Terrorism a Common Threat to India and Pakistan
Paper presented at international conference on 'Strategic Stability in South-West Asia in the Wake of New U.S Policy for the Region', The Foundation for Peace, Islamabad, July 28, 2009.
Terrorism in South Asia has essentially assumed a regional, cross-border dimension. Given that, no one country can be blamed for a terrorist incident in another, even if a terrorist organization is believed to be based in the former. The possibility of non-state terrorism having become a regional phenomenon and posing a common threat to India and Pakistan and other countries in the region constitutes the principal ground reality in South-West Asia, from which there may be no escape in the foreseeable future. As a foremost victim of such terrorism, Pakistan has no problem in understanding this ground reality, which has also been acknowledged as such by Afghanistan. It is India that refuses to recognize the gory fact and, consequently, instead of jointly responding to the region-wide terrorist threat, singularly accuses Pakistan for either sponsoring it or deliberately “not doing” enough in this regard. A regional wave of non-state terrorism requires a common, bilateral or multilateral, regional response—including a) all the immediate steps needed to pre-empt, prevent and proactively combat terrorism, b) a joint mechanism to investigate instances of terrorism whenever and wherever they occur, and c) a broader approach to resolve regional conflicts such as Kashmir, which fuel non-state terrorism. Full Text