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By Mohan Shenoy

The terrorists from Pakistan came by sea to Mumbai and attacked railway stations, hospitals, hotels, and other civilian sites killing about 200 innocent people. How shall India deal with this attack?

The government of Pakistan says that their agencies did not do this. Whoever came from Pakistan were doing it as individuals and not as government people. Since there are many individuals involved in this attack and some of them still remain in Pakistan, India wants Pakistan to arrest and punish those individuals still remaining in Pakistan.

It is a reasonable request from India and Pakistan will be committing a mistake if she refuses to act against those individuals who are part of the group that attacked India, and are residents of Pakistan.

How can India bring pressure on Pakistan to do its part to contain terror? Pakistan had agreed earlier in many of the meetings held between its and Indian leaders to cooperate with India in the matter of terrorists. The individuals who attacked Mumbai from Pakistan are clearly terrorists because they were not on any assignment from any of the agencies of Pakistan.

Pakistan has not declared war against India to think that this act of terror is part of that war. India can consider this terror act to be an act of war by India and declare war against Pakistan. If Pakistan does not act against these terrorists still holed up in Pakistan then clearly it would be an act supported by Pakistan and therefore it can be considered to be an act of war against India on the part of Pakistan.

Indian citizens can not find fault with the government if it declares war against Pakistan. Indian government is completely justified in sending its fighter planes against Pakistan if the government of Pakistan is not going to catch the culprits responsible for the Mumbai attacks and punish them or send them over to India to face trial.
But why is the Indian government not sending its army to fight against Pakistan? First, the terrorists are a minuscule group that does not represent the people of Pakistan. People of Pakistan do not support the terrorists and do not condone the acts of terror committed by a small group among them.

The government of Pakistan did not send the terrorists across the sea although some of the people in the government were aware of such a group that was planning to commit acts of terror against India in Indian cities.

If there is war then a larger problem might be solved, a problem of constant skirmishes across the border in Kashmir, provided Indian forces completely defeat the Pakistani forces and capture Islamabad and put the leaders behind bars.

India will have to occupy Pakistan to bring everything under control. Pakistan is not a small country and not an easy country to be occupied by Indian forces.

War by India against Pakistan is a war by the people of India against the people of Pakistan. It will not be a war against the group that perpetrated this terror in Mumbai last November. People of Pakistan will resist Indian attack with full force and there could be nuclear arms used by both the sides; which side will use nuclear weapons first is a matter of debate, but seeing things as they seem now Pakistan is going to use nuclear weapons first.

So in order to prevent further damage, and avoid a full scale war that could be a wasteful exercise in the end, war does not seem to be an answer for this menace that is facing India.

The Indian government has rightfully chosen a path to bring international pressure on Pakistan to catch the culprits and bring them to justice.