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2008年12月 8日 (月)


2008/12/8 --The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 6.(IHT/Asahi: December 8,2008)

EDITORIAL: India-Pakistan relations


The antagonism that plagues relations between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan is deepening. The multiple terror attacks in Mumbai set off the latest round of conflict between the two neighbors on the Subcontinent. India increasingly believes the attacks were staged by a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. It also accuses Pakistan's military intelligence service of possible involvement. The Indian military has placed its troops in Kashmir, a region whose territoriality is disputed between Indian and Pakistan, on alert.



Pakistan, however, refutes India's charges.

It says there is no proof the terrorists were Pakistanis. Some hard-liners in the country's military elite are arguing that Pakistani troops that are now being deployed near the border with Afghanistan to crack down on the al-Qaida terrorist network and the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban should be redeployed closer to the Indian border.


In India, there is talk of strengthening troop numbers along the border with Pakistan. With a general election set for next year, the main opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Indian People's Party) has been attacking the government and the ruling Indian National Congress Party for being soft on terrorism.


The United States has sent Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to appease the two rivals. Although Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari displayed a willingness to cooperate with India's criminal investigations into the attacks, he did not shift from his position that Pakistan has nothing to do with terrorism.


In 2002, antagonism between the two rivals reached critical proportions. It stemmed from a terrorist attack in Kashmir believed carried out by a militant Islamic group from Pakistan. Tensions escalated to the point that both countries massed troops along their respective borders and exchanged gunfire.


An armed clash between India and Pakistan raises the prospect of a nuclear exchange. We urge the two countries to continue their dialogue and work together to get to the bottom of the Mumbai attacks. We urge them to do their utmost to prevent any kind of recurrence and hope they will achieve some form of detente.


The Mumbai attacks occurred just weeks before the new U.S. administration of President-elect Barack Obama comes into being.


Obama has publicly announced his intentions to switch the focus of the war against terror from Iraq to Afghanistan. There are also signs that Islamic militants like the Taliban are attempting to suck India and Pakistan into a state of conflict so as to deflect the pressure of their forces from their base, the porous border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan.


If India and Pakistan feel so provoked that they enter into actual combat, as they have done in the past, then the threat of the international terror network in this region will become that much stronger.


At the same time, Pakistan's Zardari civilian administration will inevitably become unstable as it does not have a power base within the military while it tries to cope with the global financial crisis. If that occurs, then the threat that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal may fall into the hands of the terrorists may well become an issue.


Russia's President Dimitry Medvedev is visiting India. We hope the United States, Russia, Britain, China and other countries with deep ties with India will hurry to act as mediators between India and Pakistan.


Most of all, the United States is responsible for causing instability in the region. The Bush administration opened the way for U.S.-India nuclear cooperation. It also instigated cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan. The incoming Obama administration must collaborate with countries with a major stake in the region, and implement a comprehensive and well-thought-out set of policies that does not simply rely on military force alone.



« 国庫負担発言―首相があおる年金不信 | トップページ | ASP of the Year 2008 »





« 国庫負担発言―首相があおる年金不信 | トップページ | ASP of the Year 2008 »