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  Asia-Pacific
India Needs Independent Strategy to Tackle Terrorism
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and US State Secretary Hillary Clinton in Washington DC on March 24, 2010.

Amidst the possibility of renewed terror attacks in India, the Foreign Ministry level talks were recently held between America and Pakistan. This important meeting between American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pak Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi included the topics of terrorism, strategic relations between both the countries and energy related requirements of Pakistan. The interesting thing in these talks was the presence of the Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and many high ranking officers of the ISI. Pakistan also wants a civil nuclear deal with the US on the lines of India. But the US has rejected this request of Pakistan. Instead, it has agreed to build three thermal power plants in Pakistan with a cost of 120 million dollars. It seems that the US has not ignored that statement of Qureshi in which, while indicating towards India, he said that the US should stop the partiality in making available important resources to Pakistan.

Hillary Clinton has also accepted that there exists some sort of misconception and mistrust between the US and Pakistan. Despite this, besides agreeing for three thermal power plants the US has also accepted a long list of weapons which Pakistan is demanding in the name of fighting terrorists. It is assumed that the US has rejected Pak’s nuke deal demand because already there is doubt among the international community regarding the existing nuclear reactors in Pakistan. The increasing number of terror attacks in Pakistan by the terrorists, strengthen such doubts. India is also concerned by the demand of weapons which Pakistan has put before the US in the name of fighting terrorists. The main reason of India’s concern is that since 9/11, Pakistan has acquired weapons from the US worth more than 7 billion dollars by saying that it would use them against terrorists. But Pakistan has never given any account of the use of those weapons properly. Many evidences show that those American weapons went into the hands of the same terrorists against whom American weapons were supposed to be used. Moreover, there are also evidences of the same weapons being used against India. Notwithstanding these realities, once again the friendship between Pakistan and America is getting strengthened in the fields of weapons and energy.

In fact, the US feels that Pakistan is an important ally in its fight against terrorism. By providing space for the US military bases, Pakistan has tried to prove that it is against terrorism and is fully with the US on this issue. But unfortunately, either the US is not willing to look at the other aspect of Pakistan or it is deliberately negating the truth. It can be understood from the fact that when the representatives of both the countries were deliberating in Washington on the ways to fight terrorism, at the same time thousands of terrorists were publicly declaring ‘Jihad’ against India in the Pak Occupied Kashmir. These terrorists included Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen chief Saied Salahudeen and Lashkar commander Abdul Wahid Kashmiri. Many such rallies have also been held on the main roads of Lahore and Islamabad by the Jamaat-Ud-Dawa and other terrorist organisations, in which the 26/11 accused Hafiz Saeed spewed venom against India.

Under these circumstances, can we believe that Pakistan is serious against terrorism? Or it just wants to continue acquiring money and weapons from America by showing the beast of terrorism? In fact, Pakistan has divided its indigenous terrorism into different categories. Generally, Al Qaeda, Taliban and Tehrik-e-Taliban constitute one category. LeT, JeM and JuD are parts of second category. Pakistan succeeds in convincing the US that American interests are most threatened by the Al Qaeda and the Taliban, whereas it successfully veils the activities of other terror organisations operating in Pakistan. And following these policies, Pakistan is able to get ample money and weapons from the US.

What can India learn from the above situation? Should India depend on American policies to fight terrorism and meanwhile face attacks such a 26/11 and German Bakery and the possibility of future terror strikes? Or instead of convincing America, it should directly make the atmosphere of trust with Pakistan and pressurise Pakistan by way of continuous talks to act against terrorism? Or as a last option, it should destroy the POK based terrorist training camps?

Whatever be the case, India is as sovereign as the US or any other country to think and act about its security. The US would certainly prefer its own interest while allying with any country. India should also do the same. Rather than being concerned about the relations between the US and Pakistan, it is more important to think that how honest and transparent are the relations between India and Pakistan. Because the fact is that Pakistan too is not looking anymore capable of affording the poison of terrorism any longer. If India and Pakistan agree on a common strategy to fight terrorism, it would be much better and authentic that the strategy prepared with the American support. India needs to make its independent policy on terrorism instead of looking at the US, so that the upcoming Commonwealth Games can be organised in a fearless environment and the possibilities of terror strikes on the country’s major cities can be avoided.



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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.

 

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