India, as we all know, is a country deeply wounded by cross-border terrorism over the last few decades. Terrorism is, therefore, a core issue for us. The question is why has Pakistan been sponsoring and promoting cross-border terrorism in India? It is a well recognised fact that terrorism means carrying out systematic violence, terror and intimidation against political or ideological enemies to achieve a particular political goal. The immediate goal in this case, as the Pakistan foreign minister Shri Kasuri has clearly stated, is directly linked with the resolution of Kashmir issue in their favour.
Pakistani rulers believe in using terror as a powerful instrument of their foreign policy and as well as their warfare strategies. According to Pakistani Brigadier S.K. Malik, terror struck into the hearts of enemies is not only a means, it is an end in itself. Once a condition of terror is obtained into the opponent'sheart, hardly anything is left to be achieved and this rule is fully applicable to nuclear as well as conventional wars. This makes terror an important component of Pakistan'snuclear strategy. In order to counter Pak sponsored terrorism one has to study in depth the philosophy behind the Pakistani concept of war alongwith their long term perspectives.
While the short term goal of Pakistan is Kashmir, but one cannot deny that there is a long term goal as well. It may be recalled that in 1930 Chaudhari Rehmat Ali, a Cambridge student, perhaps for the first time proposed ?Pakstan? as a separate Muslim State in India and later in 1940 propounded a ?Millat and Mission? doctrine with a view to establish a ?Pakasia?. According to him Pakistan would ultimately evolve into Pakasia ?as a chief hub of Pakistani or Islamic culture in Asia and the Hindu India, as representing Indianism, would finally disappear. It appears that this mission statement has been accepted as their long time goal by the rulers of Pakistan, which they are pursuing assiduously. And that is why the Pak sponsored terrorism is aimed at keeping India bleeding by attacking the centres of Indian economic and technological strength and also the highly respected symbols of Hindu culture and places of worship. This is evident from the terrorist attacks in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Ayodhya, Varanasi and Akshardham, etc. The demographic changes which are rapidly taking place on the borders of our country and also the attempts to de-Hinduise Jammu and Kashmir bear ample testimony to the Pakistani designs.
The hydra-headed demon of terrorism having its roots in Pakistan and elsewhere has now spread its tentacles in different parts of the globe. Some thirty countries like Afghanistan, Iran, India, Bangladesh, UK, France, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Italy, Albania, Kosovo, Chechnya and others have been facing serious terrorist challenges to their social and political stability and economic growth by the terrorist outfits having a global network and access to the latest communication and information technology. It is accepted now that international terrorism has emerged as a serious conflict between value systems. Tony Blair the British PM had remarked after London blasts, that the blast was an attack on the ?British way of life?. The US President had declared that the 9/11 terrorist attack was ?War against America?. The Pak sponsored terrorism against India is also a conflict between ?The idea of Pakistan? and the ?Idea of being India?. The far-reaching consequences of the religious fundamentalist, nature of terrorism have been analysed by a large number of researchers. These studies clearly shows, that at present, a mind boggling number of 135 militant Islamic organisations is involved in these world wide jehadi campaigns. The law and order and security apparatus of several countries is undergoing severe strain because the terrorists are keeping them busy in combating the low intensity war. If this process persist for a long time many nation states, certainly the soft variety, are likely to disintegrate and disappear. The spectre of international terrorism with possibilities of nuclear terrorism is thus looming large over a very wide area and is ringing the alarm bells for the value systems of countries like India which believe in the coexistence of diverse views. The international terrorism is a complex phenomenon and its matrix and dynamics needs to be treated separately. However, it is assuming a sort of quasi war between different civilizations and has tremendous potential to be converted into a real war as several flash points are around the globe.
Focussing on Indian scene, one finds that a large section of our political leadership does not care to analyse and understand the dangers of terrorism in India. Some of them, for purely vote bank politics have turned a blind eye towards terrorist activities and designs. Any attempt to bring the facts to light is drowned in the noise made by charging these attempts as communalising the issue. The continuing influx of Bangladeshi infiltrators was not only ignored, by both the CPI(M) and Congress, but was also aided and abetted by them for purely vote bank politics. The entire North-Eastern India is engulfed by separatist terrorist outfits.
The refusal to reintroduce POTA, the adoption of a unanimous resolution by Kerala Assembly favouring release of one Madani who was imprisioned for masterminding the Coimbatore blast is a shameful example of gross neglect of national security for the sake of Muslim votes. Similar actions on the part of Samajwadi Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in recommending the cases against 150 SIMI activists facing trial be taken back have been taken in view of the impending UP Assembly elections. It is a known fact that Congress in Andhra Pradesh and Assam took help from terrorist groups to win elections. And in return, in Andhra Pradesh permitted them to not only move openly with arms but also to bring arms in an official meeting attended by unarmed bureaucrats and ministers. A Chief Minister has been reported to be hobnobbing with the militant groups by visiting Pakistan frequently. In down South some political leaders and groups are reported to be in close touch with the LTTE. The persistent refusal to enact POTA by the UPA government and its completely confused and ambivalent policy regarding Jammu and Kashmir have emboldened the terrorist outfits. The fact that now Al Quaida has been able to open its chapter in India exposes the total hollowness of the UPA policies.
The Congress thinks that Muslim support is very crucial for its survival in Uttar Pradesh and has, therefore, to compete with the Samajwadi Party (SP) for securing Muslim votes. The situation gets worse confounded because the SP cares two hoots for national interests and has no commitment to Indian value system. The competing parties are condoning the Muslim fundamentalist extremism while condemning the nation'sanger on various terrorist acts only for their lust for power. The head count in Government jobs, Army and now in judiciary, the haste to grant reservations on the basis of religion in educational institutions have resulted in a serious disquiet all along the country. The stony silence of UPA on these issues has sent a message to the terrorists that they can go on a free run. India is sitting on a heap of highly combustible material which can explode the country as and when these terrorist outfits of different hues and shades combine and ignite the spark. Dangers of nuclear terrorism should not be ignored. Any laxity on the part of State or political leadership would lead to uncontrollable situation.
From the recent experience at G-8 Conference in St. Petersburg India must realise that it has to fight the battle against terrorism on its own. The country cannot afford to remain a soft State. Nation'sexistence is at stake. If the statement of the PM that nation'sresponse to terrorism has been inadequate is not merely a rhetoric then he has to demonstrate a will to take hard decisions without caring for votes. It is high time that national consensus should be evolved across the political spectrum on the nature and dangers of terrorism and then to have a firm resolve to put a determined and united fight to destroy the terrorists. Let us clearly understand the dimensions of Pak sponsored terrorism and its avowed goal of dismantling if not completely destroying India and respond accordingly. The writing is on the wall. Let us take lessons from History.
(The author is senior BJP leader and former Union HRD Minister.)