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Volume 1, No. 4 - September 2001

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Combating Islamic Terrorism - Time for Words Is Over

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 elsewhere.

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
Executive Editors
Kashmir News Network (KNN)

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