After the Mumbai attacks in India, local Indians came out in protest last week. They protested against the Indian Government’s mismanagement of the terrorist attacks and called for war against Pakistan. While the Indian Government has not openly blamed the Pakistani Government for the terrorist attacks they have certainly hinted at it, calling for swift action to curb terrorist violence. Whatever the official stance of the Indian Government it would seem the Indian public has already made up it’s mind as to who is responsible.
The history between India and Pakistan has been long and turbulent since the violent split in 1947. Three wars have been fought in 60 years and they were able to avoid another war as recently as 2001. However, for the last few years they had been able to rebuild some semblance of friendly relations and even increased trade across disputed borders in the Kashmir province.
Considering both nations are nuclear armed, war would seem like the least favorable option at the moment. While the Indian Government may have suspicions, is it not more sensible for the two countries to work through this diplomatically. According to most reports and evidence that India has collected, the Mumbai attacks seem to be the work of terrorist organizations. Regardless of where they are from I do not think it is a good idea to be pointing fingers at potentially hostile neighbors such as Pakistan.
This is a terrorist attack and that means the terrorists had a purpose in carrying it out. Maybe it was to kill as many Western tourists and business people as possible. Perhaps it was to provoke war between these long time rivals. If that was their intention then it may come to fruition. Do we really want to give the terrorists what they want? The clearer and more noble message to convey would seem to be a protest against religious extremism and acts of terrorism. To reject all violence and call for peace. Another war is not what we need.
The War in Iraq should have taught us this lesson. If the number one military and economic power in the world cannot defeat terrorism outright, then how will a war between India and Pakistan solve anything. But then there wasn’t much logic in invading Iraq. Perhaps we should take Stephen Colbert’s advice:
I say India should respond to this attack from Pakistan the same way we did when we were attacked … invade an unrelated country! Let’s say … New Zealand. Colbert Report 12/04/08