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No part of India is safe anymore

No part of India is safe anymore

Author: AK Kaul
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: February 25, 2008

Apropos the editorial, "Camping in Karnataka" (February 4), the report on the discovery of an Islamist terrorist training camp in Karnataka only confirms that jihadis have spread their tentacles across the country. What is, however, disgusting is the public apathy towards such unnerving developments.

No political party appears committed to fight terrorism. While the Congress and the Left parties are silent on the subject, lest the Muslim community should stop voting for them en masse, the BJP, too, does nothing more than issuing general statements holding the Congress responsible.

The ruling class is dealing with terrorism as a routine law-and-order issue. Worse, advocates of treason crop up from nowhere to argue that the organisers of the terrorist camp in Dharwad are intensely 'anti-American' and that they wanted to prepare Muslims to fight the US and its allies! The attempt is to exonerate them of any evil designs on India.

More and more areas in the country with substantial Muslim presence have now become safe havens for jihadis. But heads of the community do precious little to shut their doors to terrorists and issue the hackneyed statement -- "They are not one of us." Given that terrorist activities are now being conducted more by sleeper cells, it is obvious that Muslim parents are not doing enough to discourage their children from becoming the foot soldiers of jihad. Even educated Muslim youth are increasingly jumping onto the terror bandwagon.

The terrorism raging in Jammu & Kashmir is connected with that simmering in the rest of the country. Investigations into some recent terrorist strikes reveal a Kashmiri connection. In the last 18 years of its proxy war on India, Pakistan has created several active and sleeper terrorist cells and stores for arms and ammunition, besides recruiting bands of messengers and guides, selecting and training couriers for carrying money from hawala sources and organising groups to be sent on reconnaissance of the places to be targeted.

The demand for free movement across the LoC is a part of a sinister design to turn Jammu & Kashmir into an advance base for jihadis. For, except a small number who live near the LoC, Kashmiri Muslims do not have relations across the border. Terrorist activities in Jammu & Kashmir and the rest of the country must be treated as two aspects of one problem and addressed with a consolidated anti-terror policy.

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