You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The blame game is on! South Asia walking on a thin line,once again!

The fabled 'foreign hand' is behind the recent bloodbath in Mumbai, once again South Asian politicians use this time tested term. I wonder why is it used so fluently and why do we, the people on the both sides of the border, buy it on a regular basis ?

It was only a few days ago that I commented on a blog run by an Indian blogger that

" for the first time in our lives we see that less and less Indian films are being made with anti Pakistan propoganda, & even lesser anti-India sentiments in the 50 plus Pakistani TV channels. When Jammat-i-Islami and Pakistani Maulana's on the one side and BJP and the likes on the other are not airing anti-Indian sentiments, when our PM or President is not playing the 'Indian'/'Pakistan' card anymore, when TV,papers, blogs have nuetral stance towards towards each other, it definitely means things are getting humane, and once can hope for the best. "

But I am afraid, the blame game started in the after math of tragic Mumbai terrorist attacks is taking the whole of South Asia back to square one. As if this region and the two countries did not had internal problems of high magnitude already, I worry that we may be drawn, yet again, to the cross border fueds, verbal and actual.

I do not know what the Impression of Pakistan and Pakistani people is in India, but one thing is for certain that there never has been a hate activity from the civil society of the both countries. There always were the hawkish politicians, religious right wingers, conservative newspapers, short sighted media producers which made being patriotic in lieu with being anit-Indian or anti-Pakistani.

The recent events with which the Mumbaikers had to go through, were certainly targeted towards, terrifying and intimidating them in specific & Indian population in general. It has probably hit the Indian society where it is most fragile, the ethnic religious divide. It is now known that the terrorist were of Muslim origin, a couple of them of Pakistani origin. Demolition of Babri Mosque, Killing of Indira Gandhi, Burning of Hindu pilgrim trains have already led to unrest and carnage of huge proportions.

If possible, I would just like to convey my condolence to citizens of Mumbai, that we condemn these attacks. People in Pakistan do not approve of it, and neither do they are celebrating. The effort current Pakistani government is making, is to send out a message that Pakistan on official or public level is not involved in it, at all. If some high wired self proclaimed righteous group has used Pakistani soil to do this, lets find them and bring them to justice together. We are trying to cope up with this menace as well.

The 'foreign hand' has in past and might as well in future find itself used on the both sides of the border. One thing is for sure, it helps politicians on the both sides to cover their tracks. It helps conceal their inability to counter these problems. Nawab Akbar Bugti, a nationalist Balouch Sardaar, was killed in Baluchistan and military found a few thousand dollars in cash lying there besides him, clearly indicating he was an 'agent' of the 'foreign elements'!

I remember the view of certain government functionaries and pro-government reporters regarding the resurrection of Student movement in aftermath of Nov. 3. It was stated that the 'foreign element' was active in instigating the students to protest against the Musharraf Govt. We laughed our tails of at this comment.

Pakistani people have been a victim of violent activities from a long time. Sometimes at the hand of its own military, the Dhaka Medical College massacre in 1954, 'operation search light' in current day Bangladesh in 1969, Military operation in Baluchistan 1974, Military operation in Sindh 1994, The current military operation in Baluchistan and tribal areas since 2001. And sometimes at the hands of terrorist activities that have shaken the already fragile social fiber of this nation i.e. one after the other serial bomb blasts in Peshawar and adjoining areas during more than a decade of Afghan war, the heightened sectarian violence of late 1980's and early 1990's, the unrest and communal motivated violence in Karachi for most of mid 90's and then came the grand 'war on terror' and we were on the receiving end of a continuous salvo of suicide and car bombings. The painful ordeal of People in Swat, the unrest in tribal areas, bombings in Islamabad and Lahore.

So with all our previous experiences with similar incidents, we can, to an extent, realize what people in India might be going through. Whenever a tragedy like this strikes a nation, it shifts to an aggressive stance, politicians, in order to thwart the pressure upon them and to convey a message that something is being done are quick to blame it on the 'foreign hand', we have been a victim to this term before, I hope that this time around we don't fall prey to it. Because if we do, we are back to the hate culture that was bubbled down in the past decade, and that could be a biggest obstacle in progress, that more than a quarter of the world's population living in South Asia requires to survive.

Shocking Mumbai terror attacks : Oberoi , Taj Mahal Hotel & Chabad (Nariman) House secured

The world witnessed one of a kind terrorist activity in Mumbai, india. Painfully shocking and equally baffling attacks led to over 160 deaths and hundreds injured. From RiseOfPakistan blog team, LUMS students & Alumni, and Pakistani' s in general we console the families of the dead and the citizens of Mumbai. The heinous terrorist attacks aimed at destroying the urban fibre of one of the bigget and busiest cities in the world, and certainly to terrify and intimidate soon to be most populace nation, are tragic, deplorable and condemnable.

No city can probably brace for such an organised and disruptive activity. Mumbaikers as well as us watching the tragedy unfold on TV, were no doubt shocked beyond imagination. It's a sigh of relief to know that, finally, the painful ordeal is over.

Brought up in Karachi during troubled 90's and being in Lahore/Islamabad during the current wave of terror attacks, one can relate to what the Mumbaikers went through. It was certainly harsh and terrifying. If compared, hat happenned in Mumbai, to what our cities had been through, this single incident probably surpasses any individual terrorist activity. I just hope that its the end of this kind of experience for the people on the other side of the border, and they dont go through the continous and serial attacks that we are going through these days.