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Support secular democracy in Kashmir and not an Islamic theocratic regime that Pakistan and terrorists are seeking to impose by force

Reader comment on item: [Pakistani Christians and] A War Against What?
in response to reader comment: Pakistan Supports Terrorism

Submitted by Dr Suranjit Saha (United Kingdom), Oct 12, 2009 at 16:40

I hope this piece helps open the eyes of the US policy makers who have long been sleep walking through an illusion in their Pakistan policy.

Since 1947, India has been working hard to build a secular democracy in the country and integrate its 120 million Muslims in its national mainstream as equal citizens. Only 8 million of these Muslims live in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which had legally and irrevocably acceded to India in that year. Many Muslims have held and still hold highest positions of State in India - Presidents of the Republic, Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers of States, Chiefs of Staff of the Army, Navy and Airforce and many others.

Pakistan, on the other hand has been building an intolerant Islamic theocracy on a creed of hatred against all infidels, particularly Hindus. Shortly after its creation in 1947, it ethnically cleansed its Hindus by genocide and by forcible expulsion. The constitution prohibits a non-Muslim from becoming the Head of State in Pakistan; the value of testimony given by a Hindu or a Christian in a court of law has half the weight than that of a Muslim; that is the law in that country.

The fundamental problem is this: there exists a high degree of acceptance and even appreciation in the Muslim civil society for religious violence against non-Muslims. Muslim masses tend to believe that it is alright to kill anyone who does not give respect to their Prophet, that Islamic terrorists are in fact fighters defending Islam against the infidels. The West seems to be mortally afraid even to face this fact.

India could have made Kashmir a Hindu majority state if it wished and pursued policies like those that Pakistan did. The world needs to recognise this. Indian Muslims, including those in Kashmir, are in the grip of a fanatical brand of Islamic ideology which makes coexistence with people of other religions almost impossible. This is the principal drive behind Muslim separatism not only in Kashmir and the rest of India, but also in Thailand, Chechnya in Russia, and the Moro movement in the Philippines and in many other places.

If the US wants to promote secular democracy and civilised norms in the world, it should not support theocracy in Pakistan and Muslim separatism in the world. It should have the courage to tell Muslims that they must learn to live in peace with people of other religions, that if they demand respect for their religion from the Hindus and Christians, they must learn to show respect to the religious icons of Hindus and Christians as well.

The issue of Kashmir needs to be seen in this perspective. Terrorists there have cleansed the Valley of Hindus. They are trying to forcibly impose a mediaeval regime on Muslim women there, forcing young girls to marry middle aged terrorists as expressions of their religious duty.

The US needs to support India to fight terrorism and establish secular democracy in Kashmir. It needs to understand that Pakistan is the world's main springboard of terrorism and that there is widespread support for terrorists amongst its population. It is launching token operations like in Swat to get huge amounts of money from the US, but at the same time sheltering and supporting terrorists fighting US soldiers in Afghanistan and spreading violent Muslim separatism in India.

Submitting....

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