A chance for India and Pakistan to step back

August 1, 2008

The leaders of India and Pakistan have a chance this weekend to stop things from spinning out of control when they gather in Colombo for a summit of South Asian nations.

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The mood has decidedly turned sour in India, especially after the bombing of its embassy in Kabul which the Indians, the Afghans and now the Americans – according to a report in the New York Times- have blamed on Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence. Attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, a day apart, and then the most serious eruption of gunfire across the Line of Control in Kashmir since a 2003 truce have further increased concern that a four-year peace process is rapidly coming apart.

Pakistan, hemmed in by an increasingly restive American force on its doorstep over the border in Afghanistan, and militant groups chafing within, has its own and perhaps even more serious set of problems. On Thursday a bomb went off outside its consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat,  and you begin to wonder if the foes have turned Afghanistan into a full-blown proxy battleground 
like it was during the Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the United States.

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In a sign of the chill that has crept back into the relationship, the two sides even delayed an announcement of a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani in Colombo, which is the custom at the annual summits of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, and which invariably overshadows the conference.
 
But meet they will, say most analysts and editorialists,  if nothing else to stop a further slide in ties. For all the outrage in India over the bombing in Kabul followed by the impersonal, indiscriminate and savage attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, there isn’t an appetite for ratcheting of tensions with Pakistan.

There should be even less so in Pakistan, as it grapples with even bigger threats on its western borders with the Americans threatening to go after al Qaeda and Taliban, if its fails to do so, with or without permission from Islamabad.

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7 comments

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[...] Sanjeev Miglani at Reuters: The mood has decidedly turned sour in India, especially after the bombing of its embassy in Kabul [...]

Since the 2003 peace process was launched, India has failed to make progress on the core issue of occupation of Jammu & Kashmir. Instead, India has chosen Afghanistan as a base to train and arm and infiltrate millitants in Pakistan provinces of Fronteir(N.W.F.P) and Baluchistan and sponsoring terrorism. Moreover, India has opened several consulates apart from their embassy in Kabul, all used as a cover for intelligence gathering activites aimed against Pakistan.
It is time for Pakistan to go on an offensive and let India know that its rising influence in the region is unacceptable. Pakistan is a Muslim nation of 163 million people and a strategically importtant country. While India could boast about its self as “world’s largest democracy” (so-called) or whatever, Pakistan also is a proud Muslim nuclear power.
Pakistan has to keep a constant watch on India, as that country has never let an opportunity go by to harm Pakistan. There is no sense of urgency to have normalization of relations with India.

Posted by UMPK | Report as abusive

[...] the acts are in revenge for the deaths of Muslims in a pogrom in Gujarat in 2002. Others, though suspect that the Pakistani secret service may have had a hand in the operation particulalry in light of the [...]

who is in charge of ISI ?
its bin laden and Mullar Omar

revenge for porgroms?
well I am not condoning what happened.
Muslims or some of them have a superiority complex
since Koran say Mohammed was god last prophet.
why not admit others can also be a prophet like
krishna, jesus, the prophet of the bahais and ahmedis.
dont get me wrong i like the paks i have met but they there hatred originate from belief that Mohammed was the last prophet for mankind.

Posted by narayan | Report as abusive

Narayan,

Please refrain from false religious stereotyping.

The muslims in Pakistan are no different from the Muslims of India.

If you kindly look it up, you will realise that the muslims brought India its greatest period of stability, harmony and cultural prosperity. Hindus were as much involved in muslim dynasties as any other group.

What’s happened in india and Pakistan in recent decades is driven by the politics and self-preservation of the elite in both countries.

Posted by Moody | Report as abusive

Moody:
generally I dont think its wise to comment on other peoples religion, but all these bombing worldwide is getting out hand (London, Madrid, India,9/11).
I know a few individuals from Iran and Pakistan who want
critise their religious “leaders”. Problem is they could
attract death threats.

We cant alter the past, in my opinion you have an idealistic view of the muslim past-because you want to deny the atrocities that were committed. To be perfectly honest some hindu chavanists try to create a glorious past also. I think when caste became heritory thats when India started to slide and became open to foreign invasion.

The mechanism of fascism is to first create a distorted glorious past and then target “enemies” that destroyed that past. This is essence of the jihad movement.

The solution is to try and create a society where people are judged on merit as human beings with no regarde to religion and background- then all of south asia will prosper.
I agree on your conclusion that politicians are fanning
the flames for their own reasons in India and Pakistan.

Posted by narayan | Report as abusive

Pakistanis are stuck between 2 radical states Iran and the big daddy of islamic terrorism Afghanistan the Pakistanis cannot simply push the terrorists out of there soil because then other muslim countries criticize Pakistan and Pakistan relys on the gulf for allot of its reimmitances India must by pateint with Pakistan as it is in a bad spot between 2 very radical countries which have unfortunately polluted Pakistans once peacefull society especially the refugees from Afghanistan.

Posted by Bilal | Report as abusive

narayan indias icon is islam aka Taj Mahal what would you do without islamic art?

dont get me wrong either muslims are there own worst enemy just look at what the afghans do to pakistan its better if muslims just stay seperate and make fences like pakistan proposed but the afghans declined trust me on this one muslims kill muslims im telling you from experience i lived in pakistan and all the bomb blasts were carried out by afghans some who are supported by RAW agents.

Posted by Bilal | Report as abusive

A concept has spread everywhere that muslims are terrosists and are blasting bombs.Muslims can’t think of doing this all and terrosim has no religon.This is actually a plan of america and he is the only one who is doing this all.From start non-muslims wanted have a controll over muslims, as in sorat Mumtahina it is written”ay iman walo,agar kafar tom par kutrat pa la to wo tomari riswai ka liya hatho aur zabanoo sa zolm karay gaaur chahay ga ka tom bhi kafar ho joi.”.And this is 100% correct.
the goverment is wrong but havnt u seen when there was a earthquik how we coporated.our vazirs have eaten everything and asa result we are bank corrupt.i have many more to say but this is enough.if i get a chance to face -musharraff-zardari
America had attacked Afghanistan,iraq and now wants to have a controll over Pakistan.He wants to have a war between india and Pakistan as he has gureented hindus that he is going to help them.In this way half of the army will be on the indo-pak border and the other will be distributed in Wanna and Swat side.Our arm forces have become so weak only because of musharaff, but he was far better than zardari.these non-muslims and hindus behave with muslims in a very in-humane manner.Muslims in india are given lower jobs.but have we ever done this.In my school a hindu student belongs to pak-army.
i would request my pakistani brother and sisters and muslim contries to be united.”UNITED WE STAND,DIVIDED WE FALL”
and in last according to me the one who blasted bomb in india were the indian muslims.they did this because of the “zolm” baheviour of indians with them as they behaved with us when we lived in sub-continent combinely.
And i as a pakistani say that we are a corrupted country,only because of our goverment(Zardari,who is always on visits,nowadays especially in saudiarabia bcoz they are giving us FuNDS)otherwise we were best nation in 1965
.i have many mre to say but i would 2 say that all 2 zardari and musharaff.it is said that when there will be a war time these vazirs will go anywhere else.

Posted by sania | Report as abusive