Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Terror on peace track: new realities

India’s, or rather South Asia’s, terror tales have turned a new chapter, with the explosions on Samjhauta Express near Panipat late Monday night. For the first time, Pakistanis have died in large number in a terrorist attack on Indian soil.

The current investigations will at some point lead to Pakistan. How Pakistan reacts to this will be of interest. Will there be some difference from the way it reacted to Indian investigators’ findings after the Mumbai blasts?

Post-Samjhauta blasts we have also heard new voices coming out of the Pakistan establishment. One reason is of late Pakistan has also been a victim of terror. India has always been the victim for a good 50-odd years. Probably here we are negotiating an important turn. The way Pakistan approaches terrorism as a victim will be crucial in healing the sore that Kashmir has been.

As the Pakistan establishment reconciles to the new reality – as a victim – India too will have to make changes in its perception of the neighbour. We have been seeing Pakistan merely as a perpetrator of violence in India; as a villain. Are we now seeing Pakistan on our side, as a victim? The current split image is bound to create some confusion.

Pakistan has in the recent past proposed joint fight with India against terrorism. We at that time wondered how that could ever happen. That statement in fact had come out of Pakistan’s realisation of it too being a victim of terror. As Khurshid Mohd Kasuri sits down for talks with Indian leaders in New Delhi today, this issue of joint fight will definitely be mentioned, though it may not be publicly acknowledged.

It is time we broke out of stereotype. Pakistan too is fighting a terror war of its own. And at some point there’s a commonality with the one that India is fighting. Indian diplomats and politicians should capitalise on this new turn of events, push the peace talks on to a wholly new track; that’ll finally help Pakistan turn off the terror tap once and for all.


  1. Hi Pradeep,

    Interesting post. That's a very wise way to look at it. Unfortunately, Indian politicians think differently. Have you seen today's Times of India's article entitled "India rejects Pak call for joint probe"?

    You're right. My blog looks better now, and my post on girls being a curse for some families is quite a coincidence with the minister's call for action. Take care.

  2. Terrorism is to remain for quiet many years. We all hope it dwindles down asap.
    At the moment it is intertwined with one religion or other. As long as fundamentalists keep close to their hearts the belief that "My religion is the best and others the worst" it is difficult to come out of this new world order.
    Hope and pray better sense prevails, sooner the better.