The latest (February 19,2007) bomb blasts on the Samjhauta Express- which runs between India and Pakistan- are another addition to the series of terrorism-related attacks which India has been facing since decades. This train was headed towards Pakistan and the blasts killed atleast 66 people , majority of them being Pak nationals.
This incidence is kind of unusual in that Pakistani nationals have been the victims on Indian soil and the incidence comes on the heels of Pak Foreign Minister Kasoori’s visit to india.
Click the BBC link to read more about this.
Whereas both nations’ media have tried to diffuse the situation by maintaining that this savage act of terrosrism is intended to derail the peace process and is in no one’s interest, there have been blame games also on both sides: Pak blaming Hindu organizations for this attack, while Indian side blaming Jehadi outfits for this! More will be out in days to come as the events unfold.
No one is the winner, of course. But India is a big loser! In this train, there were approximately 783 passengers and almost 75 % of them were Pak nationals. The rationale behind continuation of bus and train links is beyond my comprehension. Neither India is dependent on Pakistan for economic development,nor India needs Pakistan for any other urgent issues. When two neighbors donot go along, what is the best way out: chill out! Why are we dealing with Pakistan and for what! We cannot change geography, but we can try to maintain peace by not inter-acting with each other because there is great lack of mutual trust on both sides. India is the biggest victim of terrorism and particularly Pak-sponsored terrorism as our Indian media and government agencies make us believe. Then why are we dealing with this state which has no democracy and is a ‘rogue’ state in all likelihood! What are we reaping? I state that public or common people on both sides have mutual respect and good-will for one another,but that does not solve the issues related to security and governance.
The latest mechanisms (being worked out by both countries) to jointly fight terrorism may
win us cheers from Western media,but look ludicrous when we realize the ground realities. The cross-border terrorism by Pakistan and its often changing contours on Kashmir are enough evidences that these talk will lead us no where!
If we chill out in our relation with Pakistan, deal firmly to secure our borders ( as China did with us in last 4 decades): there will be more peace and less animosity in long term! Whereas on international screen, Pakistan’s involvement in propelling jehadi terrorism is increasingly becoming established, our misplaced zeal to bring more harmony with our relations with Pakistan will be a diplomatic defeat in years to come.
Stop playing cricket with Pakistan, donot deal with this state until democracy is established ( the typical USA ‘mantra’ while measuring countries on their foreign policy scale!), deal with your borders firmly (give Kashmir in the free hands of military and let it wipe out terrorism)! As far as people -to -people contact is concerned, there are enough messangers now on neutral grounds to build up the goodwill- if we have any in our hearts! Neutral grounds? Yes, donot Pakis and Indians meet daily on Devon street like Chicago where business goes as usual! And we have many such avenues in the world now that NRI and NRP (Non-Resident Pakistani: I am not sure whether such a phrase exists!) communities are growing! Letus see what they can generate for the two nations!