By Geoffrey Cook, TMO
San Pablo (California)–The explosions in Mumbai last week (the 12th) killed twenty-one with over a hundred wounded in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai. This event should have especial pithiness to Muslims in North America and elsewhere because, although still an overall minority, Delhiâ€™s realm has the second largest Islamic population in the world whereas neighboring Pakistan is overwhelming Muslim.
Of course, the attack upon the Indian Parliament during the first year of this century by non-State actors with the ensuing near-nuclear confrontation that resulted was eventually diffused by the Pakistani Chief Executive despite the far right-wing Hindu chauvinist Government in the Indian Metropole. Fortunately, at the time of the 2008 attacks upon Mumbai, India had a much more rational Centrist administration; so, the consternation within Bharat in 2008 was resolved more diplomatically than in 2001 over the issues arising around the State non-actors.
In 2008, it became evident that the roots of the attacks lay in the injustices within the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir (J. & K.). Whether terrorism is the proper way to conduct insurgency is debatable because it targets civilian rather than military targets, but it is a tactic of asymmetrical warfare wherein the counter-insurgents have an advantage over their irregular opponents, and the rebels believe that terror equalizes the battlefield, and can even bring their fight deep within the Metropolis of the their oppressor, and away from their peripheral homeland.
There is chauvinism within India â€“ and to a lesser extent â€“ within Pakistan that an attack within the border of either is instigated in the capitol of the other. This often ignores the considerable home-grown discontent within their very boundaries. It is true that rogue elements within Rawalpindiâ€™s ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) agency conduct aggressive foreign policy on their own initiative rather than in consultation with Islamabad. Besides non-State actors, they have had allied out-of-control sub-State players in league with them in the 2001 and 2008 incidents, and might linger in the current incident, but it has not been Pakistani governmental policies to initiate these assaults! Unfortunately, today Pakistan has a weak Government and is less likely to contain those elements than with their then strong Executive after the diffusion of the crisis in 2002.
Because of the â€œradicalâ€ right-wing and with their Indian media (those that are) sensationalist along with the Pakistani Centerâ€™s inability to contain their reprobate elements has caused a very dangerous bi-State situation. Added to this, the â€œmercenaryâ€ Arab (especially Alâ€™Quaedaâ€™s) entrance into the Kashmiri cause for independence from the Af-Pak region, which has done more harm than good to the Kashmiris themselves, the greater area has become more explosive.
What happened last week is very dangerous indeed. The Indians have taken a fortunate restraint until they can claim to have determined the guilty party and who â€“ if any â€“ were responsible for supporting them.
I, personally, am most worried this will cause the fall of the rational (Indian) Congress ascendancy, and the subsequent ascendance of the fascist-like BJP (the Bhartiya Janata Party), the political wing of the Hindu fundamentalist/casteist RSS (Rashtiya Swamsevak Sangh) who brought the world the assassination of M.K. Gandhi during his fast to end the slaughter ensuing the Partition of British India between the Muslims and Hindus, etc. just after the Independence of Pakistan and the Indian Union in the late 1940s.
I have many friends and colleagues on both sides of the LoC (Line of Control, the de facto frontier between the two South Asian neighbors in Kashmir). During the last fortnight, I have been daily on my phone to the Gulf and Subcontinent to get my learned acquaintances perspectives.
So, far I have been receiving replies of little concern over the recent incident within that region. Whatever, the Kashmir â€œproblemâ€ is the second most dangerous conflict that could lead to lead to a larger conflagration, must be solved! I only hope my resident friends there are right and the (nuclearized) State-level danger will subside with calm heads prevailing.
If it does not, I will be following this further.