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Thursday, December 09, 2021

Stop exchanging dossiers

It’s not often this column gets a mailbox full of letters that agree with the views of your humble columnist. This happened last week. The gist of the letters was that India’s national interest was undermined by the Prime Minister when he allowed his Pakistani counterpart to bully him into that reference to Balochistan in […]

Written by Tavleen Singh |
July 26, 2009 3:26:40 am

It’s not often this column gets a mailbox full of letters that agree with the views of your humble columnist. This happened last week. The gist of the letters was that India’s national interest was undermined by the Prime Minister when he allowed his Pakistani counterpart to bully him into that reference to Balochistan in the joint statement from Sharm-el-Sheikh. Proof of this came in last week’s ‘dossier’ of charges strategically leaked to The Dawn newspaper. The Government of India is now charged with being behind the terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team and that police academy near Lahore.

When I read the charges listed in this so-called dossier I have to admit that my first reaction was…if only. If only Inder Kumar Gujral as Prime Minister had not wound down RAW’s subversive activities in foreign lands. If only the government of Atal Behari Vajpayee had revived them after the Kargil war. If only Dr Manmohan Singh’s first government had realised after the attacks began on Indian cities culminating in the horror of Mumbai that the only war that is going to be fought between us and our old Islamic foe is a subversive one. If there was the slightest possibility of another conventional war it would have happened after India’s Parliament was attacked and it would most certainly have happened after the attack on Mumbai.

It has to be said that Pakistan’s leaders have been quicker to understand this than our own. When Pervez Musharraf’s Kargil misadventure failed miserably,it took him no more than a few months to change his tactics. By the summer of 2001,when he came to Agra for those sham peace talks,he had already enlisted the services of men like Maulana Azhar Masood and Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed. These were his new Generals in the war against India and if you listen to their interviews and speeches on YouTube you will find that they are refreshingly frank about their hatred of India.

I did a bit of cruising on YouTube before writing this piece and listened first to Maulana Masood’s rantings. He boasted about how the jihad could only end in victory because ‘we love death,we seek it out,they fear death’. He celebrated the destruction of the Bamian Buddhas,said that Jews were ‘weaker than mosquitoes and flies’ and mocked India for being a weak country. I then switched to an interview that Sayeed gave to the Waqt channel after his release in June. He was asked repeatedly about India and his response every time was to say that India was a duplicitous country that could not be trusted—”They pretend to have peace talks but they are never sincere. They don’t want peace”. These are the men who lead the jihad against India and they have the full support of Pakistan’s government.

When a democratically elected government replaced Musharraf,I must confess that even I nurtured a small hope that the subversive war against India would stop and peace become possible. After the attack on Mumbai,when both Asif Ali Zardari and Yousaf Raza Gilani,behaved like spokesmen for the Lashkar-e-Toiba,this hope died.

We will not defeat the Islamists by making gestures of peace like the one the Prime Minister just made in Egypt. You cannot make peace with religious fanatics who burn with hatred of our idol-worshipping land. The only way to defeat them is by fighting them at their cowardly level. I am not suggesting that like them we should start killing innocent people,but I am suggesting that we should find some way of decimating organisations like the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

President Zardari recently admitted that the Pakistani government had in the past bred and nurtured jihadi terrorists. If only he had taken this discovery to its logical end and shown that his government had no wish to carry on this dangerous practice. But,not only has he done nothing he has encouraged his ministers to state repeatedly that action can only be taken against the Lashkar-e-Toiba if India provides ‘proof’. And,when Ajmal Kasab started naming names and providing ‘proof’ Pakistani ministers said they had no faith in confessions to the Indian police. This is of a piece with the initial denials that there were any Pakistanis involved in the attack on Mumbai.

So,let us please stop exchanging dossiers and joint statements and concentrate our energies on finding some way of winning the undeclared war that is being fought against India. If talking peace was the only way forward,as the Americans like to tell us,why does President Obama sanction more and more troops for Afghanistan? Why are Taliban hideouts being bombed on a daily basis? Why not invite Mullah Omar and Osama-bin-Laden to Washington for peace talks instead?

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