Friday, December 05, 2008

A story past its expiration date.

A common theme in Western accounts of Pakistani terrorism against India is that the attacks are attempts by sections of the Pakistani military or the jihadi elements in the society to undermine the civilian government.

A prime example of that is linked from CIP's blog.

The Indian experience is very different. Especially when seen in retrospect, the civilian governments of Pakistan have been happy to use terrorism as part of their foreign policy with India.

The American media does record it, e.g., about Benazir Bhutto below, but generally ignores it. ABC has this:
When Bhutto's political career began, India saw the canny and charismatic leader as a secular, liberal opportunity: a prime minister who might bring less religion and less militancy to the Indian-Pakistani dialogue.

But many say that's not what happened. "She was very directly responsible for the jihad, directly inciting terrorists to intensify terrorism in India," Ajai Sahni, the executive director of the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management, told ABC News. "I would find it very difficult to find a single element with her relationship to India that is positive and for the betterment of her country or the region."

Those who do not remember history force us to repeat it. Just sayin'.

PS: We have seen already that merely the suggestion that Indian troops be mobilized was enough for every terrorist and militant group in Pakistan's northwest to offer a ceasefire. The alternative to the Western narrative of an attempt to undermine the civilian government is that by raising the external threat of India, this is an attempt to **unify** the country and quieten its otherwise incessant internal sectarian and political turmoil. India poses a threat very different from the NATO forces on Pakistan's western border, because the raison d'etre of Pakistan is to be not-India; and India is the land dominated by Hindus who are the ultimate Kaffirs.

There is an element of racism in the Pakistani mind too, there is contempt for the short, dark thin Hindus (and short dark East Pakistanis too). The remnants of the British theory of martial races is still strong; remember the area around Rawalpindi/Islamabad was the prime recruiting area for the British Indian Army. Tall fair Americans do not invite the same contempt. In any case the three pillars of the Pakistani state remain Allah, Army, America.