State of the Friendship: Pakistan and India Essay

State of the Friendship: Pakistan and India Essay

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November 26th marked the third anniversary of the Mumbai terrorist attacks – the three days of horrific acts of terror in November 2008, which left 166 dead (including 25 foreign nationals), 308 injured and one billion outraged. The 10 terrorists from Pakistan had approached the city by the sea; attacks were plotted by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan based terrorist organisation, with support from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency.

After three years, Mumbai remains vulnerable as ever to acts of terror, as was witnessed by the July 13, 2011 triple bomb blasts. Its coastal security remains at risk to more infiltrations, as was evident this monsoon when two unmanned vessels drifted ashore unnoticed, floating past the three layers of India’s maritime security apparatus.

As of now, the Supreme Court of India has stayed the death penalty to Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone 26/11 terrorist captured alive, till January next year. In the meanwhile, the government continues to spend money on him – unofficial figures peg the total expense on Kasab at INR 500 million, which includes special security to keep him alive, specialist doctors to keep him healthy and fees of Kasab’s defence counsels to give him a fair legal trial.

On the other side of the border, the court case against LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other LeT operatives drags on in a Pakistani court. While Lakhvi continues to direct Lashkar operations from jail, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the LeT chief and the mastermind of the Mumbai siege, roams about freely in the country spewing venom against India and slamming any positive development in Indo-Pak relations – be it cricket diplomacy or Pakistan granting Most Favoured Status...

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...g Indian economy to decrease Pakistan’s dependence on the US aid money. The US insists to maintain peace so that Pakistan stays focussed on the AfPak and help reach some compromise formula with the Taliban to expedite the US troops’ withdrawal from the region; while never quite pressurising Pakistan to attack its India-centric terror groups. Thus, India is being used by Pakistan to get its house in order, all the while keeping India-oriented terrorist structure intact and pushing hard to gain “strategic depth” against India in Afghanistan.

Indian Prime Minister had once said that another Mumbai-like attack will put an intolerable strain on the bilateral relationship. Prophetic indeed, as another such attack is certain the moment Pakistan achieves economic and socio-political stability and the army feels confident enough to let the LeT loose on India yet again.

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