South Asia should jointly fight terrorism: Dhaka daily

December 15th, 2008 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Dec 15 (IANS) Pakistani nationals, even if non-state actors, were involved in the Mumbai terror strike and Pakistani territory might have been used as a launching pad for an attack on its neighbour, a Dhaka daily said Monday while urging that South Asia put up a joint fight against terrorism.Stressing the need for a joint South Asian fight to prevent terrorism from acquiring intra-regional links with international terror groups, The Daily Star said in an editorial that an India-Pakistan war was not the solution.

It found the Indian response angry, but tempered by a resolve to not go to war.

“It was reassuring to hear the Indian political leaders’ eschewal of war as a solution, although the opposition BJP has not been so forthcoming in discounting military action as a possible option,” the editorial said.

“And this is the cause for concern for the people of South Asia who are only too aware of the serious consequences of an Indo-Pak conflagration.

“And this is what reinforces our oft repeated exhortations that the phenomenon cannot be addressed by any one country alone, that there must be a cooperative effort if we want to see the end of terrorism, in South Asia and indeed the world,” the newspaper said.

Cautioning Pakistan of the perils of fomenting terrorism, it said: “Pakistan, perhaps more than any other country in the region, cannot be oblivious of the deleterious consequences it has had to suffer since the cessation of anti-Soviet operation in Afghanistan in 1988. And perhaps nobody feels the urgency to put an end to extremism and terrorism more than the people of Pakistan.

“It cannot be lost on the countries of South Asia that almost all of them have been victims of terrorism, although in varying degrees and intensity. And although there may not be organic links between the indigenous terrorist groups of the region and international terrorists, one cannot rule out their capacity to set up intra-regional networking.”

Writing in the same newspaper, commentator Syed Maqsood Jamil warned: “The Islamic militants have taken Pakistan to the medieval age. Their continued ascendancy will ultimately challenge the state power of Pakistan.”

He said madrassas were the breeding ground of Islamic militants in Pakistan. “A madrassa in Karachi went to the extent of beheading US reporter Daniel Pearle and making a video of it. In the video, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alleged No. 3 of Al Qaeda, boasted: ‘I have decapitated with my own hands the head of American Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl in the city of Karachi’,” Jamil recalled.

“This is a situation which is not in the interest of the US and western powers. After Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan is increasingly becoming the focus of US strategic planning. The US will welcome the cooperation of India. As things are, Pakistan is descending to the status of a pariah state.”

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