Attack on Delhi: Stop Blaming Pakistan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf that he expected Pakistan to honor its promise to end cross-border terrorism.

And this comes at a time when both countries are decidedly allowing not just the line of control to be deregulated, but also the manufactured cultural division across borders be illegitimated. Any impediments to that will only result in suspension of the planned facilitation. There is no good reason why such a movement needs to be postponed at this point.

Crucial to remember here is that such intense acts at promoting mutual friendships have come not out of some vacuum, rather with concerted efforts by people across borders to challenge the status quo. People of Pakistan have clearly seen through the empty barrels of Benazir Bhuttos and Nawaj Sharrifs. Indian population has also collectively rejected the right wingers like Vajpayee and Advani. Empty rhetoric aimed at insulating people of shared cultural past (and political heritage too in their drives against colonial powers) have finally been attacked widely. Artistes have exchanged places despite threats from fanatics like Shiv Senas’. Editors have expressed solidarities despite barriers on such freedoms of speech. Leaders on both fronts have realized the growing public pressure to end the invented differences. And recent peace talks are culminations of such a hopeful past.

Suddenly New Delhi has been attacked. Of course it is strategically symbolic in that the cowards chose Sarojini Nagar, among all the places because of the density of working/middle class population there. But the bigger question is who might have been involved. Only that section of people who have a stake in the gains. And who would gain from the process?

The only theory doing the rounds in the Indian press is that Pakistan is involved. A certain journalist from BBC, Sanjoy Majumder who regularly opines carelessly, says India feels groups based in Pakistan or linked to them may have been involved.

There is a danger in such theorizing. Unlike in the past, the attack this time was not targeted at people in power or governmental institutions (Parliament etc.). Unlike in the past, neither Lashkar-e-Toiba nor the Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed the attack. Instead a rather unknown group Inqilabi has claimed anything of worth. Moreover, even Kashmiri analysts are unaware of existence of this group.

In that case, where does the needle of suspicion point to? For once, just for once, if we absolve the ghost of Pakistan masterminding, then can we look within and see patterns of similar attacks on civilians? In India by Indians?

What about recent riots in Mumbai? In Gujarat? These led to deaths of thousands of people and we still cannot blame any group in Pakistan for perpetuating either. Delhi has been the domain of political groups who have been known to have incited hatred among people since decades now, for their own political gains. Why first look across the border for clues? How about looking at home front for possible explanations? Only after we have exhausted all possible logic for attacking civilians to disturb the initiated peace process that might have germinated from a certain section of Indian public, should we look beyond.

Let India not choose a pathetic model that American way of theorizing terror has created. Oklahoma bombing did not teach us a lesson. Recently as an empty threat in New York Subways came about, theory was already afloat that fundamentalists (of course from ‘their’ religion, not ours) were after us.

The riddle is not a Gordian knot. We must find out a good motive. There is a bloody good one. And it’s not Diwali. Please! Media is doing a disservice by giving coverage to irresponsible comments by leaders (a la Rice) who feel bad that it was days before Diwali. The attacks have nothing to do with Diwali. For the religious lot, no God teaches to annihilate people of other faiths. And for the irreligious lot, who have done the act, let’s say hypothetically in the name of religion, they would care less about Diwali as a point of reference. The only thing that has changed since last attack on Indian Parliament and this attack on Sarojini Nagar is not a new festival called Diwali. It’s the initiation of a peace process that would have made line of control a point of friendship.

After the serious examination of this motive, intelligence agencies must look into the genealogy of people who would otherwise be harmed if India were to aid Pakistan at such a time of grave danger for the latter with more than 80,000 of its people dead due to earthquakes. And at a time when Pakistan is in need much in excess of what is being offered worldwide. At such a time, India has come forward with immense goodwill gesture and just the way the British had tarnished every hope of a united India and Pakistan during their times of crisis, at this time, there is every hope of a unity to resurface. At this point, who would be most persistent at refusing such a thing from happening?

Nay, I just don’t believe it is Pakistan. The people out there, in our neighborhood are suffering at the moment. 80,000 dead in an economically impoverished nation. That’s burden upon cataclysm. They can’t be it. Come on now, Mr Indian Prime Minister. We have had enough of these hocus-pocus oratory every time any attack takes place. The easiest way to fool India’s masses has been to direct their frustration at a neighboring country. Instead of lecturing Pakistan about your expectations, start introspecting on the levels of expectations that you meet when peoples across the borders want no more of Indian army, no more of Pakistani unrest. All that folks want is a united South Asia. And the further you delay in understanding this, the merrier would be the forces of disharmony.



  1. I think pakistan shouldnt be blamed for all this. Whole nation and Govt infrastructure is stuck with earthquake problems, they cant do so.

    We should be positive and optmimistic.

  2. Hi Saswat,
    Was going through your blog. The problem with media and journalist is they always see things in tinted light. Its always my way or no way. If Sanjoy Majumder opines carelessly (your view), same can be said about you (my view).
    Opinion, counter opinions are what public thrives on and is least interested in (in)sanity of the journalist. Let them decide about it themself.

    You talk about United South Asia, may I ask what purpose will it solve and let leave alone whether it will be allowed to see the day of light.

    You talk about 80,000 people of Pakistan suffering because of Earthquake. Do you realize that Pakistan govt was the last to lend support to all those sufferers. You know why, because they belong to Azad Kashmir, whose population always stand second when compared to mainland Pakistan.

    You talked about introspection and looking out for the beneficiaries from blasts. Lets assume pakistan is not involved (as u say) and internal hand is also not there (let me assume). Now coming to the benefactor of continued strained relationships between India and Pakistan, is obviously only USA, which gets to sell its arms and armaments to both Pakistan and India.

    Now will you start blaming US of A for this sinister move????

  3. Hi Sanjay,
    Thanks for a very insightful response.

    Yes, I do hold the US administrations for having facilitated, and indeed promoted hostilities among India and Pakistan. Plenty of postcolonial studies have indicated this too.
    Recently the Nixon documents show this bias as well. I have written about it here:

    In addition,regarding Indo-Pak-US, I have written here:

    and also here:

    You are right about the sanities of journalists. But unfortunately, I am not associated with any mainstream media anymore and hence enjoy the privilage a bit more, I guess! As far as my education, training and experiences go ‘professionaly’, I have been made to believe that journalists with BBC (or other MSM) are meant to be more careful. Of course I know it just too well that its a myth, but it still does not stop me from commenting on this reality, does it?

    Well, as far as south asia is concerned, I for one am firm believer that a united south asia is better than a divided south asia. I love ‘imagining’, I am sure. That of course is not based on the viability factor. I do not hide my philosopher’s stone, nevertheless. 🙂

    About Pakistan’s stance about Azad Kashmir, it was not 80,000 ‘suffering’ as you mention, its 80,000 dead! Plus, I don’t think if its an issue as to who does Azad Kashmir belong and who came to aid first. Do I then say, oh well, India came to aid because it was Azad Kashmir? No, sorry, but I dont get into mud for no good reason.

    I have always stated that the issue is we have to stop the blame game between Pakistan and India, for the mutual hatred was first grounded by the colonialists and now being furthered by the imperialists. So if going radical means we get to the root of it, then we know where to find the answers. And blaming Pakistan is certainly never the answer. Thats as careless as I can get to comment.

    As far as beneficiaries, I was also indicating to the Hindu fanatics in India and elsewhere. Who of course, like the Islamic fundamentalists, also get funded from the same source: the upholders of religions. The moral police of the world.

    Thanks for continuance of the dialogue.

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