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Terrorism in India and the Fallout

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The recent terrorist attacks in India have again stirred up problems between India and Pakistan with Indian intelligence blaming Pakistani trained militants for the Mumbai attacks. At least 190 people were killed and several hundred injured in one of the worst terrorist attacks in the city of Mumbai, India in recent times. The Lashkar-e-taiba, a militant group and other Kashmiri militants trained at the Indo-Pak border could be considered responsible for the attacks, yet the attacks seemed to have highlighted several other issues including a lack of India's long term counter-terrorism goals. Terrorist attacks in India have been quite frequent in the last 10 years with repeated serial bomb attacks in India's large cities such as Mumbai and Delhi.


India's approach to terrorism has however focused on short term rather than long term measures and that is one of the strategic failures that India seems to be facing. Of course, India has the same problem as Israel with suicide bombers being trained right at the doorstep in Pakistan. Pakistan's handling of terrorists and terrorism is doing itself no good and Pakistan has also been the target of several terror attacks. Pakistan is also plagued by the terrorism problem like any other country in the world and obviously not taking enough measures to destroy terrorist training camps. Pakistan has become a fertile breeding ground for terrorists and India has been repeatedly urging Pakistan to destroy the roots of terrorism that seem to be growing rapidly and spreading worldwide.


Pakistan has its own strategic failures and uprooting all terrorist organizations would be difficult for the government although absolutely necessary at this time. Yet India has to think of other measures. India's foreign policy is based on blaming Pakistan and this until now has been the only strategy that India has come up with. But India should emphasize on improving national protection rather than continuing to depend on counter-terrorism measures taken by Pakistan. If you can't uproot weeds, you have to use pesticides. In a similar manner India will have to come up with a long term counterterrorism strategy and some of the strategies would be to set up a counter-terrorism cell or department of counterterrorism, implementing strict terror laws, providing higher security measures around all public buildings and implementing strict and almost a closed system of border control including strict measures at all sea, land and air entry points. India's security measures are still lax and although some don't like to blame the Indian government and argue that it is impossible to control or monitor a country of over a billion people, yet the fact remains that no matter how many billions live in India, it remains the government's responsibility to provide protection to all citizens. The Indian government seems to be lacking a strong and definite response to repeated terror attacks in the country and after every terrorist attack, the responses are short term and security measures taken immediately dwindle after a few months although the government's annoyance towards Pakistan continues.


Of course Pakistan has to take action against the terrorists and there has to be considerable international pressure on Pakistan to completely uproot terrorist camps both at the Indo-Pak and the Afghan-Pak border. Pakistan's 'terrorist borders' so to speak are a huge menace to its neighbors and the world. After the recent November Mumbai attacks, Pakistan had initially extended help to India with all investigations yet recently the hostility between India and Pakistan has resurfaced with India accusing Pakistan of providing sanctuary to the terrorists responsible for Mumbai attacks. Pakistan is itself facing too many challenges with terrorism being a common problem in both India and Pakistan so India's strategy of continually blaming Pakistan for providing support to terrorists would not be a right foreign policy direction.


As many journalists and analysts have pointed out in recent discussions, India and Pakistan will have to work together to uproot terrorism and along with the cooperation, both the countries will have to take considerable measures to protect its borders and its citizens so that repeated terrorist attacks become impossible. The question is not about supporting or handing over 20 terrorists or 40 terrorists, the question is to fight and eradicate terrorism as a global phenomenon and a common global problem and all national and international organizations and governments, including India and Pakistan should work together to attain this goal.

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Saberi Roy is a writer and independent analyst and publishes articles on a wide range of subjects including psychology, politics, social issues,trends, religion, sciences and philosophy. Her work is quoted and republished extensively and is also (more...)

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