to square one. Perhaps, the course of events in recent years confirms this point clearly, and the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last month—in which scores of people were dead or injured—is a recent sign that these radical and violent groups do not want New Delhi and Islamabad to take big strides forward on the road to better understanding and reconciliation. It is interesting to note here that the attacks happened after important and positive measures were announced by the two countries towards improving relations. This is a repetition of what happened in 2001 after terrorists attacked Indian parliament, which happened just after a phase of positive contacts between the two sides.

Undoubtedly, any tension in relations between the two neighboring countries, India and Pakistan, are important in the context of security and stability in the Indian sub-continent and Asia in general, as it could have dangerous implications and consequences with results that do not stop at bilateral relations alone, but extend to the wider regional arena. This is perhaps what explains the larger interest at the regional and international levels to control tensions that have raised their heads between the two countries following the recent Mumbai explosions, which is trying to contain it or prevent matters from sliding into dangerous directions that cannot be controlled. Perhaps what is a source of optimism is that despite the signs of tension and differences between the two countries because of the Mumbai attacks, things have started to calm down in the wake of steps taken within the framework of cooperation in hunting down the elements that are accused of being behind the attacks. Progress in this direction would help putting an end to this period of tensions and in opening a new page of cooperation that would help in confronting a common danger that threatens both sides.

India and Pakistan seem positioned on a confrontational path in the global war on terrorism, in a region that is afflicted with radicalism and violence based on various historical, ideological, religious, racial and other reasons. To achieve victory in this dangerous confrontation necessitates greater cooperation, as without such cooperation the danger of terrorism would lurk and continue to threaten the security, stability and development of the Indian subcontinent.