The home secretary confirmed that months before the terrorist attack on Ayodhya, intelligence agencies had warned of religious sites being targeted. Later, intelligence agencies reportedly warned that Delhi's Metro could be attacked. Next day, London's underground was attacked! Terrorism will likely escalate.
PM Manmohan Singh said there was no evidence involving Pakistan as a nation state in the attack. He also said that terrorist infrastructures in Pakistan remained intact. Terrorism, therefore, could be occurring in spite of President Pervez Musharraf, not because of him.
Perhaps this explains Musharraf's desperation for an early Kashmir settlement. After escaping two assassination bids he believes an agreement would strengthen his hands to deal effectively with extremists. He could be mistaken. Even if Kashmir were settled, it would not necessarily lead to friendship and normalcy between India and Pakistan. Terrorists serve the agenda of a global network. The network's goal is not to liberate Kashmir but to prevent Indo-Pakistan cooperation. Perhaps, as in the case of Pakistan, the global network behind terrorism could be acting outside government control in other nations, too. There is irrefutable past evidence of China's People's Liberation Army aiding nuclear proliferation and terrorist insurgencies. Has it stopped doing so? If not, does it act in concert or in conflict with the Chinese government? India must find out. According to the police, the Ayodhya terrorists carried arms with Chinese markings and came from Nepal.
The PM should bluntly tell Musharraf that the first priority for preventing war is joint nuclear defence. Such joint defence would silence powers accusing both governments of endangering world peace. This naturally would have to be accompanied by joint defence overall, leading to a common market and a no-visa relationship. In that context, India should countenance any Kashmir settlement acceptable to its people. Indians should note that any citizen in the European Union can work, buy property or conduct business anywhere in Europe. That is more than what an Indian can do in Kashmir today. Such a proposal by the PM would test the credentials of Musharraf. If he were agreeable, it would test the credentials of China. It would expose all the conscious and unconscious instruments of the international terrorist network opposed to India-Pakistan consolidation.
Immediately after the attack on Ayodhya, VHP leader Praveen Togadia declared on television that only by attacking and occupying Lahore and Rawalpindi could terrorism be ended. Deliberately or otherwise, was he not aiding the global terrorist network? Think!
(Puri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)