Monday, December 8, 2008

India- Don't Attack Pakistan!

The New York Times has an article detailing the support the ISI has had for the group Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group accused of carrying out the recent attack in Mumbai. This is not news, the these links have long been known. This is merely background. News would be if we discovered that the ISI were involved in this particular attack. This has not happened yet, but it could.
Should this happen, we should expect Indian and Pakistan to go to war. This would be a profound mistake. These elements in the ISI area common enemy to the government of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and the US. Ali Asif Zardari had been, as I mentioned previously, attempting both to rein in the agency and pursue better relations with India. As corrupt and immoral as this man is, I take these overtures at face value. Now he looks weak and impotent.
As Ahmed Rashid points out, these attacks were intended as a distraction. War between India and Pakistan would be a gift to the islamists currently fighting the Pakistani government, even as Pakistan acts to curb the group responsible.
Juan Cole wrote a post asking indians not to go down the Bush/Cheney route in fighting terror. It's beginning to look like many indians learned exactly the wrong lessons from the US "War on Terror" and many compare the possible attack on Pakistan to the US attack on Afghanistan. At a time like this, I wish we had remembered there are indeed other countries, and hadn't embraced the idea of "preemptive strike".

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