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What if the attackers were from Pakistan? November 30, 2008

Posted by neoavatara in World Politics.
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5258458.ece

First, let me stipulate that there is no proof yet that this is true.

But even the Pakistanis seem resigned to the fact that groups on their soil at the very least participated and provided material support for this attack.  Their foreign minister insinuated as much, when he stated that if proven they would go after the culprits.

First, most experts agree the  Lashkar-e-Taiba (aka  Jama’at ud-Dawa) is the most likely perpetrator.  Maybe they had help of Indian Muslims, maybe not.  But with the amount of planning involved, it is highly likely that a previously established group is ultimately behind the attack.

Let us make this assumption for the moment (not a big leap of faith, in fact…).  If so, what should India and the world community do?

First, India must restrain itself.  For all the angst against Pres. Bush after 9/11, he took three weeks or more to decide to attack Afghanistan.  He didn’t push the big red button the next day.  India must keep composed, let the facts come out, unite world opinion, and then move forward.

Second, there is basically no military option.  Pakistan would never endure such a thing without full scale war; and neither India or Pakistan want that.

But here is the most important thing:  India must convince the world, that like 9/11, this was not only an attack on India, but an attack on the world community.  Uniting the free countries of the world should be India’s primary goal.  The United States, the EU, Britain, Japan, Australia, etc…they are waiting for a chance to pressure Pakistan to make moves against these terrorist organizations.  And Zardari himself doesn’t trust the ISI and the army.  The question becomes is he strong enough to tackle those two organizations.

This is the chance for the world community to go after these terrorist groups.  It is no longer acceptable to look the other way.  Pakistan has acted, generally, out of the best of their ability.  This time, that may no be enough.  They may have to go farther; otherwise, they may find themselves on the outside looking in.

Ultimately, India and Pakistan must live together.  Despite all the hatred, they are brothers on the same subcontinent.  Violence against one should be considered violence against both.  We are currently a far way from that.  But now, Pakistan has a chance to truly show its colors.  The time for them to stand up is now.