People, lets take a step back, shall we? India was just attacked. It was attacked by a group with the implicit backing of the ISI, Pakistans secret (police) service. The ISI has often been described as an army within an army, or as a state within a state. Regardless, the ISI is a branch of the government, that is to say the state, of Pakistan.
India, it seems, has located, or believes it has located, some of the people behind the attacks on Bombay…er, Mumbai. Specifically, it has located the camps of the LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terror group which some allege is linked to the ISI when being polite, and flat out acknowledge is linked to the ISI when being real). India, as you can probably imagine, is a little ticked off that these killers where unleashed on her city. She wants to bomb the camps.
Lets take another breath. The LeT is officially banned in Pakistan. Yet Pakistan still allows these terror camps to operate. And operate in such a way that THEY ARE NOT HIDDEN, AND EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT THEM. Regardless of what the Pakistani government may say, the LeT is not banned. The fact that they are allowed to operate pretty much freely should tell one all one needs to know about the highly dubious claim that Pakistan had nothing to do with the attacks on Mumbai.
Sun Tsu, in his book Art of War, tells the reader that in situations like this, one side must give the other side an out. The ability to protect honour and save face is crucial. A face saving measure has indeed been offered, if not out loud, at least in logic. If India wants the camps gone, and Pakistan has ‘banned’ the LeT, Pakistan can do its part to calm passions by getting rid of the camps herself. Pakistan wont, of course, because it doesnt have the political will to take on the crazies who make up the ISI, some key areas of the Army, and the general population of the country. But ‘cant’ and ‘wont’ are words in two different universes. Pakistan ‘can’ deal with LeT, the ISI, the islamists, if it wanted to be a real state. However, Pakistan, although it posseses a parliament, is still essentially broken up into kingdoms run by some family or another. These people are not interested in reform, and the current situation affords them power they refuse to give up.
So we are at this situation where India has been harmed, and embarassingly so. She seeks retribution for reasons as simple as honour, justice, and revenge. When America was attacked on 9/11, a similiar demand by the Americans towards the Afghannis was made regarding the Taliban. The Afghans refused to give up Bin Laden, the result of which is that one day little Afghanni girls may one day be able to go to school and learn to read.
So am I, your humble writer, advocating India indeed proceed with its desire to have the suspects of the LeT handed over to them, or else? Yes, indeed I am. Pakistan is a failed state. The government of the country does not control the country. The most obvious example is the the northwest of the country, but similair enclaves of power exist throughout the nation. The army is split between western and islamic ‘schools’, if you will. The ISI runs amok, unchecked. Oh, did I mention these crazies have nuclear weapons? This situation is not a tolerable one any longer.
India is in the right. India has every right to demand justice. What India needs from us (besides a missle defence system) is not so much military support but moral. If the two countries do go to war, and India succeeds, we may have an opportunity to refrom a muslim country that cannot go wasted.