The tragedy at Bombay is a sort of 9/11 for India. It appears to be one of many other acts of international terrorism which have been taking place at so many other places in the worlds at regular intervals. All these are despicable acts and need to be condemned in the strongest words. The government of Pakistan did well by condemning it at the highest level and offered sympathies and assistance (although some uncalled for assistance which had to be retracted later) as a neighbor and in line with International norms.

The over reaction by the Indian government and Indian Media took Pakistan and the people of Pakistan by surprise. For quite sometime the people and the government of Pakistan had started believing that the Indian mind set has undergone a change and that it is Pakistan which sounds jingoistic. There has been lot of progress on CBMs without any progress on substantive issues like Kashmir, Siachin or Sir Creek and the progress made is what suits India. The reality is that the threat from our eastern border has receded considerably particularly after Pakistan having become a declared nuclear state. There have been conscious efforts on the Pakistani side to persuade Pakistani leadership to reassess the total threat that we are now facing both on our western and eastern front. The over reaction by the Indian government and media has changed all that and we are back to square one.

Pakistan is in the full blast of attacks by Al-Qaida through a declared policy announced and implemented through various surrogates by weakening the state of Pakistan through creating anarchy in the country in the shape of bombing and suicide attacks. Pakistani Talibans have wrested the control of FATA from the government. Talibans through an aggressive policy and encouraged by weak and inconsistent government response has forced the Provincial and Federal Government on back foot. The people in NWFP are losing confidence in the government and its law enforcement agencies. US through their CIA driven attacks on Pakistani territory violating its borders is further weakening the State of Pakistan.

In view of the open assault by non state actors and the fact that a democratically government has just taken over, the powers that be, should have strengthened the hands of state of Pakistan to fight back this menace. Instead the state of Pakistan is being weakened through manipulations and various pressure tactics. What is the purpose? Many people think that this is part of that American great design in which US want to prepare India as a possible check mate to Chinese rising power in the region. In this scheme of things some maps also appeared about the future of Pakistan possibly for freeing India from the threat of Pakistan and to also denuclearize the only Islamic nuclear state.

It is with this back ground in mind that Bombay carnage has happened at a very critical time. There is a possibility that Al-Qaida could have planned this at a time sensing that Pakistan could shift major forces to its western borders to hold and roll back its gains in NWFP. It is also possible that the international conspiracy against Pakistan is at work and want to use this incident to further pressurize Pakistan ” to do more”. In the process if the state of Pakistan becomes weaker and destabilized they would demand that the state of Pakistan is too weak and vulnerable to a take over by extremist elements therefore its nuclear arsenal be handed over to international control. Down the road if Pakistan becomes Balkanized these powers stipulate that it will be easy to control these small client states.

The Indians, in spite of, knowing that it is a case of international terrorism would continue to use it against Pakistan for their electoral politics which is always impacted by the basic Hindu mentality under the thin veneer of secularism locally and internationally to continue to blackmail Pakistan as a major den of international terrorism in her ambitions of becoming a regional power. India considers Pakistan as the only obstacle in her hegemonic ambitions. The US also knowing fully well that Pakistan cannot underwrite the security of US led NATO forces in Afghanistan would like Pakistan to do more. Because they need an escape goat for their failures in Afghanistan. They instead of strengthening the government and the armed forces of Pakistan in the shape of transferring the essential technology required in this type of warfare like the Predators, Drones, Night Vision Devices(NVDS), Helicopters and Electronic Surveillance Equipment would like to micro-manage the Defense Affairs in Pakistan to as much depth as to the management of Frontier Corps training. Their aid efforts in development sector will also be managed by a huge USAID establishment in Pakistan. The domestic costs for accepting such conditions for any government in Pakistan would be unacceptable and unaffordable. But the US will not relent on its conditions therefore they will also use this opportunity to further pressurize Pakistan “to do more”.

This may not be the last terrorism act taking place on Indian soil although one would not wish so but there could be more because Al-Qaida is not only a physical threat but has shaped into a doctrine. The Indian society is highly vulnerable because of disaffection in its vast Muslim minority. The incident has also highlighted some major weaknesses in Indian security and intelligence capabilities. The international community should be worried that if ten highly trained and motivated people can sneak in through sea, enter a highly sensitive zone and keep the Indian Security Armada at bay for sixty hours as to how secure will be the Indian Nuclear facilities.

In spite of all these difficulties Pakistan has the capacity to ward off all these threats to its existance if we put our trust in Allah and in ourselves. We have economic difficulties because of our own mismanagement. We have relied too much on US for last sixty years. We need to have another in camera session of the two houses of Parliament to charter our future course for economic development on a regional approach. We need to distance ourselves from US while keeping cordial relations and this need not be discussed in media any further. We need not get unnerved or overwhelmed by the enormity of the threat. We need to re evaluate the total threat that we are facing both on our eastern and western fronts realistically without any fixations and dispose off our forces on ground accordingly to meet the threat. The threat on our eastern front would be more of blackmailing because of the deterrence available in terms of our nuclear capability and this is what nuclear capability is meant for. We need to diffuse the situation there through qualitative diplomacy. The threat on our western front is far more real, complex and dangerous and need to be taken more seriously. We need to work out a comprehensive and robust response on our western front to ward off this scourge of terrorism from our soil. Our success here will demoralize all the forces and powers arraigned against us.

The Writer is a retired brigadier and former secretary Fata