Delhi, 14 June 2002
a way the recent visit of US secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld to
India and Pakistan has been most significant by the fact that what
was being said on the sidelines for the last so many months has now
been acknowledged from the horse’s mouth. And that piece of truth
is – Al Qaeda elements are now very much in Kashmir. In his own
words, “We have seen
indications that the Al-Qaeda is operating in areas near the LoC but
do not have "any hard evidence of who, how many or where".
The Indian intelligence agencies’ reports and Government’s fear
are more or less confirmed by no other person than one who is
leading the American war against Al Qaeda and is charged with the
task of, “We will find them wherever they are and rid the world of
their evil designs”, as entrusted by the President of his country.
Of course Pakistan has lost no time in denying this statement but
that it has been doing since the battle in Tora Bora from where it
stealthily airlifted hundreds of its nationals who were fighting for
Taliban and Al Qaeda.
we come to what prescient statement a US columnist had made in Dec
here on, the war seems certain to become increasingly uncomfortable
for some of Washington's allies –– notably Pakistan, where the
military government has an unpleasant recent history of making
covert use of its terrorist friends in the battle to control
Kashmir.” Of course then President Bush still maintained,
“Everyone around the world wants to use the war on terrorism to
settle some kind of old grudge." He cited the battles over
Kashmir, a Palestinian state and Chechnya. But in terms of American
long-term goals he was quite clear, “American power will be used
against all terrorists of global reach but patience will be
needed.” The Indian leadership has displayed nothing but patience
in the face of dire provocations –– the attack on Parliament in
Dec and a military camp in Jammu where 35 civilians mostly women and
children were put to death in May.
time of reckoning for USA has come. Both in the case of Palestine
and Chechnya, the US administration has accepted Israel’s and
Russia’s right to defend and use the principle of ‘hot
pre-emptive’ action. Now that it is neither a secret nor there’s
any ambiguity about the presence of Al Qaeda in Pak occupied Kashmir
(POK), a territory over which Pakistan neither has nor claims any
sovereign right, a ‘hot pre-emptive’ action against Bin
Laden’s soldiers by US would not only be in order but a
continuation of the avowed aim of the first phase of ’war for
not the world feel that the champions of liberty took no action
against Al Qaeda even after locating them! It is America’s own
assessment that Al Qaeda amongst many other terrorist organizations
is the most vicious and universal in its reach with declared enemy
No 1 as USA, No 2 as Israel, No 3 as Russia and No 4 as India.
them that they have no evil designs in Kashmir then what will they
do sitting in PoK? A land that is devoid of any pleasure –– they
can only hatch evil plots against the US homeland, a sample of which
has just been discovered from the arrest of Jose Padilla, the
hatcher of the ‘dirty bomb’ plot.
US should not allow al Qaeda safety and time at a known location
well within its reach. Even if the choice is between Musharraf and
Al Qaeda, the world expects Bush to go for the latter lest it should
be said that a tin pot military dictator of a third rate state
called the world’s only super duper power’s bluff!
way that Rumsfeld has been blowing hot and cold on the presence of
Al Qaeda in POK, it certainly seems that the dictator’s ploy is
is time for the sole super power to deliver on its avowed aim to rid
the world of terrorists.