From India: It wasn’t us, Pakistan!

Published: June 12, 2014
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What interest would India have in creating or supporting an organisation of hard-line Islamists? Can India expect such people to support its interests in the long run?PHOTO: REUTERS

I was sitting on Facebook when a friend of mine, a very patriotic Indian, messaged me informing me of the airport attack in Karachi. I replied expressing shock and grief, a feeling he reciprocated.

We, the educated youth of India who love the music of Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, and have no qualms with Ali Zafar starring in Bollywood movies, only empathise with victims of terrorism anywhere in the world. Terrorism has been affecting our own country since the late 1980s; starting with the killings and forced displacements of Kashmiri Hindus, followed by a series of terrorist attacks in India’s major urban areas, perhaps the most horrendous example being the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

I saw a post on Facebook by one Salman Khan shared by a fellow Indian, asking for O+ blood for one of the Pakistani victims of the Karachi attack in hospital, and I shared that post in as many groups and on as many pages as possible. Having also written an article criticising the attack on Pakistani student Ali Hasan Raza in India, I believe I echoed the sentiments of a very large number of my countrymen, and it might interest some of the readers that he and I have become ‘friends’ on Facebook and had friendly conversations too! And if some people wish to deduce from Narendra Modi becoming prime minister that Indian Hindus are mostly anti-Muslim, they would do well to read an article I posted in The Indian Economist.

There is indeed no dearth of people in Pakistan who acknowledge that attacks, like the recent ones in Karachi, are a result of the military establishment of their own country creating a Frankenstein monster to be used against India and for ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan, which has now turned against its own erstwhile master. However, many Pakistanis also fall for ludicrous conspiracy theories floated by the likes of Zaid Hamid (and if he were to be believed, Christians in RAW called him up to tell him that Ajmal Kasab is Amar Singh, because he has raised his voice for the ‘oppressed’ Christian minority in India; ironically, the very same Hamid doesn’t shy away from saying that Hindus, Christians and Jews are all united, conspiring against Muslims, and sadly, some people believe him rather than the Pakistani government that accepted Kasab being a Pakistani citizen, though Hamid never furnishes any concrete evidence!) that suggest the complicity of the Indian government in such attacks.

What interest would India have in creating or supporting an organisation of hard-line Islamists? Can India expect such people to support its interests in the long run?

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has already spewed venom against India on more than one occasion, and in fact, strategic circles in India are very concerned that the TTP taking over Pakistan could mean them exercising the nuclear option, leading to massive destruction in our subcontinent.

Quite often, even in our day-to-day lives, many people shy away from accepting their own failures and find it convenient to believe in versions of events that suit them, and indeed, oratory appeals to many sentimental people more than logic. But the Pakistani nation, for its own good, will have to face the truth and act fast. The real threat to their security doesn’t come from across the border but emanates from the rot within, created by their own people, which threatens the democratic fibre of Pakistan. An illusory existential threat from India keeps the reins of power in the hands of those in power, but of course, some of their creations have unfortunately clearly gone out of hand.

Indeed, the Kashmir issue would have to be resolved by way of a compromise to the satisfaction of India, Pakistan and the people of the erstwhile princely state on both sides of the Line of Control (what such a solution could possibly entail can be the subject of another article), and I am not for a moment condoning the gross human rights violations committed by rogue elements in the Indian military and paramilitary forces in the valley and those must be condemned, just as the atrocities by their Pakistani counterparts in Balochistan.

But at this juncture, Pakistan’s top priority ought to be to set its own house in order, and blaming India for anything and everything in a baseless fashion and jingoistic rhetoric would certainly not help achieve the same. So, no, Pakistan, it wasn’t us. We didn’t attack your airport.

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Karmanye Thadani

Karmanye Thadani

A lawyer by qualification, he is a freelance writer based in New Delhi, India. He formerly worked as a research associate in a leading Delhi-based public policy think-tank, the Centre for Civil Society (CCS), where he did research on primary education in India. While in high school, with a friend, he invented an eco-friendly, medically safe cleansing agent that was selected to be presented at the national level in the Intel Science Fair. He tweets as @KarmanyeThadan1 (twitter.com/KarmanyeThadan1)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.