Turning Swords Into PlowsharesPromoting Human Security and Tolerance in the Context of Terrorism in South Asia Badrinath Rao Kettering University Flint, Michigan USA
The Scourge of Terrorism in India • In the last 15 years, India has been repeatedly attacked by Pakistan sponsored terrorist networks. • Targets include places of worship, trains, hotels, public spaces, etc. • Thousands have died. Thousands more have been injured.
Escalating Hostilities Between India and Pakistan • Mumbai bomb blasts in March, 1993 • 13 car bombs were exploded in different places in Mumbai. • 257 dead, 713 wounded. • ISI and Dawood Ibrahim were involved.
Escalating Hostilities Between India and Pakistan • Attack on India’s Parliament in Dec, 2001. • Random shooting by LeT and JeM militants. • 7 killed (including five militants) and 12 injured.
Escalating Hostilities Between India and Pakistan • Hijacking of Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar in Dec, 1999. • Indian Airlines flight IC 814 from Kathmandu to Delhi was hijacked. • 1 passenger stabbed • 3 JeM militants released from Indian custody.
Escalating Hostilities Between India and Pakistan • Bomb blast on Mumbai’s local train on 11 July, 2006. • 7 bombs were placed in pressure cookers which exploded over 11 minutes. • 209 dead, 700 injured • LeT and SIMI handiwork
Escalating Hostilities Between India and Pakistan • Attack on Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar on Sept 25, 2002 • 2 terrorists killed 29 devotees and wounded 79. • Attack on Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, 2006 • 15 dead, 60 injured
Escalating Hostilities Between India and Pakistan • Bomb blasts in Indian Embassy in Kabul on July 7, 2008. • Suicide car bombing • 58 dead and 141 injured.
Escalating Hostilities Between India and Pakistan • Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, 2008. • 8 places were attacked by Pak terrorists. • 173 killed and 308 wounded.
Other Forms of Terrorism • Economic terrorism • Promoting illicit drug trade and narcotics smuggling • Offering enticements to alienated sections of the Indian Muslim community to subvert from within. • Covert support to other secessionist movements in India
India’s Response • Diplomacy • International pressure • Covert operations • Open threats • Back channel diplomacy
India’s Response • Banning Muslim ‘terrorist’ groups • Draconian laws which overwhelmingly target Muslims • Harassment of innocent Muslim civilians • More repression and human rights abuses in Kashmir
The Current Thinking of Indian Elites • Firm, determined response • Direct engagement of the ‘enemy’ • Surgical strikes against Pakistan • An all-out, decisive war to ‘teach Pakistan a lesson’
The Pakistani Story • Denial of any role in acts of terrorism • Attributing terrorism to ‘non-state actors’ • Arguing that it is part of a ‘freedom struggle’ in Kashmir • Terrorism as a ‘spontaneous’ response to the ill-treatment of Muslims in India • Retaliation against the machinations of RAW in Pakistan
Stalemate in Indo-Pak Ties • Profound mutual distrust and recrimination • Growing demands for war and retaliation • Increased spending on security and defence related matters
Domestic Implications of the War Rhetoric • Rise of Hindu and Islamic fundamentalisms • Attacks on Muslims in India. Scapegoating of minorities. • Alienation of the minorities • Alarming erosion of civil liberties, secular ethos, and social inclusion.
Domestic Implications of the War Rhetoric • Increasing Hindu militancy resulting in bomb blasts targeting Muslims • The increased popularity of the Taliban in Pakistan • Patronizing terror networks could backfire in Pakistan
The Way AheadMoving From State Security to Human Security • Recognize the ground realities • Promote human security • Vigorously pursue MDGs • Emphasize secular, skills-based education
The Way AheadMoving From State Security to Human Security • Boost civic, not religious, nationalism • Underscore social inclusion and tolerance • Stress the common civilizational ties that bind India and Pakistan
The Way AheadMoving From State Security to Human Security • Provide aid in exchange for firm assurances on curbing terrorism • Rally international opinion against state sponsored terrorism • Most important, promote bilateral trade and commerce