There has been an
escalation of ghastly violence against Hindus by Pakistan-sponsored
terrorists in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The most recent
series of incidents in the Jammu region has included massacres of
scores of Hindus and beheading of priests. This follows the pattern in
Kashmir valley, where over 350,000 Hindus were hounded out by
Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in 1990.
These terrorists, egged on and materially supported by Pakistan, want
to extend Islamic rule to the state and to other territories of India.
The response of India, which continues down the negotiation path with
Pakistan, and by the United States, which has repeatedly refused to
include Pakistan in its list of terrorist sponsors, is disheartening.
Over a dozen terrorist groups such as Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and
Lashkar-e-Toiba are based in Pakistan and its satellite state
Afghanistan. The two countries host terrorist camps in collaboration
with Bin Laden's Al Qaida, and their operations extend from
Philippines to Bosnia. They threaten to bring Islamic jehad to the
west and have made good on their threats at the World Trade Center and
Despite numerous olive branches extended by India and gentle pressure
applied by the United States, Pakistan has refused to disband these
terrorist groups, or to end its support to the Taliban. Afghanistan
itself has been turned into a medieval wasteland. In Pakistan, the
economy and the well being of the population have been bartered away
in exchange for a fundamentalist utopia. In Jammu and Kashmir, Hindus
and other pro-India civilians have been killed by the thousands every
year since 1989, women are forced to wear veils, and movie theaters
and cable TV are banned.
All these events are fast converging with a dangerous nuclearization
of Pakistan. The time for words and gentle negotiation is long gone.
This fundamentalist nuclear-backed menace, which intends to extend its
reach across the entire world, is more dangerous than individual rogue
nations such as Iraq.
An urgent need exists for concerted action led by India and the United
States in containing and driving back these forces. A Gulf War style
operation needs to be planned and implemented without further delay
against Pakistan and Afghanistan. Once Pakistan deploys the many
nuclear devices it is building, it may be too late to contain the
coming fundamentalist explosion.
Subodh Atal, Lalit Koul, Sunil Fotedar
Kashmir News Network (KNN)