ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Politics: India's Security and Pakistan

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According to many analysts, the entire thinking of the political and ruling establishment in Pakistan is dominated by just one subject – India or even more specifically, Kashmir. Whether or not such a conclusion is justified in respect of Pakistan, in the post-hijacking days, India seems to be witnessing a mirror image of the same phenomenon. Every spokesman of the Indian government, including the prime minister, has used every available national and international forum to try and convince the world about Pakistan’s culpability in the hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane from Kathmandu and the subsequent disappearance of the hijackers at the Afghan-Pakistan border. The government spokesmen have officially called upon other countries to declare Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’ for its part in the dastardly crime. The prime minister has accused Pakistan of fomenting terrorist activities in the north-east as well.

One need not question the Indian government’s conclusions regarding Pakistan’s role in Indian affairs in general and in the hijacking episode in particular. The government may well have an ironclad case. Yet surely there are some realists in the government who should know that no country would take an unfriendly step vis-a-vis Pakistan, no matter what evidence the Indian government may produce. Other countries will take such a step only when it suits their national purpose. In fact, even the Indian government seems to be shying away from acting on the logic of its rhetoric. If Pakistan is indeed a ‘terrorist state’, is it proper for India to have trade, transport, sporting or even diplomatic relations with it? For the record, it is worthwhile to remember that at least some of the major underworld dons in Mumbai, some of the suspected prime organisers of the bomb blasts and the subsequent violent riots in Mumbai in the early nineties have been safely holed up in Karachi for many years now. If India can stomach their presence in Pakistan for all these years and simultaneously work to establish working relations between the two countries, should the addition of a few hijackers make much difference?

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