Mumbai and after

Daily: Pakistan Observer
Date: 18.12.08

Neighbours are a permanent reality under the shade of which is the unavoidable existence
of Pakistan and India, the contiguous countries, in the post-colonial period. The attacks in
Mumbai of India were a nasty blow to the economic hub of the country, besides bringing
embarrassment to India for being failed to pre-empt the carnage. Nonetheless, the mayhem
disrupted the even tenor of life in both Pakistan and India: hawks sprang into action and
peace anticipated a casualty.

Reportedly, one of the attackers is in the custody of the Indian security forces. The teams
of Scotland Yard of the UK and CIA of the US also arrived in India to look into the matter.
India is not sharing intelligence with Pakistan thereby bringing Pakistan under pressure
through the foreign players including the Prime Minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, who
categorically stated, the other day, in a joint press conference, that the land of Pakistan
was used for training of the Mumbai attackers. On the face of it, this point indicates that
India is sharing information with other countries – but not with Pakistan.

In the same press conference, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, complained
that India was not sharing intelligence with Pakistan and unless that happened Pakistan
was unable to act. Brown also drew parallel with the attacks in the UK by saying that the Al-
Qaeda members who perpetrated mayhem in the streets of London also got trained in
Pakistan. In short, the stamp of terrorism was fixed on the countenance of Pakistan.

On the one side, Pakistan is alleged as a terrorists-exporting country as reportedly one
Pakistani, Ajmal Qasab, was purportedly involved; on the other side, no evidence is being
provided to the Government of Pakistan to support the allegation. The latter aspect
indicates that either the Government of India does not rely on the Government of Pakistan
because of the confidence deficit existing between the two countries or the Government of
India tends to demean the Government of Pakistan by making Pakistan realize of being
unworthy of receiving intelligence. In either case, the non-physical borders existing between
the two countries have taken precedence over the physical borders: though physically
adjacent, both the countries exist afar.

There is a possibility that India is preparing to present the evidences at the UNSC to seek
some sort of permission including flying drones on the Pak-India border and launching
missile attacks on any suspicious activities or the camps near the border, including that of
the AJK. But the point is whether Pakistan is ready to fend off any such diplomatic move or

‘Non-state actors’ is a term in vogue and taking rounds, especially when it is being used by
the President, Asif Ali Zardari, to salvage the situation – to bring the two neighbouring
countries back from the brink of war. Nevertheless, the presence of the non-state actors in
the State of Pakistan indicates that the actors are airing a voice full of dissent from the
policies of the state; the outrageous acts of the non-state actors also signify that the cause
of motivation of the actors should be taken seriously – before any irreversible situation
crops up.

Broadly speaking, it seems that the contours of the foreign policy of Pakistan are being
fashioned by the acts of the non-state actors. To what extent Pakistan has become
handicapped by the non-state actors is yet to be seen. One thing, however, is clear that the
imminent conflict on the land of Pakistan will be between the people being declared the non-
state actors and the security agencies of the country.

Considering the existence and action of the non-state actors a reality, Pakistan is faced
with two-types of non-state actors: one, which is resolute on the western border; and the
second, which is determined on the eastern border. Both categories of the non-state actors
may be sharing ideologies, tactics or inspirations. It is also getting clearer that the
catchment area for the non-state actors is attaining width inside Pakistan. The emerging
situation is a telling reminder that the ongoing war on terror along the western border of
Pakistan is creating a reactionary lot working on its own inside the country – by bypassing
the government. Probably, the more is the length of the war on terror, the more production
of the non-state actors will take place.

Yet, no one is thinking of the possibility of retaliation against the acts of the non-state
actors by the non-state actors of the other country: no one seems awaken to the
eventuality that the Indian non-state actors can inflict atrocities on the soil of Pakistan.
Anyway, by symptoms, the activities of the non-state actors have now attained such a
proportion that any repetition of Mumbai-episode in either India or Pakistan is bound to
elicit devastating consequences for the whole region: a chain reaction may set in slipping
the situation from the sane hands.

The major question which is about to challenge Pakistan is how to taper off making of the
non-state actors – any more. Arrests by the security forces and disappearances through
the intelligence agencies may not be the solutions; how to affect the mental proclivity of the
youth thriving on hatred against the foreign polices of the government may be the question
that needs to be addressed.

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