Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mumbai's Agony

There it is again, the deadly hand of Islamic loathing and blame and anger determined to inflict as much pain, horror and death upon its perceived enemies as possible. The goal being to make the enemies of Islam tremble in fear. And tremble they do; not necessarily enemies of Islam, but most certainly targets of Islamism.

India, a giant, sprawling country of well over a billion people whose only rival in population size is China, another great sprawling country of Asia, lives directly beside a country that has sworn itself as a mortal enemy of India. Though it was once part of India, Pakistan - even as its founder foresaw it as a good neighbour where majority Hindus separated from Muslims, would give ease to both - has fostered a deep and abiding hatred.

Pakistani politicians, its military, and its secret service have all been fixated on their burning loathing for India. That both countries own nuclear arsenals is no guarantee that they will never unleash them on one another - through the (cold war) MAD deterrent - creating an end-of-world disaster in their region.

Three warring clashes using conventional instruments of war did not serve to assuage the rage.

Their traditional rivalry and each claiming to possess Kashmir is a flash-point, but even were the situation to be resolved, the enmity would not be. One has the impression that were it up to India alone, no such situation would have evolved.

It is Pakistan and Pakistan alone, with its Muslim heritage of conquest and superiority that is responsible for the friction and danger that exists between the two.

Although there are times when Hindus and Muslims most certainly attack one another within India, the government itself makes every effort to damp down hostilities. India itself faces other problems from within its diverse population through culture, ethnicity, religion, ideology, from Sikh opposition, to Naxalite-Maoist enmities.

But India's most pressing dangers appear always from its neighbour Pakistan. With Islamist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba mounting vicious, well-planned and -executed suicide attacks, horrifying Indians and creating a spectacle of pure evil hatred unleashed on innocent citizens who have no defences against the lethal violence.

And now Mumbai has been visited with the second co-ordinated terror attack in a three-year period. Not as damaging as the first in 2008 which took 166 lives and injured hundreds more in a 60-hour stand-off between Indian police and ten terrorists, but a still-horror-and-terror-inducing attack that has killed 20 and injured 130 innocent Indian civilians through the use of timed explosives.

This latest atrocity in Mumbai may not be the work of LET, but it most certainly represents a co-ordinated terrorist attack on India's commercial heart. Perhaps setting back once again official negotiations for a settlement of hostilities between the two countries.

Once again, Pakistan demonstrates its bona fides as the world's terror central.

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