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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2901

Terrorist common enemy for Indians and Pakistanis

By Sarla Handoo - Syndicate Features

Was it a mere coincidence that the failed suicide bomb attacks in London and Glasgow took place close to July 7, the 2nd anniversary of the London train blasts two years ago, which claimed 56 lives. Judging by what is being revealed through interrogations it is clear that the attacks were planned to coincide with the event to send a message that the terrorists are still up and about and can not be wished away.

Unfortunately for them, the message did not go as clearly and as loudly as had been planned. Even before this, attempt to blow up the John F Kennedy Airport in the US was foiled and so was the plot to attack the Heathrow airport in London

Two important factors lead us to believe that the attacks were planned for the occasion. One, the way terrorists went through the exercise in a hurry, even after two failures in London on two successive days making a mess of the whole thing. It is clear that they were keen to meet a deadline. Two, the way Kafeel had conveyed to his parents that they ought to pray for the success of his third “presentation” (attack) as his two earlier attempts had failed, indicate the importance he attached to the mission. The warning of the Al -Qaeda leader in Iraq sent to Canon Andrew White, a distinguished Christian working in the Middle East for peace, was enough to indicate how the preparations were going on. It said that “those who cure you will kill you”.

Reports suggest that the two brothers Kafeel and Sabeel are the ones behind the Glasgow airport attack as well as planting of explosives in two cars in London which were recovered before they could explode. What is unfortunate is that the incidents involved Indians, which certainly brought a bad name to the country. So far, Indians have been carefully keeping themselves away from acts of terrorism across the world. Except for Dhiren Barot, who converted to Islam, before joining the terrorist ranks, no Indian or person of Indian origin participated in such acts. There is no denying the fact that the present incident has dented the otherwise brilliant image Indians have been holding abroad.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s appeal to the British Prime Minister that terrorists should not be labelled by any nationality as they neither belong to any country nor to any religion is a timely message. But how effective it proves in the long run remains to be seen. The fact is that the 13 lakh strong Indian Community in the United Kingdom has begun to feel the heat. The sense of guilt is being aggravated by the Pakistani community in Britain who feel somewhat relieved by finding that their compatriots were not involved in the latest case. Britain has an eight thousand strong Pakistani community, a little more than half of the Indian community. They tend to forget that in sharp contrast to the number of Pakistanis involved in such acts, it is for the first time that an Indian is involved. Let it not be forgotten that four of the three persons involved in the blasts in London Rail transport were Pakistanis.

Voices have begun to be raised that Indians in the UK should not be described as Asians as they want to keep themselves away from the notoriety of terrorist activities other Asians are associated with. They even want that Indians should be identified as Indian Hindus and Indian Muslims to make the distinction clear.

Such plans would only bring the two communities away from each other and break that bond of oneness Indians of whichever religion, cast or creed have been proudly demonstrating so far. At the same time no community will like to take the blame for something they are not involved with. To that extent there seems to be some justification in the demand.

It is therefore in the fitness of things that instead of projecting the involvement of two Indians as some sort of an achievement Pakistanis is the United Kingdom should make a proper assessment of the situation and refrain from doing anything that can drive a wedge between the people of the two countries.

India and Pakistan have a common enemy in terrorism. They need to fight terror jointly. As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh puts it, “the thinking population of Pakistan realises that “fundamentalism is perverse and that it constitutes a danger to civilization”. What is needed is that this realization percolates to the cutting edge level so that no damage is done to the sinews of a common heritage the two peoples inherit.

- Syndicate Features -

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