Anti-terror situation in South Asia still grim

10:40, July 18, 2011      

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Mumbai, the financial center and India's largest city, suffered a major terrorist attack on July 13. Frequent terrorist activities in the city, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks and the 2006 serial subway blasts, have cast a huge shadow upon Indian citizens.

India has long been a victim of international terrorism, and its criticism of Pakistan over terror links has become a serious obstacle to relations between the two countries.

The two countries held foreign secretary-level talks not long ago and will soon hold foreign minister-level talks. Under this context, the recent Mumbai attack raised fears that it may bring new troubles to the relations of the two countries.

Fortunately, Indian intelligence agencies responded quickly this time, revealing on July 14 that intercepts in early 2011 had warned of a possible terror attack by Indian Mujahedin this July. In the past, the usual suspects for such attacks were always linked to Pakistan, while this time India quickly found out that the Islamic extremist organization Indian Mujahedin was behind this attack.

In fact, Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism. Friendly relations between India and Pakistan will not only meet the practical needs of the two countries themselves but also promote regional security in South Asia.

It is known to all that although India is not a Muslim country, its Muslim population is as high as 160 million. After the Partition of India, most regions where Muslim people account for a majority were put in the domain of Pakistan, but there were also a lot of Muslims who chose to stay in India. From then on, various contradictions between Hindus, Muslims and people of other minority nationalities have existed for a long time.

In 1990's, The Babri Masjid Mosque in the city of Ajodhya was destroyed, leading to bloodshed. In addition, there are also a lot of anti-government armed forces and extremist organizations of various kinds within India. The suspected "India Mujahedeen" is just one of them. Even the Indian Premier Manmohan Singh once said that the domestic anti-government organizations are the real threats to the national security of India.

The terrorist forces always focus their attention on large cities, and it is a huge challenge for the anti-terrorism and security-prevention abilities of the Indian Government. This time, the Indian Government reacted very fast. The information was reported to the public through TV and short message at once, and the victims were sent to the hospital immediately. Then, the Indian Premier and some senior anti-terrorism officials appeared on TV quickly, telling the people to calm down and have faith in the government's capacity to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, many arrangements were also made to strengthen the security of other large cities. This series of measures are widely praised nationally and internationally and could reflect that the Indian Government has learned lessons from the past and improved its countermeasures a lot.

Currently, the anti-terrorism situation of South Asia is at a very delicate moment. The aftereffects of the killing of Bin Laden by the United States have not been eliminated and the revenge speeches of international terrorist forces are still active. The United Nations is gradually withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, but it also has declared that it would suspend the military supports to Pakistan. A lot of elements are weaved together, and the comprehensive effects still need further observation.

By Zhao Gancheng from People's Daily, translated by People's Daily Online

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