After ten men held an Indian city hostage to terrorism, they were finally subdued, but not before their goal of disrupting both Pakistan and India had been achieved. Indian officials announced that it was raising security to a “war level”which naturally secured a Pakistan response that it was pulling troops away from tribal regions in order to man defenses on the frontier with India. Although the situation is not as tense as 2002 when both nations came close to an armed conflict, Indian political leaders are bound to raise the fear of an outside aggression in order to secure votes in upcoming elections. The Home Minister has been fired and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is promising to upgrade the capabilities of special forces as well as expand the number of those troops.
Secretary Rice and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband will soon by headed towards India and Pakistan in an effort to reduce tensions. India has not yet claimed the Pakistan government had a hand in the Mumbai massacre, but it is clear a Pakistan-based group, Lashkar-e-Toiba played a prominent role in the entire operation. It is also clear that group has links to the Pakistan ISI organization.
It is amazing that ten men can come close to creating a war between two nations. It is important for the Pakistan government to clean up the infamous ISI including firing most of its leadership if there is ever to be trust in the Pakistan government.
There is something about violence which frequently results in people who ignore it to suddenly become aware, particularly if the violence occurs in their backyard. All major political parties in India on Sunday agreed to unite in fighting terrorism and unanimously agreed to set up a Federal Investigating Agency to coordinate anti-terrorism activity. the Bharatiya Janata Party (BNP) wants the nation to focus on Pakistan’s responsibility for the attack. However, the other parties wanted to wait for more information before naming Pakistan as responsible for the tragedy.
Perhaps, the initial step in dealing with terrorism is uncovering why ten gun men were able to control an entire city for days before being halted. There was ineptness in performance of Indian security forces who were ill-equipped, poorly led, and seemed confused on how to deal with terrorism.
Perhaps, it is also time to address issues of poverty in India, and finally work with Pakistan on a reasonable compromise to the festering issue of Kahsmir.
India is a democratic nation but it supports the brutal dictatorial regime of Myanmar more out of fear and selfish economic reasons than concern for upholding the principles of democracy. During the 1990s, as China began making economic inroads into Myanmar, the government of India reached out to assume a role in developing the rich resources of their neighbor to the east. A combination of fear China would become dominant on its border, a desire to tap the resources of Myanamar and concern for insurgent groups in its own northeast regions who had links to Burmese rebels led India to give whole hearted support to an oppressive regime.
However, despite this abysmal record of supporting a dictatorship, India has afforded refuge to over 50,000 Burmese refugees who fled to avoid oppression at the hands of Myanmar’s rulers. There are some reports, India quietly supports democratic opposition groups in hope one day they can gain power. The people of Burma suffer because India and China engage in power games to assert control in their land. Such is the manner in which powerful nations gain wealth.